When digging potatoes today we found this critter in one of the holes on the...

Asked August 27, 2013, 2:22 PM EDT

When digging potatoes today we found this critter in one of the holes on the potato. Is it the culprit? What is it? What can we do about keeping them out? Thanks

Montgomery County Maryland potatoes vegetables pest wireworm

1 Response

This is a wireworm,which is the larvae of the click beetle. They chew on the underground portions of potato plants and can cause wilting and poor development.
The best control is to trap wireworms with potato traps, which are pieces of potato speared on the ends of sticks.. You bury them 2-4 inches deep in the garden leaving a portion of the stick showing. Put one ever5-10 feet of row and allow the worms to come to these pieces. Then dig them up and throw them away.
Fall sanitation/clean up is important to help lessen the problem next season if you plan to grow potatoes again. Adults, larvae and eggs overwinter in soil near the host plant.
After harvesting, remove all old plants and weeds to bare soil, then cultivate to about 6-8 inches deep, and then again to about 2 inches 3 weeks later. Using a cover crop of alfalfa and clover can help repel wireworms too.
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