wireworm

wireworm, elongate, cylindrical larva of the click beetle. Most wireworms are hard and brown, but members of some species are soft and whitish. Wireworms live in rotten wood or in the ground and feed on roots and seeds, injuring potatoes, grasses, and a wide variety of leguminous field crops. They live for 2 to 10 years before pupating in the ground or in wood. Methods of control include letting the land lie fallow, rotating crops, and special methods of cultivation. Wireworms are classified in the phylum Arthropoda, class Insecta, order Coleoptera, family Elateridae.

See bulletins of the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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