Beauty and the Beast

What Do You Call It When Worms Take Over The World?… Global Worming!

I have for so long wanted to thank the person on our road (Albers) that does the most hilarious and endearing signs!  I have always appreciated the Beware Of Suicidal Deer (how true that is) and earlier this spring Will Trade Fire Wood For Toilet Paper. Loved that one and obviously it was a good sign as I was just thinking of tracking this sign maker down for a trade but it has disappeared and been replaced with I Survived The Toilet Paper Scare of 2020.  (Me too). You have put a smile upon my face often as I pass and read your signs!  Thank You Neighbour!

There is nothing more beautiful at this time of year than the rich green of our forests, yards and gardens.  Soon with the heat of summer it will not be this rich a green with the even richer green of new growth on shrubs, hedges and trees.   However now too is the time to be ever alert to the pest that are now starting to be evident on beloved plants.  I have found my first infestation of aphids on my roses and am loading up my soap and water sprayer to give them a good blast.  A lot of them were easily hand pressed and many were shaken loose with a good spray of water.  A friend recently approached me with what she thought to be cutworms that were killing new seedlings and another friend told me of poor germination of several plantings of seed.  Upon a good description of the wire like worms she found in the soil, their colour and the fact I’ve seen the evidence of these same creatures myself in my soil I have hopefully traded the identity down to Wire Worms.  These are the offspring of the Click Beatle so called because if you should find one and flip it on its back it will make a distinctive clicking sound as it regains its upright position.  They are nocturnal and they lay their eggs 1 to 6 inches deep in the soil where they over winter and in early spring while the soil is cool they hatch and start looking for food.  They start out small and very wirelike with shiny skin and range from yellow to a brownish red in colour, but very distinctive is the 3 sets of legs that are just behind its head.  They live in the soil for 2 to 6 years growing in size and may even look like a cutworm in size when about to become the Click Beetle that started the whole process.   There are a multitude of types of Wire Worm but basically none are good for our bulbs, root crops, peas, lettuce, radish, onions and other early plantings as they love the stems of new plantings as well as the seeds themselves and they will work on anything that is below the surface of the ground.  As you can imagine with the length of time they remain in the ground that several generations will be found if you are not diligent.  With the Click Beatle, Diatomaceous Earth will be beneficial however if eggs and larvae are already present other methods will need to be used.  If they are in an area where you can deeply cultivate the soil this will expose them to weather and birds who will feast upon them.  Crop rotation can help and  delaying planting until the soil is much warmer when they do far less damage as well, this for most of us will be a difficult thing to do. If it is in an area that deep cultivation  is not possible such as established flower beds around the house there is supposedly an organic product called Eco Smart Organic Insect Killer. ( I have not been able to confirm its contents or source) but I will.  To be sure it is Wire Worm that you are battling a trap can be made.  Cut a potato in half and run a stick through the chunk so you have a handle.  Bury the potato portion about 1 to 2 inches deep with the handle positioned above the ground.  Unearth the potato in a few days and there should be a collection of wire worms on it remove and destroy the worms and replant the potato for another few days and repeat!

Happy Gardening!

Samantha Nason

BS Ranch & Greenhouses

250 547 6567

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