Wireworms, Various species of Elateridae and Tenebrionidae

Description and Damage: True and false wire-worms are immature stages of click and darkling beetles and are found in the soil. Larvae are the damaging stage. Larva are shiny, slender, cylindrical and hard-bodied. They range in color from yellow to brown. Fully grown larvae are about 1 inch long, but different species vary in length. Wireworms damage sorghum by destroying planted seed or, to a lesser degree, by feeding on seedling roots. Plant stands and vigor are reduced.

Biology: The biology depends on the species. Information here is general and applies to the entire group. Wireworms attacking sorghum deposit eggs in clusters in the soil. The eggs are minute, oval and pearly white. Young larvae are creamy white, but change to a shiny yellow as they grow older. Larvae transform to fragile white pupae. Adult bee-tles are brown to nearly black and 1 /4 to 1 /2 inch long. A generation requires a year or more to complete.