Digging in to wireworm behaviour


Wireworm is a destructive pest of potatoes, wheat, barley, and other crops. It’s also a below-ground feeder, making it difficult to scout for and even harder to control. Changes to available insecticide seed treatment ingredients has also made it more challenging to protect crops from feeding.

Research from Eastern Canada has made significant discoveries into integrated pest management of the pest, including the use of mustard and buckwheat as fumigant crops in rotation with potatoes.

But there’s always more to learn, including when and where to scout for the pest; and work done by Dr. Christine Noronha, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada at Charlottetown, PEI, is helping answer that question.

Noronha has completed a study that tracks these tiny worms as they travel down, down, down the soil profile staying just below the frost line. Her work sheds light on just how cold-hardy these little copper-coloured worms are, and when they tend to resurface.

The findings, discussed in the audio below, suggest that even a very cold winter isn’t going to slow down wireworm populations, and that for PEI, the pest is at the surface and ready to feed in about mid-April when soils warm to above 8 degrees C.

Please accept to view this content.

Wake up with RealAgriculture

Subscribe to our daily newsletters to keep you up-to-date with our latest coverage every morning.

Wake up with RealAgriculture

Please register to read and comment.

Privacy Preference Center


Necessary cookies help make a website usable by enabling basic functions like page navigation and access to secure areas of the website. The website cannot function properly without these cookies.

gdpr, __cfduid, PHPSESSID, wordpress_test_cookie, woocommerce_items_in_cart, woocommerce_cart_hash, wp_woocommerce_session, wordpress_logged_in, wordpress_sec, wp-settings, wp-settings-time, __cf_mob_redir, wordpress_cache, realag


Measuring interactions with the ads on the domain.



These are used to track user interaction and detect potential problems. These help us improve our services by providing analytical data on how users use this site.



Preference cookies enable the website to remember information that changes the way the website behaves or looks, like your preferred language or the region that you are in.

chartdefaults, comment_author, comment_author_email, comment_author_url
JSESSIONID, _os_session,anonymous_votes,csrf-param,csrf-token,user,user-id,user-platform,intercom-session,intercom-lou,intercom-session
personalization_id, tfw_exp


Register for a RealAgriculture account to manage your Shortcut menu instead of the default.