Dr. Wim van Herk

Image Wim van Herk
Research Scientist
  • Integrated pest management
  • Field vegetable entomology
  • Insect behaviour
  • Toxicology

Current research and/or projects

Development of IPM tools and strategies for the management of wireworms and click beetles, western corn rootworm, and cabbage root maggots

Research and/or project statements

Singleton K, van Herk WG, Pickett C, Blake AJ, Asad S, Furtado K, Saguez J, Gries G (2024) Spectral sensitivity of click beetles (Coleoptera: Elateridae) and their responses to light stimuli in laboratory and field experiments. Environmental Entomology https://doi.org/10.1093/ee/nvad115

Rashed A, van Herk WG (2024). Pest elaterids of North America: New insights and opportunities for management. Annual Review of Entomology 69:1-20  https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-ento-120220-123249

van Herk WG, Warren RL, Mitchell T (2023) Wireworm (Coleoptera: Elateridae) intoxication symptoms indicate the post-harvest presence of broflanilide residues in soil collected from potato fields. J. Econ. Entomol. 116(6):1998-2008. https://doi.org/10.1093/jee/toad202

Drahun I, Rutherford PL, van Herk WG, Cassone BJ. (2023) Wireworm feeding behaviours: the capacity of Hypnoidus bicolor to damage soybean under different environmental conditions Arthropod-Plant Interactions (2023). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11829-023-10009-6

van Herk WG, Gries R, Smith JL, Scot IM, Gries G. Limoniic acid is a sex attractant pheromone component of Limonius agonus (Coleoptera: Elateridae). The Great Lakes Entomologist, vol 56 (1-2): 90-98. https://doi.org/10.22543/0090-0222.2444

Lemke E, van Herk WG, Singleton K, Saguez J, Fowler G, Pepper D, Furtado K, Gries G. Mixed sex pheromone lures for combined captures of Agriotes and Limonius pest click beetles in North America. J. Applied Entomology. 2023: http://doi.org/10.1111/jen.13158      

van Herk WG, Vernon RS. Capture of wild and marked Agriotes obscurus in pheromone traps according to distance, wind direction and date of trapping. Arthropod Plant Interactions 17(4): 529-542 https://doi.org/10.1007/s11829-023-09961-0

van Herk WG, Kabaluk JT, Vernon RS, Romain R, Benz P. Disorientation of male Agriotes click beetles in the presence of granulate pheromones - A case for mating disruption. Arthropod Plant Interactions 17(4): 485-506. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11829-023-09988-3.

Singleton K, van Herk WG, Saguez J, Scott I, Gries R, Gries G (2023).  Sex pheromone of Neartic Agriotes mancus, and its similarity to those of three invasive Agriotes in North America. Agriculture and Forest Entomology 25(3):468-476.  https://doi.org/10.1111/afe.12568 

Drahun I, Poole EA, Hunt KA, van Herk WG, LeMoine CMR, Cassone B. (2022) Seasonal turnover and insights into the overwintering biology of wireworms (Coleoptera: Elateridae) in the Canadian Prairies. Pest Management Science 79(2): 526-536. https://doi.org/10.1002/ps.7222

Van Herk WG, Vernon RS, Goudis L, Mitchell T. (2022) Protection of potatoes and mortality of wireworms (Agriotes obscurus) with various application methods of broflanilide, a novel meta-diamide insecticide.  Journal of Economic Entomology 116(6):1930-1946. https://doi.org/10.1093/jee/toac152

Lemke E, van Herk WG, Singleton K, Gries G. Seasonal and diel communication periods of sympatric pest Limonius click beetle species (Coleoptera: Elateridae) in western Canada. Environmental Entomology 51(5):980-988. https://doi.org/10.1093/ee/nvac067

Singleton, K., van Herk, W.G., Saguez, J., Douglas, H.B., & Gries, G. (2022) First record of invasive wireworm Agriotes sputator, Linnaeus, 1758 (Coleoptera: Elateridae) in Quebec (Canada), and the implications of its arrival. Pan Pacific Entomologist 98(3):184-187. https://doi.org/10.3956/2022-98.3.184

Singleton, K., Gries, R., van Herk, W.G., Alamsetti, S. K., Lemke, E., Furtado, K., & Gries, G. (2022) Identification of the major sex pheromone component of the click beetle Agriotes ferrugineipennis. Journal of Chemical Ecology 48(5): 491–501 https://doi.org/10.1007/s10886-022-01367-1

Drahun I, Hunt KA, van Herk WG, Cassone BJ. (2022) Evaluation of standardized bait trapping approaches and climatic factors that influence wireworm catch in the Canadian prairies. J. Econ. Entomol. 115(3): 773-782. https://doi.org/10.1093/jee/toac037

van Herk W, Vernon B, Bourassa-Tait G, Tóth M, Kovacs E. (2022) Field evaluation of selected plant volatiles and conspecific pheromones as attractants for Agriotes obscurus and A. lineatus (Coleoptera: Elateridae). Insects 13(2): 173  https://doi.org/10.3390/insects13020173


van Herk WG, Vernon RS, Borden JH, Ryan K, Mercer G. (2022) Comparative evaluation of pitfall traps for click beetles (Coleoptera: Elateridae). J. Econ. Entomol. 115(2): 582-591 https://doi.org/10.1093/jee/toab259

