Wireworms are the larvae of click beetles.

recognize a wireworm
Wireworm, the click beetle larva, photo: RalfGB - CC BY-SA 3.0

Wireworm (Agriotes spp.). Wireworms are the larvae of click beetles (Elateridae), a species of beetles. In summer, the wireworm usually pupates in the ground, where it lives for three to four years before it pupates into a click beetle. Underground, wireworms live off plant roots and make tunnels and holes in tubers (potatoes).
Wireworms live on dead plant material as well as fleshy roots and stems. The young plants of lettuce, cabbage, chicory, (sugar) beets and corn, among others, wilt due to infestation by wireworms. Wireworms bore holes in potatoes and carrots.

Where to find


Lure the wireworms with half hollowed out potatoes. Spread some over the infested plot: two half potatoes per meter. Check the catch every other day. A pair of chickens released on the affected plot caught many wireworms (and leatherjackets). Use a movable chicken coop if necessary.
Sprinkling with pyrethrum is also possible.


The natural enemies of the wireworm are shrews, toads, moles, hedgehogs, predatory flies, ground beetles, birds and nematodes. An environment where hedgehogs, toads and feel at home helps to prevent an excess of wireworms.
Because the wireworm lays its eggs in late spring on weeds, among other things, keeping the (vegetable) garden free of weeds helps prevent nuisance from wireworms.