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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - April 30, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta TuMdiy, April 10, 1174 TH1 LITHMIDOI HIIIAID Research Station Report 1, SUGARBEETWIREWORM V V 2. PRAIRIE GRAIN WIREWQRM V 3. BLACK BEETLE LARVAE Identifying wireworms 4. FLAT WIREWORM By G. 8, LILLY Entomologist Wireworms, the immature, larval stage "click spend their whole life In the soil feeding on plant material They attack a wide variety of crops shredding the young stems below ground level but leaving the withered seedlings standing, Although wireworms have long been important pests of agricultural crops In many areas of Alberta, many farmers still have difficulty Identifying them Undoubtedly, many eropi have been treated needlessly when some harmless Insect has been mlsldentlfled as a wlrewerm Wireworms are shiny, hard-bodied, slow-moving insects that vary In color from reddish brown to yellowish white- They may be distinguished from other insect larvae by their flattened and notched "tails Four common species of wireworms damage crops in Alberta The two most widespread and destructive species are the prairie grain wire worm, a large, straw-colored larva about to inch long at maturity, and a small yellowish white species to Vi inch long) with no common name but with the scientific name Hypolithui blcolor Both species commonly Infest light to medium dryland soils as well as irrigated sandy soils, but they are infrequent in heavy soils The sugarbeet wlrewerm is large, yellow-brown to reddish brown, to inch long when mature it is usually found In moist, low- lying alkaline soils Us numbers also Increase under Irrigation where it can be an Important crop pest The least important of the four species, the flat wireworm, is small (Vt to inch) and creamy white with a reddish brown front portion Growers may confuse other common insect larvae found in cultivated soils with wireworms Cutworms, the larvae of moths, are thick, soft- bodied insects that curl up when disturbed They cut off seedling plants near the soil surface Some soils contain numerous long, slender larvae of Therevid These legless "worms" are white with small brown heads They wriggle and twist energetically when disturbed They do not harm the crops, however, and are predators of other soil Insects A third group often mistaken for wireworms are the larvae of black ground beetles These larvae are very active black or white grubs with well-developed legs and strong jaws Many of them feed on cutworms, wireworms, and other insect pests A fourth group are the larvae of a small dung beetle They are small white grubs with brown heads and with their bodies bent m the shape of a "C" They are harmless to crops, although they may be numerous in Ignd ta which manure has been applied recently Growers should use a magnifying glass to examine any questionable soil insects antf should also observe their behavior With practice, they should be able to distinguish wireworms and other common soil peite from harmless Insects gueh knowledge would discourage "panic" treating and save time and money VARZARI IRON LTD. i WE SELL NEW Channels Reinforcing Steel Welded Meih Squire and Rect- angular Tubing. Cuatem made anchor and production shearing and threading. Phone (403) 328-6414 2108 2nd Ave. North Lcthbrldgt, Alberta T1H 002 Ttlejx 038-49170 (than 60 years you get r good at industrial TO, makes over .toote. Here are a few of them. V v ;