Drahun I, Wiebe FK, Gohl P, Koloski CW, Koiter AJ, van Herk WG, Cassone BJ. (2021) Three years of surveillance associates agro-environmental factors with wireworm infestations in Manitoba, Canada. Pest Management Science 78(1): 369-378. http://doi.org/10.1002/ps.6650

Gries R, van Herk W, Alamsetti SK., Catton H, Meers S, Otani J, Gries G (2021). (Z,E)-α-Farnesene – sex pheromone component of female click beetle Selatosomus aeripennis destructor (Brown) with intra- and inter-sexual communication function. Entomol. Exp. Appl. 170(4): 344-351. https://doi.org/10.1111/eea.13142

van Herk WG, Lemke E, Gries G, Gries R, Serrano JM, Catton H, Wanner K, Landolt PJ, Cooper WR, Meers S, Nikoukar A, Smith JL, Alamsetti SK, Etzler FE. (2021) Limoniic acid and its analogue as trap lures for pest Limonius species (Coleoptera: Elateridae) in North America. J. Econ. Entomol. 114(5): 2108-2120. https://doi.org/10.1093/jee/toab154

van Herk WG, Vernon RS, Acheampong S, Otani J, Uloth K. (2021) Distribution of two European elaterids, Agriotes obscurus and A. lineatus in British Columba: New records, and potential implications of their spread. Journal of Asia-Pacific Entomology 24: 688-694. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.aspen.2021.06.001

van Herk WG, Vernon RS, Richardson J, Richardson M, Beaton A. (2021) Evaluation of pheromone traps and lures for trapping male Agriotes sputator (Coleoptera: Elateridae) beetles in eastern Canada.  Florida Entomologist 104: 42-50. https://doi.org/10.1653/024.104.0107

van Herk WG, Vernon RS, Labun T, Sevcik M, Schwinghamer T. (2021) Distribution of pest wireworm (Coleoptera: Elateridae) species in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba (Canada) Environmental Entomology 50(3): 663-672. https://doi.org/10.1093/ee/nvab006

Gries, R, Alamsetti S.K., van Herk, W.G., Catton, H, Meers, S., Lemke, E., Gries G. (2021). Limoniic acid - major sex pheromone component of the click beetles Limonius canus and L. californicus. Journal of Chemical Ecology 47(2): 123-133. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10886-020-01241-y.

Drahun I, Wiebe K, Koloski C, van Herk W, Cassone B. (2021) Genetic structure and population demographics of Hypnoidus bicolor (Coleoptera: Elateridae) in the Canadian Prairies. Pest Management Science 77(5): 2282-2291. https://doi.org/10.1002/ps.6255

Vernon R, van Herk W, Borden J. (2020). Considerations in the development and selection of traps for the study and management of click beetles (Coleoptera: Elateridae) IOBC?WPRS Bulletin 153: 11-18.

van Herk WG, Vernon RS, Goudis L. (2020) Broflanilide, a Meta-Diamide Insecticide Seed Treatment for Protection of Wheat and Mortality of Wireworms (Agriotes obscurus) in the Field. J. Econ. Entomol. 114(1): 161-173. https://doi.org/10.1093/jee/toaa239

Andrews KR, Gerritsen A, Rashed A, Crowder DW, Rondon SI, van Herk WG, Vernon R, Wanner KW, Wilson CM, New DD, Fagnan MW, Hohenlohe PA, Hunter SS. (2020). Genomic analysis of three wireworm (Coleoptera: Elateridae) species reveals putative cryptic species, population structure, and adaptive responses to agricultural pest control.  Communications Biology 3:1-13 https://doi.org/10.1038/s42003-020-01169-9

van Herk WG, Vernon RS  2020. Local depletion of click beetle populations by pheromone traps is weather and species dependent. Environmental Entomology 49(2): 449-460. https://doi.org/10.1093/ee/nvaa006

Professional activities / interests

  • Insect behaviour and ecology
  • Integrated pest management
  • Field vegetable entomology
  • Toxicology, ecotoxicology, environmental protection

Key publications

  1. Vernon, R.S., van Herk, W.G., Clodius, M., Tolman, J. (2016). Companion planting attract-and-kill method for wireworm management in potatoes. Journal of Pest Science, [online] 89(2), 375-389. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10340-015-0707-6

    2016 - View publication details

  2. G van Herk, W., Vernon, R.S., Vojtko, B., Snow, S., Fortier, J., Fortin, C. (2015). Contact behaviour and mortality of wireworms exposed to six classes of insecticide applied to wheat seed. Journal of Pest Science, [online] 88(4), 717-739. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10340-015-0697-4

    2015 - View publication details

  3. Van Herk, W.G., Vernon, R.S., Cronin, E.M.L., Gaimari, S.D. (2015). Predation of Thereva nobilitata (Fabricius) (Diptera: Therevidae) on Agriotes obscurus L. (Coleoptera: Elateridae). Journal of Applied Entomology, [online] 139(1-2), 154-157. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jen.12162

