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Home > Bugs > Bugs of Vegetables > Wireworms


Wireworms are the larval stage of the click beetle. There are several species of wireworms, distributed throughout most of the world. Wireworms are very common in most types of soil and can be found year round.

Wireworms feed on a wide range of plants. Commercially, they are a big pest of corn and potatoes, but in home gardens they will feast on what’s available. If they feed on the roots, the plants will be slow to grow, with poor vigor and low yields. Wireworms may burrow right into root crops, like potatoes, deforming the tuber and making holes that invite disease.


Wireworm larvae look like short reddish brown worms. They are about ½ inch long. Larvae can take two to six years to fully mature, eating the whole time.    

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[Photo: Frank Peairs, Colorado State University,]

It is the policy of the State of Maine to minimize reliance on pesticides. The Maine Department of Agriculture and the Maine IPM Council encourage everyone to practice integrated pest management and to use pesticides only as a last resort. The mention of pesticides in the fact sheets linked to these pages does not imply an endorsement of any product. Be sure that any product used is currently registered and follow all label directions.