The shiny, reddish brown larvae of the click beetle are the particular bane of gardeners who dote on root crops. Reaching a length of about 1 1/2 inches, wire-worms are hard-shelled and jointed with three pairs of legs just behind the head. They’re especially troublesome in gardens formerly planted as lawns. In hot, dry weather, they burrow deep into the soil.

Target: Many plants, especially root crops.

Damage: Underground plant parts are chewed; seeds may not germinate.

Life cycle: In Spring or Summer, adults lay eggs in the soil. Within a month, the larvae hatch and begin to feed. Some types mature in a year, while others take up to 6 years to pupate. There are overlapping generations. Both larvae and adults can overwinter in the soil.

Notes: Till to a depth of at least 10 inches to kill the pests.

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