Wilted and dying areas appear in the lawn. Shiny, hard, jointed, yellow to reddish-brown worms up to 1 1/2 inches long are found in the soil. Wireworms bore into roots and underground stems of grass plants, causing the tops to wilt and die. The adults, called click beetles, are about an inch long, dark gray or brown. When they fall on their backs, they right themselves with a vigorous click that pops them into the air.
Wireworms feed for 2 to 6 years before maturing into adult beetles, so all sizes and ages may be present in the soil at the same time. They can be very hard to control.