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Wireworm in amongst the veggies

I have a problem with wireworm in my vegetable garden this year. Can you offer any solutions?


Wireworm are also known as nematodes or eelworm. They are minute thread-like worms which are very hard to see and get rid of. Some nematodes are quite useful in decomposing organic material, others attack plant roots, reducing plant vigour and causing wilting and large swellings (or galls) to form on the roots.

Commercial growers use quite toxic sprays and soil sterilants to control nematode infestations which are not available to the home gardener. Here are a few suggestions that may help.

Remove infected plants, including fallen leaves, and destroy by burning or throwing in the rubbish bin. Do not recycle infected plant material in the compost heap. Leave the soil completely free of plants (and weeds) from spring through to autumn, which should reduce the nematode population. Avoid planting the area with similar vegetable varieties that may also be susceptible. Before planting, treat the soil with a soil sterilant such as Basamid. This is available from garden centres and hardware stores. Read and follow the instructions on the packet with care. Basamid works by releasing sterilising gas into the soil, so moisture needs to be present.

UnitecAdvice by Dr Dan Blanchon from Unitec's Diploma in Sustainable Horticulture and Bachelor of Resource Management.

Reproduced with permission from NZOOM Home and Garden content,
from the previous website of  TVNZ News

The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the RNZIH

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