Click beetle – how to get rid of this unpleasant visitor
Did you have a strong potato harvest this year? If so, you should celebrate, providing that your potatoes are of good quality and not infested by any nasty pests. Nasty pests undoubtedly include the click beetle. These yellow and orange coloured larvae love potatoes and carrots. What does a typical click beetle actually look like and what can you do to get rid of it? We shall answer both questions in the following lines.
How can you recognize a typical click beetle?
Well, it is quite simple. Its larvae belong to the Elateridae family. In our climatic conditions, you will mainly find the lined click beetle, common click beetle (Agriotes sputator), or the dark click beetle (Agriotes obscures). These are very inconspicuous bugs but are capable of laying more than 200 eggs in the soil. Females choose rather wet soil to lay their eggs, by which they increase the probability of successful hatching several times. Larvae are very similar. Their length ranges from 1 and 4 cm. In certain parts of the world, these larvae are called wireworms because their bodies resemble a wire. They love potatoes and carrots. You will recognize crops attacked by these pests easily because the fruit is literally riddled with the paths of these larvae.
There are several ways to get rid of them
Is there a natural way to get rid of these larvae? Of course it is. Let us take a look at the main ones.
Use chickens and grow marigolds.
It is quite easy to get rid of these larvae – dig and loosen the soil on your flower bed and let chickens go wild. If you do not have any chickens just borrow them from someone to do the job for you or plant marigolds and tagetes. The strong aroma of marigolds works as an excellent repellent and it works for aphids and nematodes too. Tagetes may be attacked by snails though.
You might be thinking that there are no traps for worms. But there are. And you can easily make them by yourself. Cut the potatoes and carrots in half and place them directly on your veggie bed. Repeat several times and you should be able to get rid of these unwelcome pests.
Incorporate nitrogenous lime into the soil and pour water over the surface. You can then cover the surface with a plastic foil and let it there for about 14 days. Nitrous lime destroys bacteria, wireworms and other pests as well.
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