Wireworm is the
name given to the hard-skinned larvae (young) of click beetles. Wireworms received their
name because they look somewhat like a piece of wire. They usually live in the soil or in
decaying wood for two or three years. They often do great damage to crops by eating the
roots of plants. Wireworms appear yellowish or brownish in color and measure from 1/4 to
1/2 inch (6 to 13 millimeters) long. They have three pairs of legs. Farmers sometimes
rotate their crops or apply insecticides to the soil to help reduce the number of
Scientific classification. Wireworms are in the beetle order, Coleoptera. They form the
click beetle family, Elateridae.
Contributor: David J. Shetlar, Ph.D., Assistant Prof., Extension
Entomology, The Ohio State Univ.