Wireworms, the larval stage of click beetles, are nothing new for PNW grain producers, there is, however, a new insecticide that should be available this spring that has the potential to be a game-changer!
Historically, producers were able to manage wireworms with seed treatment products containing Lindane. In 2004, Lindane was removed from the market because of human health and environmental risks forcing producers to rely on other seed-applied neonicotinoid insecticides. These insecticides such as Cruiser® (thiamethoxam) and Gaucho® (imidacloprid) were never intended to reduce wireworm populations. Enter BASF’s new product Teraxxa. This new insecticide contains Broflanilide, a unique mode of action, classified as a Group 30 Meta-Diamide which kills wireworms. Preliminary research has shown a 99.1% reduction in wireworm populations in the field. This product is currently labeled for small grain cereals. Be aware that it has no activity on Hessian fly or Aphids, so continue to scout and rely on your current seed treatments/other products.
Currently, the EPA is examining Pesticide Tolerances for this product and interested parties have until February 16, 2021, to file an objection or hearing request to its registration which must be filed in accordance with the instructions provided in 40 CFR part 178 (see also Unit I.C. of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION). The docket for this action, identified by docket identification (ID) number EPA-HQ-OPP-2018-0053, is available at the Regulations.Gov website. For more information about wireworms in general, their biology and lifecycle, species identification, and abundance, please visit WSU Small Grains Wireworms Page for additional information.