How to get rid of wireworm in the garden
Wireworms are not such a “famous” enemy of the garden as ants or Colorado beetles. They are quite inconspicuous, they are difficult to detect and not everyone knows who they are at all. But losses from wireworms are more than enough, because when they finally catch my eye - the chances of saving the plant are almost zero. We have collected all the best folk remedies to get rid of wireworms in the garden!
The wireworms in the garden: why are they dangerous?
First, let’s figure out who the wireworms are, because they are still so little studied. In fact, this is not a separate insect, but the larvae of nutcracker beetles. Adults eat mainly cereal leaves and are not too dangerous. During the season, one female lays several hundred eggs, but much more voracious wireworms hatch from them.
The wireworm is the main threat of vegetable gardens, because without exaggeration it is omnivorous. On their way, the larvae sweep potatoes, beets, tomatoes, cabbage, radishes - and that's not all. They are completely indifferent to tubers or sprouts, only sprouted seeds or adult plants. For the season, in the most neglected case, wireworms can destroy up to 75% of the crop.
How to detect wireworm
Notice the wireworm is very problematic, because the larvae hide in the ground and reluctantly crawl to the surface. Usually, it is possible to find out that tubers are mercilessly eaten only at the harvesting stage. In the best case, during hilling or loosening of the soil.
Sometimes the appearance of gluttonous parasites can be suspected by the presence of adults. But not everything is so smooth with them, because outwardly they are very similar to harmless ground beetles. So you have to listen if the bugs emit characteristic clicks during the activity.
If at least once you came across potatoes dotted with winding moves - this is the work of the wireworm. In the early stages, dark spots and black dots point to it.
It only saves that the larvae move very slowly from bush to bush, because they cope better with vertical passages. This gives an insignificant head start and the opportunity to lose a couple of plants, and not the entire garden.
Mechanical wire traps
Against voracious larvae, banal mechanical traps work well. We offer several proven options:
- Bury cans of chopped potatoes and carrots near the bed of wireworms. Cover the neck with foil and cut small holes so that the beetles and larvae can climb inside, but they cannot get out;
- String the remains of the old crop onto the wire and dig it into the ground, leaving the end outside. After three days, pull the vegetables by the wire and destroy along with the larvae;
- Adult beetles can be lured with a sprinkled pile of manure or freshly cut grass;
- In a glass jar generously fill up sawdust soaked in insect poison. Dig cans into the ground neck in different places between the beds;
- Soak old and spoiled potato tubers in an insecticide for 24 hours and scatter them in the garden, digging them a little. After a few days, replace the trap with a new one until the wireworms disappear from the garden.
Simple folk remedies for wireworm
Folk recipes do a good job if they managed to detect the wireworm on time. They are the most environmentally friendly and safe for any seedlings, so it is worth starting with them.
- When planting tubers, add a little mustard powder with hot chili pepper to each hole;
- Add chopped onion husk to the holes - it scares away many pests. And then periodically steam it with water, cool and use it for watering;
- Pour a pound of water with a pound of fresh nettle and 200 g of dandelions. Allow the liquid to infuse and spill potato beds every three days for a week and a half;
- Put in the holes several spruce or pine branches, so that the soil is saturated with essential oils of needles;
- If the plants are already affected, their fields are infused with celandine. Brew 100 g of chopped flowers and let it brew for three days;
- Scatter the crushed eggshells on the beds on which the pests have settled.
These are more aggressive methods of dealing with wireworms in the garden, but sometimes you can not do without them. Be sure to wear protective equipment: gloves, goggles, and respirators.
- When planting tuber crops, treat each onion with approximately 250 ml of manganese solution, 2-4 g per bucket of water;
- Some mineral fertilizers “displace” wireworms inland a couple of meters. There they no longer reach the crops. You will need about 30 g of ammonium nitrate or ammonium sulfate per square;
- Superphosphates treated with insecticides have proven themselves well. This is a more gentle method compared to using poisons directly. First spray the fertilizers and let them dry on the film, and then - apply them to the ground at about 5 kg per 100 squares;
- As a last resort, use ready-made store insecticides against wireworms in their pure form. Be sure to strictly observe the proportions and dosages from the label, because most of these substances are real poisons.
Other wireworm control methods
In the case of the wireworm, the method "all means are good in war" is fully activated. Therefore, we learned a couple more effective tricks necessary in the difficult struggle for the garden.
- Draw birds to the site - ravens, wagtails, rooks, starlings, blackbirds and tits - they willingly eat nutcrackers and their larvae. Leave feeders and goodies for birds;
- Reduce the acidity of the soil with eggshell, bone meal or ash;
- Plant between the beds of plants that repel wireworms. This mustard, spinach, lupine, buckwheat, canola, melilot, dahlias and any legumes;
- If the nutcrackers settled on the garden, next year plant persistent crops there: pumpkin, greens, cereals or beans;
- Conduct seasonal digging of the soil especially carefully and deeply, because in the warm season, the larvae are selected closer to the surface. And be sure to do a deep digging under the frosts to destroy the wireworm, which has already laid down to winter;
- Before planting potatoes, plant a bed of cereal or corn seeds. During this time, the wireworm will get out for new food - and you will destroy the larvae along with the first landing.
Prevention of wireworm in the garden
It is very difficult to get rid of insatiable larvae, and usually you have to combine all the possible methods at once. Therefore, it is better to do everything initially to avoid the appearance of wireworms.
- Always weed, get rid of burdocks and “garbage” plants. They become a comfortable and cozy habitat not only for nutcracker bugs, but also for other pests;
- Monitor the acidity of the soil and timely add alkaline additives. If more fern, horsetail, sorrel or plantain appears among the weeds, this is a sure signal that it is time to change something;
- During the harvest, harvest it completely - and only then you will deal with the presentation and quality of the fruit. Do not leave bad potatoes or carrots rot in the garden. You think that you leave fertilizer for the soil, but in fact - you store winter supplies for parasites;
- Swap seedlings every season. This is called a crop rotation - the alternation of crops on one field and the most important stage in any agriculture. This improves soil properties and nutrition, prevents erosion, spread of weeds and diseases.