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Fighting Lawn Grubs the Natural Way

by Gabby Hyman, All About Lawns Columnist

The white grubs of Japanese Beetles are the scourge of many a homeowner's yard. They can be subtle, pernicious, and devastating. On the other hand, artificial chemical agents that wipe out grub populations can be harmful to pets, birds, and the water table. Natural lawn care experts are currently supporting the use of the milk spore bacteria (Bacillus popillae-Dutky) as a long-term soil inoculation against grubs.

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If you're looking for an instant remedy, you might be disappointed in applying milky spore as optimal results can take months and years to accomplish. However, many homeowners report results in as little as a month. And one application can be sufficient for 15 years.

Essentially, milky spore is a disease that attacks the grub, and when the grub dies, it releases billions of additional spores that continue to attack breeding beetles without harming animals, beneficial insects, or the water supply. Commercial milky spore products are all approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Milky Spore and Lawn Care
According to Ohio State University Landscape Entomologist David J. Shetlar, bacterial milky disease has been especially effective as a grub killer in parts of the Eastern United States. Treatment is best in August, when the Japanese Beetle eggs hatch. If left undisturbed, the grubs burrow into the soil to spend the winter. But before they bed down to sleep, they feast on the roots of turfgrass, potentially killing your lawn.

Depending on the supplier and product, milky spore is a power applied to the top of the grass and watered into the lawn. You can make a dispenser out of a coffee can or plastic jug by adding a perforated cap.


About the Author
Gabby Hyman has created online strategies and written content for Fortune 500 companies including eToys, GoTo.com, Siebel Systems, Microsoft Encarta, Avaya, and Nissan UK.

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