February 6, 2010 4:20pm CST
Another year upon us. The garden is sitting dormant, waiting for the compost and tilling. We have had, in the past problems with wire worms so i have been researching. We do rotate our crops but still, our potatoes, carrots and turnips get the wire worm damage bad. This makes it tough to gain quality vegetables. To me, this year, this is so important as I plan on growing for resell. Something I am so looking forward to. Do you have a problem with wire worms or have you and if so, what have you done? Do you still get them? They sure make a mess of my otherwise scrumptious carrots! During research, I have found that some people make traps for the wire worm, some use chemicals (which I rather not). Recently I have read about the use of diatinatious earth, which is natural and also known as fossil flour. I am wondering if there any MyLot Gardeners who have used this as a means to try and control the wire worm? All responses are very much appreciated.
• United States
7 Feb 10
All I know about wire worms is that frequent cultivation will eventually get rid of them because it exposes them to birds. Another thing to try would be to bury chunks of potatoes, away from your crop, which will trap some of them, if you put a skewer through the potato chunks to make them easier to pull out of the ground. It's a slow process. I don't have a problem with them, yet. I haven't planted many root crops but do plan on it this year so I may have the same problem. Even chemical insecticides may take awhile if you have a heavy infectation because the wire worm lives underground for four years before becoming beetles.
9 Feb 10
i mentalward, thanks a lot for your response. I understand that the wire worm does live under ground for up to five years. I have read about the trap using potatoes but perhaps now, before we begin tilling would be a good time to go turn the soil so to expose the wire worms to the birds. Great Idea! Although we don't like to encourage birds in the vegetable garden area due to the strawberries and plants when they are young but right now I would be all for the birds coming in to graze. I am not into using chemical pesticides and so is why i have been looking into the diatomaceous earth. The traps are also encouraging for me to try and will be. Thanks again!
• United States
9 Feb 10
I may be dealing with the same thing this year. My strawberry patch is growing quite large and I also have berry bushes and fruit trees that I want to keep the birds away from. I bought deer netting to drape over the trees and berry bushes and will probably be putting over the strawberries this year, too. It really helps! I don't like using chemicals, either, so I'm always looking up new ways to keep pests away naturally. If I can come up with a better idea to use with wire worms, I'll let you know.
2 Apr 10
I have been reading up on this topic of controlling a wireworm invasion. I have learned that you can dust your seed with Diatomaceous Earth before covering the rows. I use the food grade one. Also planting a cover crop of flax also helps. I hope that you don't have too bad of a problem this year.