Montana State University

MSU asking for participants in wireworm survey

March 17, 2011 -- MSU News Service

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MSU News Service
Tel: (406) 994-4571
Montana State University is seeking producers willing to survey wireworms infesting their fields by setting out simple bait traps shortly after crop emergence. Irrigated and dryland fields of wheat or barley are sought, with and without a history of wireworm damage. Some producers have reported unexplained decreasing yields in irrigated fields. Also, pulse crop fields in rotation with small grains are sought.

Wireworms are the larval stage of click beetles. More than 150 species are known to occur in Montana alone.

In some areas of Montana and the greater Rocky Mountain region wireworm damage to small grain crops appears to be increasing. The deregistration of some conventional insecticides, along with no-till cultural practices that improve soil conditions, may be some of factors causing increased populations of this soil insect pest.

MSU will mail out five bait stations to each collaborator with instructions to bury them in their field for 10 to14 days. Prepaid return postage will be provided for return shipping to MSU where the wireworms will be collected and identified. To participate or for more information, please contact Kevin Wanner, Extension Specialist at (406) 994-5663,

Kevin Wanner at (406) 994-5663 or