Wireworms damage grain crops in western Canada, and there are several pest species of Wireworm found in Alberta. Though they prefer cereal crops, Wireworms will also feed on potatoes, canola, corn, lettuce, sunflower, onions, and pulses.

What are the Risks?

Wireworm larvae are attracted to germinating seeds and young seedlings. Damaged plants wilt and die, which results in thin strands and varying amounts of yield loss.

What to Look For

Wireworm larvae look different than most maggots and grubs because they are darker in colour (tan to copper) and are hard-bodied. Adults are dark, hard-bodied beetles that are generally 1-3cm long.

  Wireworm Wireworm Wireworm

Wireworm                                           Mature larvae                                       Wireworm field damage


Here are some ways you can help manage Wireworms:

  • If possible, avoid severely infested fields;
  • Avoid rotations with grasses and pastures because those are the crops where wireworms thrive the most. Non-host crops include lettuce, alfalfa, and sunflowers;
  • Control grassy weeds during the growing season; and
  • Implement regular and consistent monitoring.

Related Links

Wireworm - Alberta Government

Agri-Facts - Wireworm

Detect wireworms - Alberta Barley