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Wireworms. Damage to roots and Tubers. Also stems of Chrysanthemums 

Wireworms are bright orange brown and slow moving and around 3cm long. They are sometimes mistaken for the much faster moving centipede. The centipede is a friend, the wireworm is not!

Wireworms eat the root system of most plants and are also a pest of potato crop where they bore into the tuber.

They are the larvae of the Click Beetle - itself a relatively harmless insect. The wireworm larvae takes around three years to become an adult, and during that time feeds underground.

There is no chemical control available to the amateur, so normal cultivation methods of digging and hoeing will bring the wireworms to view, where they can be picked off and destroyed.

Wireworms are normally more of a problem on land that has just been bought into cultivation from old grassland - typical would be the garden of a new-build house.

The damage to roots and tubers can be quite severe, and potato tubers in particular are a welcome feeding area. Wireworms sometimes attack Chrysanthemums by boring right up into the stems - eating the nice fleshy part - and often causing partial or complete collapse of the plant.

 

Closeup image of a wireworm

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By David Hughes - info@gardenseeker.com