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Marie Iannotti

What are these skinny orange worms in my garden?
(And are they good or bad?)

By May 25, 2011

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Three people have asked me this question in the past week, so it must be wireworm season. First off, although we're told that there are no good or bad insects, there are plenty we could do without in the garden and wireworms are one of them. Wireworms aren't really worms. They are yet another insect's larval stage that lives in the soil and feeds on plant roots. The adults, click beetles, don't do much damage themselves, but the kids can wreak havoc on vegetable gardens. They particularly love potatoes and corn.

My favorite control for wireworms is to till them up to the surface and wait for the birds to come and take them away. It's a bit macabre, I suppose, but it does the job. Here's the skinny on wireworms.

Photo: Photo: David Bradbeer / flickr.


June 11, 2009 at 1:33 pm
(1) GartenGrl at Cool Garden Things says:

I find great satisfaction in tossing larvae and grubs onto the sidewalk for the birds!I try to avoid chemicals where possible, but truly sometimes you do need some insecticidal soap at the very least.

June 14, 2009 at 9:41 am
(2) Rita says:

We have a severe problem with Earwigs this year and I am looking for an organic way of getting rid of these pests….Any thoughts would be appreciated!

June 15, 2009 at 1:05 pm
(3) Marie Iannotti says:

Rita, we posted some earwig help on the Forum. They’re a persistent pest and it’s an ongoing battle.

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