Wireworms are one of the pests that come with a lot of speculation and misinformation for many farmers. Patchy stands are often blamed on poor seed or conditions when the blame should be placed on wire worms. Dr. Bob Vernon’s research shows that wire worms are not isolated to the light brown soil zone of the prairies but instead the national distribution map shows that every are of Canada has populations of wireworms.
Going out to the field to try and find wire worms can be very difficult even as soil temperatures rise over 5 degrees Celsius. Looking for blank spots after seeding is too late and re-seeding is your only real option.
The best way to find wireworms prior to seeding is to make bait balls. Making bait balls is very easy. All you need to do is mix together some oatmeal, honey and water to create a baseball size bait ball. With a shovel dig a two inch deep hole and place the bait ball in the hole. Pour some water on the ball and then cover with dirt.
Maybe the most important is to insert a flag so that you can come back in 7-10 days and find the buried wireworm bait ball. The wireworms are attracted to the CO2 that the bait ball will release over the 7-10 days.
In this episode of the Wheat School, Shad Milligan, Syngenta, Seed Care Specialist gives us a demonstration on how to make a wireworm bait ball.
If you cannot see the below embedded video, click here so that you do not miss how to make bait balls to find wire worms.