The larvae of various species of the beetle family elateridae live in the soil and are very serious pests of a range of crops.
Wireworms are prevalent in recently ploughed grassland and attack subsequent crops, especially cereals and roots. Seeds, germinating seedlings, stems below the ground, and roots, are all attacked by wireworms. Wireworms tend to be most important in temperate agriculture, and are the most important pests of temperate cereals especially in Northern Europe, the USSR and Canada. In the USA and Australia, wireworms are pests of sugarcane.