Managing Wireworm Populations - Frequently Asked Questions

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 What is the status of wireworm in cropland acres?
In the past few years there appears to be an increase in wireworm feeding pressure on a variety of crops. The increase in feeding damage may reflect the absence of a seed treatment that is effective in reducing wireworm populations.

What pesticide products can producers use to manage wireworms in their crops?
Seed treatment products currently registered for wireworm suppression include:

Alias 240 SC – registered in wheat, barley and oats.
Cruiser 5FS - registered in wheat and barley.
Cruiser Maxx Vibrance Cereals – registered in wheat, barley and oats.
Cruiser Maxx Vibrance Pulses – registered in chickpea, lentil and dry pea (including field pea).
Cruiser Maxx Vibrance Beans – registered in dry beans and soybeans.
Raxil WW – registered in wheat, barley and oats.
Stress Shield 600 – wheat, barley, oats, field bean, soybeans, field peas, faba beans, chickpea, lentil.

For other crops such as canola, flax and rye no products are currently registered.

How do these seed treatment products work?
The active ingredients associated with these seed treatments will provide suppression of wireworm activity. These products suppress feeding activity and help protect the plant from damage. The main benefit of these products is aiding in crop establishment but it should be noted that wireworm populations will not be reduced with the use of these products.

Are wireworm populations being studied to help improve ways of managing them?
Yes there is an active wireworm monitoring program. Please see details below.

Wireworm Monitoring Protocol
Coordinator: Scott Meers, Insect Management Specialist
Alberta Agriculture & Rural Development
Crop Diversification Centre South
S.S. #4
Brooks, AB T1R 1E6
Phone: 403-362-1366
Purpose: To determine the species of wireworm that causes problems in annual crop production systems in Alberta. This lays the groundwork for future insecticide research targeted at Alberta species.

Materials: a 500 ml container (approximately)

Monitoring Period: May and June (early germination and crop establishment period)

Procedures: If wireworms are found, collect as many as possible and place in a container about half full of soil. Please record the following information: Date, Crop, Location (legal land location or GPS coordinates), the Collector’s Name and contact information. Package and ship to Scott Meers at the address above by government courier (located through a provincial office). The wireworms will be forwarded to Dr. Bob Vernon with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in Agassiz, BC for identification.

What other options are available for managing wireworm populations?
Please see the following document:
Prairie Grain Wireworm

Prepared by Mark Cutts, Ag-Info Centre, Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development

For more information about the content of this document, contact the Ag-Info Centre.
This information published to the web on March 31, 2004.
Last Reviewed/Revised on February 9, 2016.