3 April 1998

Whats reason for more wireworms?

WIREWORM damage in potatoes is increasing. But no one knows why, says ADAS potato pest specialist, Bill Parker.

The increase may be due to more arable wireworms, to the practice of renting more grassland for just one potato crop, the straw burning ban or the loss of persistent pesticides such as Aldrin, he suggests. However, the latter seems unlikely since Aldrin was never a good control for wireworm in his experience, he says.

With BPC funding he hopes to investigate whether wireworm damage is affected by varietal susceptibility and harvest date.