Wireworms in potatoes need new control
Concern should have been heightened this year with grassy weeds growing rapidly in fields because of the unusual weather patterns in many areas of the country.
Wireworms emerge in the soil and may survive for two to six years. In the winter, they survive about two feet deep, and as the temperature warms, they move up through the ground to the top two to three inches of soil. Wireworms move up and down in the soil during the season depending on temperature, according to the Nebraska guide. They prefer soil temperature to be 50 to 60 degrees F. After wireworms achieve full maturity during the summer, they will pupate in the soil, and the pupae will transform into click beetles after a few days.
During the growing season, wireworms have been difficult to control requiring high use rates of insecticides and incomplete control. The Nebraska Extension reports, “This is the result of the difficulty in trying to move the insecticide down into the soil in a high enough concentration to obtain wireworm control and for an insecticide to last long enough to protect mature tubers near harvest.”