When to apply Milky Spore?


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Old 07-06-17, 12:11 PM
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When to apply Milky Spore?

Hi all,

Apologies if this is the wrong forum. I didnt see anything dedicated to pest control.

I am in my 2nd year at my new (old) house. Lawn is looking great, and I am attempting to treat it organically.

I know from my last house that grubs can wreak havoc on a well maintained yard, so I do want to try to keep any grubs in check, so I picked up the powder form of St Gabriel Milky Spore. The directions say to apply 'when grubs are actively feeding'... While I don't see evidence of this (yet) I do see Japanese beetles.

Is now the time to put the spore down?

Thanks in advance!
-K
 
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Old 07-06-17, 12:26 PM
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There's a whole section on pest and animal control. Don't know how you missed it!
Anyways, I moved your post for you.
 
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Old 07-06-17, 02:12 PM
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strange! CTRL-F didnt work for me today! Thanks
 
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Old 07-06-17, 04:09 PM
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I don't know if there's a "bad time" to apply Milky Spore . . . . but patience is the key. Read the package and study the life cycle of the Japanese Beetles/Grub Larvae to your own benefit.

I've written this before, so I hope I'm consistent. I used Milky Spore 35 years ago when I had a tiny little Acre Lot and less patience than I do today. Back then, Milky Spore was effective in wiping out my grubs within 2 years.

Actually, the grubs aren't the problem, it's the Racoons, Skunks, Gophers, Possums, and other critters who dig up the Grubs that cause the lawn to become such a mess. For them Grubs must be like Lobster. You'll feel just awful removing the Gourmet Grubs from their menu !

So now I'm trying to maintain a lawn of almost 4 acres, and for the first 15 years of my ownership, I had no Japanese Beetles, nor any Grub problems.

Then, around 2005, we introduced a Raspberry Patch, which drew in Japanese Beetles . . . . and the Beetles laid their eggs in our heretofore nice lawn and created the grubs which drew in all these critters who love to hunt down and munch on the Grubs.

I'm really cheap . . . . and Milky Spore is expensive (effective; but expensive). In June of 2013, i had enough and bought a $24.97 10 ounce box of Milky Spore, and used about halve of it to inoculate that portion of my lawn which had the most digging damage. I put down about ⅛ teaspoon of the powder (it's just dehydrated pulverized diseased grubs) per square yard (9 square feet, and watered it in nicely.

My sparse 2013 activity may have had a reduction on the grub evidence in 2014; but not so much. I used another of my 10 Ounce box and inoculated the areas that showed evidence of grubs in 2014; but not so geometric . . . . if there was a hole from some critter's digging for grubs, that's where I put my disease laden powder !

2015 showed some promise, as there were far fewer diggings, and we also did limited spraying our Raspberry Patch with Liquid Sevin to deal with the adult Japanese Beetles, but Sevin is very damaging to the Bees who we rely on to pollinate the Raspberry Flowers . . . . and our Bees already have severe problems trying to avoid going extinct, so we really try to avoid spraying when the Bees would have no reason to be present.

As you probably know, the dead grubs serve to further inoculate our lawn, so this slow and cheap approach has a multiplying effect on a lawn like mine . . . . so in 2016, I had very few target areas to attack with my remaining Milky Spore Powder. And here it is, 2017 at the peak of the Grub activity, and I'm at a loss to put my remaining 1 ounce of Powder to use. And the effectiveness in the lawn is said to last 20 years or longer.

It's somewhat lonely here without all those critters visiting every night; but my lawn is intact. If you were patient enough to read all of this, then you'll also benefit from using St. Gabriel's Milky Spore product. That's all they do . . . . raise a captive population of Japanese Beetles, and allow a small number of them to reproduce in a disease free environment to replenish their stock, and the bulk of them to lay eggs in an infected area where the grubs are captured when at their prime and then dehydrated and pulverized to be sold to us. They have no competition.

That's my story . . . . Good Luck !
 
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Old 07-06-17, 05:12 PM
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The attached article from Rutgers addresses milky spore in the last paragraph but doesn’t mention a time frame. I suspect that the time frame isn’t important due to the long-lived activity of the product. I’ve never used it.

An Integrated Approach to Insect Management in Turfgrass: Whit...
 
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Old 07-07-17, 08:12 AM
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Thanks for the reply!

I appreciate the detail on how they make the product. Fascinating!

Sounds like my approach (treat before there's a problem) is the way to go. I have a .36 acre lot and picked up a box of Milky Spore that is good for 10k sq ft lawn.

I am in NJ, so the Rutgers Extension is my local one. I'll read that article next. What got me concerned is seeing those Japanese Beetles. Wasnt sure if that was my clue to start putting down the treatment
 
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Old 07-07-17, 08:26 AM
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The St. Gabriel's Box should have a visual representation of the life cycle of the Japanese Beetle, which may vary by a few weeks depending upon your territory.

You'll note that one female Beetle may be responsible for as many as 50,000 Grubs/Larvae . . . . so that can be a lot of damage by the Grubs themselves, and then by the critters who are drawn to dig them up for a feast.

The more lush your lawn, the more likely the female Beetle will consider it a suitable habitat for her offspring.
 
 

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