Japanese beetle grubs can cause severe damage to your lawn in a short span of time. To make it worse, the Japanese beetle larvae love to feed on the grass roots, leaving ugly dead brown spots on your lawn.
While adult beetles are difficult to kill, their larvae are vulnerable to several different biological treatments, most notably milky spore disease.
Here you can learn more about milky spore, how to use it for long-term lawn and garden care.
What is Milky Spore?
Milky spores have been in production since the 1940s specifically for pest control against the Japanese beetle grub, which is the only known organism to be vulnerable to the Milky Spore disease.
The milk spore is a naturally growing bacteria, with the active ingredient being Bacillus popilliae. The spores become active in warm, moist soil and can take up to three years to take effect.
USDA has cleared the product for use on beetle larvae. They claim it is not harmful to humans, animals, and birds.
This completely natural and organic lawn care treatment does not destroy trees, shrubs, or any insects beneficial to your garden, or adversely affecting water supplies, including wells, ponds, or rivers. (Find the Best Grub Worm Killer)
What is the Difference Between Milky Spore Granules and Milky Spore Powder?
There isn’t much difference between Milk Spore powder and granular Milky spore. The difference is the application of each. Neither being difficult yet one is a little easier than the other.
If you use the spore powder, you will apply this to your lawn once or twice. In the granules, you apply this twice per year for two or three years, where it will be effective for up to 20 years.
When to Apply Milky Spore Powder?
The best time to apply this pest management compound is during the early fall. At this time, the beetle grub will be busy feeding to increase their weight for the winter.
Besides this, the soil is still warm. If, for any reason, you are unable to apply at this time, you can use it in the summer.
How to Apply Milky Spore Powder
It is very easy how to apply milky spore to your lawn garden. However, it is best to follow these simple guidelines on how to do it for the best effect.
The simplest way, how to apply milky spore powder is to place a teaspoon of milky spore around your lawn about four feet apart from each other. Doing this will create a grid around four square feet in size.
Make sure not to spread the small heaps, yet water each spoonful gently for around 15 minutes.
After the powder waters into the grass sufficiently, you can walk on, or mow your lawn.
Another means of distribution can save you from bending. All it takes is an old coffee can with about fifteen holes in the bottom. Using a handle or a long stick, fasten it to one end and then fill with your powder.
Following the same pattern as with the spoon. Tap the old can on the floor, and again create your four square foot grid pattern.
Either method is effective, yet you won’t see results straight away. It can take a while for them to die, as they have to ingest the spores where they then multiply.
It could take up to two years for this grub control method to work, yet it can work for up to 10 years.
How to Apply Milky Spore Granules
Here you can find how to use milky spore granules. While it does take more applications, this method of how to apply milky spore for grubs is much easier on the back, and you don’t need to picture a grid on your lawn where to drop the powder.
The granular type is made to be used with a drop spreader, hence the ease of application. The time to apply is early in the season before they hatch, and there is no sign of grub damage.
Fill your drop spreader with the granules. When you try to calculate how much you require, a 20lb bag of granules is sufficient to treat 7,000 sq. feet of garden area.
Carefully treat the borders of your lawn, and then focus on covering the center portion. The best way to obtain proper coverage is to make crisscross passes with your spreader.
Once you have covered your lawn, then you can water all the areas you have treated.
You do need to be sure all the granules are water into the lawn before you can walk on it, or before it is ready to mow. (Read Are Snails Good for the Garden)
Although the spore levels will increase, you can help them on their way for maximum effectiveness. Doing this will offer you the best control over your grub problems.
The pattern you follow is a manufacturer’s recommendation.
- Apply the spore granules in the spring before grubs are starting to hatch.
- Apply again in the summer, and then in the latter part of fall.
You carry out these applications for two years, which will give you six applications in total.
- While the times can vary a little, the first application will need making before hatching, so the grubs will begin eating the spores as soon as possible. Aside from that, the other times can vary as long as the ground has no signs of frost.
- Like the powder, the spores carry on working, and after you make your final application, you can find you have no problem with these grubs for around another ten years.
- While you use these mainly on your lawn, you can also use them in your ornamental gardens, vegetable gardens, around shrubs or trees and mulched beds.