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my wireworm-y compost

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my wireworm-y compost

Post  jazzymaddy on 4/30/2011, 9:47 pm

My drama of mixing up my MM came when I discovered dozens of wireworms in one of my composts. I was so traumatized for a few days there, but I'm better now. I picked out what I could see, and took some deep breaths.

Now, I actually got 5 big bags of the stuff, and am hanging on to the remaining 3.5 bags for the future, but I've started wondering what will happen to those little worms in my saved compost. Will they turn into some kind of adult bug and chew their way out of the bags? Will they die, adding more lovely organic matter to my organic matter?

Incidentally, it's a combination of rabbit, llama and goat poop, with possibly some chicken. I bought it off of craigslist from a local farmer. The worms were an unadvertised freebie. Smile
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Re: my wireworm-y compost

Post  shannon1 on 5/1/2011, 1:31 am

Wire worms grow up to be click beetles. I don't know if they can chew through the bag or not. Can you return unsed compost?
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Re: my wireworm-y compost

Post  Barkie on 5/1/2011, 6:06 am

Oh crap. I had a feeling I had seen something recently somewhere online to lay traps to reduce the number and so on.

I found this
http://www.which.co.uk/documents/pdf/wireworms-153717.pdf

Trapping wireworms with baits of pieces of carrot, beetroot or potato on the end of sharpened sticks in the soil is one traditional method of control. You can pull it out of the soil using the stick. Any wireworms feeding on the bait can then be destroyed. This may be worth doing where only small areas are involved.

If you have used some of the compost might a bait barrier in the soil around vulnerable plants help?

An option for both bags and soil is to buy nematodes which kill cutworms you could google "cutworm nematodes" to see if you can find an online supplier.

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Re: my wireworm-y compost

Post  NHGardener on 5/1/2011, 8:58 am

I would also probably just throw those extra 3.5 bags out. To me it would be worth the $$ wasted not to have to deal with the stress.
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Re: my wireworm-y compost

Post  Old Hippie on 5/1/2011, 10:22 am

Well, I would not use it in my garden. No point throwing good money after bad. See if you can find some other stuff and use it instead.

In my compost book it tells how to make a solar cooker to use if you have to get some compost very hot to kill weeds, bacteria and so on. The down side of that is that it also kills beneficial bacteria so you would then have to revitalize it with good compost. Some people suggest putting it in a low oven but the author of my book recommends against that, saying that the oven gets too hot, and makes the house smell really bad for several days. If I was to do this, I would try doing it in a pan on the barbecue. And if the stuff does get too hot, well at least the bugs would be dead. Then I would put it in my compost heap.

I do eventually want to try the solar cooker thingy, but I would like to make sure the worms and their eggs are beyond dead rather than infect my whole garden.

Best of luck to you. I know stuff like this really takes a lot of the joy out of the adventure.

Gwynn
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