Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Wireworm  (Read 6973 times)


  • Joined Oct 2009
« on: October 17, 2009, 08:33:46 am »
My taters have suffered from an attack of wireworm.  Has anyone got a solution to getting rid of these damn things?

Gordon M

  • Joined Sep 2009
Re: Wireworm
« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2009, 07:19:11 pm »
I did read somewhere (possibly on this forum) that if you take some tins i.e. soup tins etc. Punch lots of 1/8" holes in them , put some potato peelings in each one and insert them in the soil at regular intervals, they act as wireworm traps. You can then dispose of the wireworms (and peelings) and keep filling the tins with fresh peelings until you've got rid of the problem. I have never tried this but it may be worth a go, seems to make sense anyway. You would probably have to do it several times I would expect.
Anyone have any experience of this or have any other suggestions?


  • Joined Nov 2008
  • Glasgow
Re: Wireworm
« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2009, 08:46:13 pm »
Haven't tried the peeling solution but sounds good. Best to lift the crop as soon as its ripe. Give the infected soil a good turn over during winter to expose them to birds. I think there is also a nematode solution can't remember the name but you could google it.


  • Joined Dec 2009
Re: Wireworm
« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2009, 06:20:17 pm »
I haven't had the problem, but I use your post as an excuse to explore the internet for solutions.  Though my reply is too late to help you this season, the information I found points to prevention rather than cure, so it offers no help for this season.

Cultivate to expose wireworms to birds.
Repeated plowing in the wet spring and early summer helps disrupt the growing cycle of wireworms.
Improve drainage - wireworms prefer poorly drained soils and burrow deep when the soil warms and dries.
Rotate with crops resistant (or perhaps distasteful) to wireworms.
This article talks about wireworm control.  It also suggests potatoes as food for a trap.  I don't know why the trap potato would be more attractive than the growing potato.  I would expect the potato trap method to have little effect.  This site sells nematodes as control for wireworms.
This article, from university research, says that, "There are no known parasites or biological insecticides known to be effective in controlling wireworms."   I tend to believe this university research over someone trying to sell me a product to fix my problem.  The paragraph "Biological Control" suggests plowing so that birds can feed on exposed wireworms.
This article comes from Maine, a US state famous for potatoes and with a cool, wet climate more similar to UK than other potato growing areas in the US.  Though the article is old (1930s), its information is consistent with the others: cultivate to disrupt the growth cycle and to expose wireworms to birds.
This article targets commercial growers and suggests a chemical solution, but at the end, offers advice with potential.for the home garden.
"Certain species of wireworms are abundant only in poorly drained soils. The proper draining of such soils will prevent damage by these species."

I hope this helps your potato crop next season.  I enjoyed the research and now have several articles added to my personal library.


  • Joined Dec 2009
Re: Wireworm
« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2009, 02:07:30 am »

I am still having fun researching this.  I hope that you don't get tires of my posts before I get tired of the topic.  Repeated digging sounds like entirely too much work to me, so I looked for other solutions.
I found this site which lists common diseases and insect pests for vegetables and yard plants and trees.  I found several garden crops that do not list wireworms as a common pest.  One or more of these might be a good way to use the “potato patch” for a season or two while allowing the wireworm population decline.  Onion, peas, and pumpkin are crops are ones that I might grow that do not list wireworm as a common pest.  While you delay growing potatoes, you might work out a peas for potatoes trade with others in your area.

If you plan to grow potatoes anyway, this may be if interest:
This article lists the results of several studies of potato varieties resistant to wireworm damage.  Look at page 10.  Perhaps some of the more resistant varieties are available in the UK.

…and my personal library expands some more…

Re: Wireworm
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2010, 12:58:31 pm »

Have a look at the British Potato Variety database at and choose varieties that are resistant.

We also find that wireworms are more prevalant in areas that were previously grassed.


Gareth - Safe Secure shopping for all your livestock equipment and supplies.
Also for more larger farm related items


  • Joined Oct 2009
Re: Wireworm
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2010, 02:05:31 pm »
thanks for that, will do.  :)


  • Joined Nov 2009
Re: Wireworm
« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2010, 06:01:27 am »
T & M produce spuds that are white wireworm and yellow wireworm resistant if that helps you?


  • Joined Nov 2009
  • North East Lincolnshire
Re: Wireworm
« Reply #8 on: January 27, 2010, 10:28:41 am »
hello Taters Useless info from I'm agen The chemical Aldrin and its similar Diealdrin were the best thing for the job of ridding the patch of wireworm but someone in the States stated it was a carcinogen so it isn't available any more.It was a very fine dust like flour and was brick red in colour.You needed very little for an effective kill.I don't know where you will get some now though and I have never seen where anyone died from its use ;D :farmer:
Don't do today what can be put off until tomorrow because today will be yesterday tomorrow


  • Joined Oct 2009
Re: Wireworm
« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2010, 11:31:00 am »

I personally don't use any chemicals to grow food or any other plant . But Aldrin and Dieldrin are not made anymore so I doubt you will get any them anyway .The above link gives some basic details about the chemicals , and why they were banned and are no longer made. A good clue as to why it shouldn't be use is in the first 3 letters of Dieldrin .... ::) ::) ::) ;D ;D, ( Mind you , if Donald Rumsfeld thought he could make money out of it , we would have it in every conceivable food there is  :o. ).


« Last Edit: January 27, 2010, 11:33:11 am by RUSTYME »


  • Joined Oct 2009
Re: Wireworm
« Reply #10 on: January 27, 2010, 11:31:16 am »
Thanks Wizard, I am held back with doing anything due to the weather at present but when I get chance to start I have a few ideas now to try, roll on the decent weather !!  :)


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