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Department of Entomology

Department of Entomology
123 W. Waters Hall
1603 Old Claflin Place
Kansas State University
Manhattan KS 66506-4004

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Sunflower Insects 

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.