How can wireworm damage be identified?
Wireworm damage to potatoes usually takes the form of a mass of holes and mini-tunnels on the vegetables. How do the wireworms cause so much damage? During the potato planting period, the wireworms are barely active or completely inactive. However, from July and August, they try to escape dry soil. They find the moisture and food required for their growth inside the plants’ daughter tubers. The impact of the holes and perforations are particularly pernicious since they make it difficult to sell the tubers.
How can we deal with wireworm invasions?
Regular soil care remains the best way of controlling wireworm infestation. Wireworms are particularly fond of grass. So if a potato crop has recently been planted over grassland, there will be a higher risk of finding them.
The only chemical solution recommended to control wireworms involves the preventive application of an insecticide. It is also recommended that potatoes not be planted for a period of two years in grass buffer strips returned to production. In fact, the second year is the riskiest, since the larvae primarily eat buried plant matter during the first year.
Another option consists in helping the herbaceous plant to develop a physical and mechanical barrier that may give it greater resistance against environmental attacks.
Wireworms impair the quality of the potatoes harvested and affect yields. If you want to keep your potato crops healthy, look for our products at your nearest “gardening” advice centre.