This day and age people frequently look for natural remedies or organic alternatives for all sorts of things. One commonly asked questions is if there is an organic grub control that can be used to protect lawns from the damage. Larvae of Japanese Beetles and others can destroy lawns in a very small amount of time. By the time the property owner sees brown areas in late summer or early fall, the damage is done, and these lawn areas need to be seeded.
As a professional lawn care company, we occasionally get a property owner that tells us they don’t need a grub control treatment for their lawn because they put down “milky spore” on their lawn. This is a bacteria that kills Japanese Beetles grubs and remains in the soil for many years and is applied to lawns.
So, is milky spore a good organic grub control alternative? Our answer, No. Here is why.
1) Research & Studies aren’t strong enough for the case. In university tests, results of milky spore aren’t consistent. The results have been good in some areas and hardly at all in others. Preventative grub control insecticides, however, have proven to provide very consistent control.
2) Milky spore only works on some of the grubs you’ll get in your lawn. This bacteria only affects Japanese Beetle grubs. However, there are other varieties of beetles that lay eggs that hatch into grubs in your lawn as well. The Northern Masked Chafer, for instance, is a nocturnal beetle that you won’t notice as easily as the Japanese Beetles that you’ll see so easily during the day. Chafers will lay eggs during the night and are just as destructive as Japanese Beetle grubs. There are also a couple other varieties of beetle grubs that you may encounter too. Preventative grub control insecticide applications will work on all of these species.
3) Milky spore takes years to work. Studies have shown that in order for milky spore to be the most effective, it takes a few years to get spread around through the soil by Japanese Beetle grubs. That means you have grubs and they are damaging your lawn along the way. Preventative grub control insecticide, however, will be present in your entire lawn immediately after it gets watered in by you or mother nature. This material will last for 3 months, so when applied at the right time of late spring or early summer, this treatment will be very effective with controlling grubs for that whole season. Even if you did not put down a preventative grub control treatment and are finding grub damage in late summer or early fall, you can still put down a quick-kill grub control at that time and control any remaining grubs. You may, however, still need to seed your lawn at that time if you’ve missed the preventative treatment.
Preventative grub control treatments for your lawn have been consistently effective, low-toxicity method to kill grubs before they feed on your lawn. Having this treatment as part of your lawn program each year is an easy and effective way to keep your lawn looking its best against the various grubs that seek to destroy it. If you are interested in this treatment for your lawn, we would love to talk to you.