How do I scout for wireworms?

Keep field maps and be aware of areas in your field that yield less than others. Perform root digs early in the season to assess root masses for wireworm larvae feeding or look for yellowing leaves above ground that can indicate wireworm damage below. If you see patches across your field, that’s also a good indication of wireworm feeding. Trapping methods such as bait balls (example below) are just one of the methods that may also be used:

  • Gather ingredients: oats, water, nylon (or other porous material). Form a ball with the oats and water and place in the nylon; tie with a knot
  • Dig a hole approximately one foot deep, place bait ball, cover with soil and mark location
  • 10 to 14 days later—pull bait balls from the ground and assess the number of wireworms present
  • It’s best to begin trapping fields 2 to 3 weeks prior to seeding, as soil temperatures increase to 10 to 15˚C


Always read and follow label directions.