IPMP3.0, Oregon State University, Copyright 2000





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[Wireworm Identification]

[Insect Management]


Wireworm Larva

Wireworm populations can be estimated by taking square foot soil samples to a depth of about 2 to 3 inches around mint plants from several different locations in the field. Usually, wireworm larvae, if present, also will be collected at the same time samples are taken for redbacked cutworm, strawberry root weevil, mint root borer, and symphylans. Soil should be screened in the field or placed in Berlese funnels to extract these pests.

No treatment threshold has been developed for wireworms on mint. Wireworms seldom cause serious damage on established mint, but they may be devastating to new plantings. Damage may occur if mint is to be planted in fields with a previous history of wireworm injury or in noncrop or fallow land. Fields that have been fallowed for several years or planted in potatoes, cereals, grass seed crops, or sugarbeets should be sampled before planting mint. Using mint roots free of insects to establish new fields is of utmost importance. If mint is to be planted in fields with a previous history of wireworm injury, growers should consider fumigating the soil prior to planting mint. Use Telone II or C-17 at the rates recommended on the label. Fumigation is expensive and therefore usually used to control multiple pests. Fields with a previous history of wireworms may be fallowed and frequently cultivated to kill weed hosts for 1 year prior to planting mint, but, since wireworms may take up to 3 years to complete development, some wireworm larvae may remain in the field even after 1 year of fallow.