Fighting Wireworm

Fighting Wireworm

Fighting Wireworm

I’m Lacy Gray, Washington Ag Today is next.

They’re small in size, 1/4 to 3/4 of an inch in length, but can cause severe damage to cereal crops; and while they can be controlled, they can’t be killed with the normal recommended insecticide rates. I’m referring to wireworms, the larvae of the click beetle, and their populations are increasing in the Pacific Northwest. That’s why WSU Extension Agronomist Aaron Esser has conducted research at two large on-farm trials in Eastern Washington. In a recent webinar Esser talked about some important aspects of the wireworm.

ESSER: A wireworm is in the soil anywhere from about three to ten years depending on species and conditions before they mature into a crop. Here wireworms are most active in the soil between about 45 degrees and 80. Wireworms are really found in most cropping systems in the Pacific Northwest but they do prefer grass systems.

He says it’s easy to misdiagnose wireworm infestation.

ESSER: Whether or not you’re dealing with Russian thistles, wild oats, or downy brome, I think if you ever have a field situation where you can’t quite get those weeds under control, I’d really start looking towards wireworm pressure.

In the two test trials Esser examined varied rates of Cruiser insecticide and a high labeled rate of Gaucho insecticide, and found that in both tests wireworm populations were significantly reduced and profitability significantly increased.

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I’m Lacy Gray and that’s Washington Ag Today on the Northwest Ag Information Network. 

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