College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences

Department of Entomology

False Wireworm

Insects &

Black Widow Spider
Blister Beetle
Box Elder Bug
Cat Face Spider
Cat Flea
Cereal Aphid
Cereal Leaf Beetle
Corn Earworm
Crab Lice
Cooley Spruce Gall Adelgid
False Wire Worm
European Mantis
Jumping Spider
Juniper Scale
Locust Borer
Minute Pirate Bug
Mosquito Diseases
Northern Scorpion
Rose Curculio
Russian Wheat Aphid
Snowball Aphid
Ten Lined June Beetle
Western Yellow Striped Army Worm
Wheat Stem Sawfly
Wire Worm
Wooley ash aphid
Yellow Jacket Wasp
Yellow Sac Spider


This time of year False Wire Worm Eleodes hisperlabrus, is a frequent crosser of rural roads between harvested grain fields. Frequently this beetle, called the false wire worm, is confused with last weeks “Insect of the Week” true wire worm.

BIONOMICS The false wire worm is a beetle belonging to the Family Tenebrionidae Genus Eleodes a genus containing black beetles (Tenebrio means darkness in Latin). This species feeds on chaff, spilled grain, crowns and roots of stubble. Larvae closely resemble true wire worms, and live in the soil for long periods. Adults are easily raised on bran with pieces of apple for moisture. They are not a pest species!

MANAGEMENT There is not reason to spray these beetles as they are non-pests feeding on crop aftermath. Field mice eat the adults and their eggs and become part of a mitochondrial parasite ring. The mice also eat the oocysts produced by parasitized adult female beetle.

Department of Entomology, Washington State University, Pullman, WA, 99164-6382 USA, 509-335-5422, Contact Us
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