The elateridos, also called ferretti in common parlance, are part of the beetle family and are particularly troublesome pests for the garden in the larval stage.
These worms are much smaller than earthworms, which feed on the roots until they enter the plant, devouring it from below. They are particularly unpleasant for tubers and bulbs, but can also do a lot of damage to the roots and seedlings of other vegetables.
These worms penetrate bulbs and tubers and also promote the spread of blood rot such as fusarium or mildew. Beetles lay their white eggs underground, about 30 cm deep, the adult insect is not particularly troublesome for cultivation.
Recognize the attack of the elaterids
Fight the Elaterids
How to prevent wireworms
Recognize the elateride attack
If underground cables feed our factories, we could see the factory deteriorate without any visible explanation from the outside. The most affected plants are undoubtedly the potato, but when these larvae spread, even corn and banks often pay the price.
Recognizing wireworms is not difficult: they are brightly colored noodles vermicelli , which can vary between yellow, orange, coppery brown. They prefer loose, well-fertilized soils and live in a fairly humid climate.
There are not many ways to attack these worms with organic products, unfortunately the insecticides that are used in the soil to fight this insect are practically all harmful chemicals, not allowed from the perspective of natural cultivation .
A certain effect may have the entomopathogenic fungus beauveria bassiana (which can be found in the special products available here), although on a small scale the cost of the product is not justified. For this reason, it may be advisable to use simple traps against these pests.
Submarine cable traps
The only way to defend your organic garden against elatrids is to lure them out of the ground with bait. To remove them, we can leave pieces of potato on the ground, which we will have to check every day, eliminating the pests that enter them.
To make a better trap, you can take a jar, pierce the bottom and fill it with half the seeds (corn, wheat, it’s ok) leaving it to soak for a few hours. The trap should be buried, leaving only the upper part at ground level, then you can cover it with a saucer. The shell will be sucked up by the seeds and will remain trapped.
How to prevent wireworms
Mulch prevents bed bug attacks by discouraging the beetles from laying their eggs in the garden soil. Even tillage often reduces the presence of these larvae. Another important practice to reduce this problem is crop rotation, it is particularly important to avoid replanting the potato in the same plot as the previous year.