Wireworms are up to 40 mm long and can vary greatly in shape. They may have soft, flat, creamy-white or pale bodies with dark wedge-shaped heads and forked tooth-edged tails, or hard smooth round yellow to red-brown bodies with flattened, round or cone-shaped tails. Larvae bore into germinate seed and eat seedling roots and shoots. Adult false wireworms eat seedlings at or above ground level, ring-barking or cutting the stem. Damage is worse when crop growth is retarded by dry, wet or cool conditions. Wireworms generally favour moist areas.


  • Treat the seed with a recommended seed treatment
  • Suitable crop rotations may also limit increases in population number
  • Sample seed beds prior to sowing
  • If damage occurs after sowing, no treatment is available, other than resowing bare patches with an insecticide treatment
  • Clean cultivation over summer will starve adults and larvae by exposing them to hot dry conditions, thus preventing population increases

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Guardian provides control of a variety of insect pests in a range of crops and the prevention of spread of barley yellow dwarf virus in cereal crops.

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