Wireworms (Elateridae) and False Wireworms (Tenebrionidae)
Many species of wireworms and false wireworms attack sunflower and other row crops. Larvae in the soil orient to the smell of germinating seeds
There is no known rescue treatment and replanting is required if stand reduction is significant.
Most sunflower seed is now being treated with seed treatments (for example: thiamethoxam (Cruiser)) that should reduce wireworm injury. However, seed treatments have not been as effective against false wireworms.
Here are two common species of false wireworms in Kansas.
Adult Eleodes suturalis
Adult Eleodes tricostata
False wireworm larva.
True wireworm larva.
Page last updated 10/02/2013 by J.P. Michaud.