ESA Annual Meetings Online Program

0587 Wireworms in Irish potato: understanding the biology of a cryptic soil pest

Monday, November 14, 2011: 8:27 AM
Room A10, First Floor (Reno-Sparks Convention Center)
Kevin W. Langdon , Department of Entomology, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC
Mark R. Abney , Department of Entomology, University of Georgia, Tifton, GA
Irish potato is an economically important specialty crop in the Southeastern US. The incidence of wireworm damage to Irish potato has increased significantly in recent years. Wireworm larvae are subterranean pests that are affected by cultural and environmental factors that influence edaphic characteristics. Wireworm life cycles vary, and larvae can remain in the soil for 1 to 5 years, depending on the species. Little is known about the wireworm complex in Irish potato in North Carolina, and there is currently no way to predict the risk of wireworm damage in an individual field. Land-use patterns and insecticide use have a significant effect on wireworm species richness and species abundance. Changes in insecticide technology and associated production practices in one crop may have unintended consequences in another. The purpose of this study is to: 1. identify the economically important species of wireworm present in Irish potato, 2. quantify environmental and cultural factors associated with wireworm damage, 3. develop management strategies based on reduced-risk approaches. Understanding the ecology of wireworms in the potato agro-ecosystem will aid in the development of innovative and reliable management strategies that will improve crop quality while decreasing environmental impact and public risk.

doi: 10.1603/ICE.2016.58838