How to get rid of wire worms

by Corrie
(Granite Falls,Wa)

I recently found some little golden worms about 1 inch. They almost look like a centipede with very little if any legs. They seemed to enjoy my peas seeds (also root crops). I had called the Master Gardeners Assoc and described them, they said they were wire worms. They are the larvae of the "click beetle", (of which I have never seen, nor heard of). They said that the old remedy was some poison that they would mix in the dirt. That has since been outlawed and taken off the market. I wouldn't want that stuff in my dirt anyway. Has anyone else heard of them, had them, or knows how to get rid of wire worms? Thank you in advance.
Corrie Kennedy

Comments for How to get rid of wire worms

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Jun 23, 2011
Wire Worms
by: Kiwi George

Hi Corrie. yep, I have had the many legged beasties too but not very many so when I an cultivate my beds I use the "Green Finger", sorry that one is for Aphids, "Gold Finger" cure and squash them. If you have a bad infestation, planting a green manure crop of mustard usually kills them off.
Happy squashing

Jun 29, 2011
Controlling wireworms
by: Gardenlove

They are the click beetle larval stage and favor roots and tubers especially potatoes. Hatching time is around spring on. Most gardens have some wireworms of some sort. If a big infestation, it pays to delay planting and when the beetles eggs hatch out into larvae, rake over the top mulch and soil to expose them to birds. Or pick them off yourself, and also the beetles later.

Pine needles with their acidity deter wireworms, and some gardener’s swear by burying comfrey leaves in the ground when planting.

Mar 05, 2012
wire worms
by: garden sue

My husband and I put in our first veggie garden in our new home last spring. We are southwest nova scotia, and I just moved from BC. As the ground is so very rocky, we bought soil that came from an old pastureland, and created a garden, above the rocks.
I planted everything by end of march, and at first things were wonderful, however as the growing season went on, the plants were faltering horribly.
We could not determine the problem until I pulled up the potatoes, and pretty much all of them were full of the wire worms!!!! It was horrible. So all winter I have been trying to find out how to control them, and it seems the only way is to rake the soil over frequently in early spring to expose the wire worms so the birds can feed off them, and plant later after all the larvae have completed that part of their life cycle.
Also, we will try to put some bait traps, of potatoes buried in various areas of the garden, that have a stick through them, and pull them up once a week, and dispose of the worms that way.
I am really nervous at how things will grow this year, and if anyone else has any other suggestions, I would love to hear them!
garden sue from nova scotia

Jul 13, 2016
by: Anonymous

Hi I've always been told to dig or motivate soot in to your pacth the wireworms don't like it and do one

Jun 02, 2018
by: Anonymous

cut a potato in half stick and small stick through it, and bury it in the place you last saw them about an inch. Have caught some this way, but am nematoding the area in the winter

Aug 05, 2018
by: maureen shields

could these little creatures be found in a childs pooh

Jun 16, 2019
Childs pooh
by: Anonymous

Someone asked if these could be in a childs pooh definitely not your child has threadworms common in children it does need treatment by a doctor though

Jun 16, 2019
by: Anonymous

How do i knowvif what i saw on my clematis as i was planting was a wireworm or a centipede very small lots legs and pale orange i tried to pinch of but it burrowed in very quickly now i dont know if ut is going to kill my new plant

Jun 16, 2019
Wireworms identification
by: Anonymous

I previously asked for identification between wire worms and centepede i just found a photo and description of a a wire worm only 3 sets of legs behind its head so great i only had a centipede

Apr 19, 2020
by: Diana

Once you have 'trapped' the wireworms in the potato trap, what is the safest way to dispose of them?

May 06, 2022
traps for wireworms
by: AnonymousDianneC

I spoke with WSU Master Gardeners and they sent me some articles. One suggestion was a 4" pot with a layer of perlite then corn, oats or wheat berries then perlite and bury it. And check it every few days. Its the Co2 put off by spouting that attracts them. Similarly they talked about putting a hand full of dried corn in a knee high womens hose tied off with string and bury it spread out in a trench 4+ inches deep with the string out. Cover loosely with soil and put a piece of black plastic over then clear plastic over the mound. This warms the soil and the corn sprouts. Wait for 7 days for the corn to sprout and check it. One thing I’ve noticed when I lifted a board between my rows of lettuce to check for slugs, I found several wireworms and the pupal stage of the click beetle, narrow pointed little beetles not moving. It seems there are patches where they are found. They tend to curl up tightly so look for the tiny ones that way.

May 23, 2022
Potato pieces as traps for wire worms
by: DianneC

I took the suggestion offered on this thread and cut up potatoes into pieces, struck a shish-kabob sticks into them and buried them a couple inches with the stick visible as a marker. Checked them daily and didn’t find much. But today, after being gone a week and weather warming up to 70, I found a great many. I pulled the stick out and used the point to remove them from the caves they had eaten into to potato pieces. I just sliced them in half with my finger nail against the potato. I’m seeing the beetles as well, but not so many. They are not big, slender, brownish with a pointed rear end.

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