    2015 - View publication details

  4. Vernon, R.S., van Herk, W.G., Tanaka, J.A. (2014). Blending of pheromone lures for two exotic European pest elaterid beetles. Journal of Pest Science, [online] 87(4), 619-627. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10340-014-0596-0

    2014 - View publication details

  5. Vernon, R.S., van Herk, W.G., Blackshaw, R.P., Shimizu, Y., Clodius, M. (2014). Mark-recapture of Agriotes obscurus and Agriotes lineatus with dense arrays of pheromone traps in an undisturbed grassland population reservoir. Agricultural and Forest Entomology, [online] 16(3), 217-226. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/afe.12045

    2014 - View publication details

  6. Vernon, R.S., Blackshaw, R.P., van Herk, W.G., Clodius, M. (2014). Mass trapping wild Agriotes obscurus and Agriotes lineatus males with pheromone traps in a permanent grassland population reservoir. Agricultural and Forest Entomology, [online] 16(3), 227-239. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/afe.12058

    2014 - View publication details

  7. van Herk, W.G., Vernon, R.S. (2013). Categorization and numerical assessment of wireworm mobility over time following exposure to bifenthrin. Journal of Pest Science, [online] 86(1), 115-123. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10340-011-0381-2

    2013 - View publication details

  8. van Herk, W.G., Vernon, R.S. (2013). Wireworm damage to wheat seedlings: Effect of temperature and wireworm state. Journal of Pest Science, [online] 86(1), 63-75. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10340-012-0461-y

    2013 - View publication details

  9. Benefer, C.M., van Herk, W.G., Ellis, J.S., Blackshaw, R.P., Vernon, R.S., Knight, M.E. (2013). The molecular identification and genetic diversity of economically important wireworm species (Coleoptera: Elateridae) in Canada. Journal of Pest Science, [online] 86(1), 19-27. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10340-012-0454-x

    2013 - View publication details

  10. Vernon, R.S., van Herk, W.G., Clodius, M., Harding, C. (2013). Crop protection and mortality of Agriotes obscurus wireworms with blended insecticidal wheat seed treatments. Journal of Pest Science, [online] 86(1), 137-150. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10340-011-0392-z

    2013 - View publication details

  11. Vernon, R.S., van Herk, W.G. (2013). Physical exclusion of adult click beetles from wheat with an exclusion trench. Journal of Pest Science, [online] 86(1), 77-83. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10340-012-0472-8

    2013 - View publication details

  12. van Herk, W.G., Vernon, R.S., McGinnis, S. (2013). Response of the dusky wireworm, Agriotes obscurus (Coleoptera: Elateridae), to residual levels of bifenthrin in field soil. Journal of Pest Science, [online] 86(1), 125-136. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10340-011-0386-x

    2013 - View publication details

  13. Van Herk, W.G., Vernon, R.S., Harding, C., Roitberg, B.D., Gries, G. (2010). Possible aversion learning in the Pacific Coast wireworm. Physiological Entomology, [online] 35(1), 19-28. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-3032.2009.00705.x

    2010 - View publication details

  14. Van Herk, W.G., Vernon, R.S., Tolman, J.H., Saavedra, H.O. (2008). Mortality of a wireworm, Agriotes obscurus (coleoptera: Elateridae), after topical application of various insecticides. Journal of Economic Entomology, [online] 101(2), 375-383. http://dx.doi.org/10.1603/0022-0493(2008)101[375:MOAWAO]2.0.CO;2

    2008 - View publication details

  15. Vernon, R.S., Van Herk, W., Tolman, J., Saavedra, H.O., Clodius, M., Gage, B. (2008). Transitional sublethal and lethal effects of insecticides after dermal exposures to five economic species of wireworms (coleoptera: Elateridae). Journal of Economic Entomology, [online] 101(2), 365-374. http://dx.doi.org/10.1603/0022-0493(2008)101[365:TSALEO]2.0.CO;2

    2008 - View publication details

  16. Van Herk, W.G., Vernon, R.S. (2008). Effect of temperature on the morbidity and recovery of the Pacific Coast wireworm, Limonius canus, following contact with tefluthrin-treated wheat seeds. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata, [online] 126(3), 228-232. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1570-7458.2007.00658.x

    2008 - View publication details

  17. Van Herk, W.G., Vernon, R.S. (2007). Soil bioassay for studying behavioral responses of wireworms (Coleoptera: Elateridae) to insecticide-treated wheat seed. Environmental Entomology, [online] 36(6), 1441-1449. http://dx.doi.org/10.1603/0046-225X(2007)36[1441:SBFSBR]2.0.CO;2

    2007 - View publication details

  18. Van Herk, W.G., Vernon, R.S. (2007). Morbidity and recovery of the Pacific Coast wireworm, Limonius canus, following contact with tefluthrin-treated wheat seeds. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata, [online] 125(2), 111-117. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1570-7458.2007.00600.x

    2007 - View publication details