I am wondering which is better because in the faq it states us milky spore OR beneficial nematode. Can you use both and would it be worth the trouble expense?
I've read up on this after the last two weeks' infestations. Both works best. Milky spore will build up over the next few years, and bennies will kill the grubs that already exist.
I couldn't find information on when to apply the nematodes. I'm new to maryland, where it's much hotter than boston was. I didn't want to put the nemmies down at the wrong time, and have them die on me. I found some milky spore at Home Depot, and it was $24.95 for 10 ounces. I have an acre, it would have taken 10 bottles. $250!!! And it wouldn't work for a few years, and without the Bennie Nemmies it seemed like a waste of time and money...
I chickened out, and bought the grub x. It was $140, and I put down half of it after DH mowed and before it rained yesterday.
Actually, here's an idea. Maybe I can do more research, find out when to put down the nemmies, and do the backyard organically? That would help ease my guilt.
Does anyone know about timing for applying the beneficial nematodes?
I found Milky Spore in a granulated formulation designed for lawn fertilizer spreaders. I'm a bit hazy on the $$$ - it was a few years ago. But $80 is what sticks in my mind. I have an acre --- about a half acre in grass, so that's not too bad.
First, you need to make sure that all of the grubs you are finding in your lawn are japanese beetle grubs. Milky spore seems to control them and not others. Second, you need to find out if Milky spore works well in your area. For unknown reasons, it is not effective everywhere where JB are a problem.
cheyjohn, I've been wondering the same thing. Attempting to stick with organics, I am interested in putting down nematodes and/or milky spore and I'm not sure of the timeframe for application either. Also, I just put down Bayer 24-hour Grub Control just about a week ago because I needed something now and didn't have an organic alternative. My next question is can I still apply MS and/or nematodes this year after using Bayer already in July, or would it be a waste?
Someone posted this link on the New England Gardening board which is very helpful on applying nematodes. It indicates that they should be applied during the second instar larvae stage which they say would be September, but I don't know what part of September and if this is the same for everyone or depending on their zone. The information came from Ohio so I believe that is close to my zone 5. The website also covers asiatic beetles, but I think it would also apply to japanese beetles or any other white grub larvae.
As far as Milky Spore goes, I think it would be applied at the same time as nematodes, but I have yet to be able to confirm that. The cost may be probibitive for me, as I have about 15,000 sq. ft. of lawn and I believe that the product has to be applied to all lawn and gardens as well to become totally effective.
Here is a link that might be useful: garden beetle
Thanks everyone for such helpful information. Fortunately, I have a small yard but this is more expensive than I thought. My echinaceas look terrible from these beetles though, and I have to do something.
How do I find out if these are japanese beetles? Is there a site I can go to with photos?
Ok, I should have waited a minute before posting. I am almost postive that the picture on the link that natureperson shared is what I have. It's 4:00 a.m. here and I am not going out to look right now, but they look just like what I saw the other night. Now I just have to find out if the MS and BN works in my area....
natureperson, you used that product and talk about it on an organic gardening forum? You also applied it at the wrong time, there are no grubs for that to control in your soil they are all adults out there now. The stuff you used will alos kill off your earthworms, something an organic gardener would do almost anything to avoid.
weddingdance, you can use both to control the grubs in your soil. Milky Spore Disease is a naturally occuring bacterium that may already be present in your soil although in a population not of sufficient quantity to help much. What you put on this year will control some of the larva but will take some time to control very many and the nematodes will help this year. The proper time to applu the MSD would be around the 1st of August so it is in the soil when the beetle eggs hatch and can then infect them early in their life when it will be most effective. The nematodes should not be applied until about mid August just as the beetle larva are hatching so they do have a food source to live on.
Kimmsr, if you do a google search, you will find that Bayer 24-Hour Lawn Control is to be applied between July and September. The product is not organic, but it works for cutworms, sod webworm, and white grubs. I never said the product was organic, nor did I attempt to pretend it was. Some people prefer to use organics, as I do, but sometimes will revert back to the chemicals when they have missed the organic window.
Here is a link that tells you more about the Bayer product.
Here is a link that might be useful: Bayer 24-Hour Lawn Control
Thanks! That's so helpful. Another poster had another question I was thinking about - since I used chemicals on my front lawn (some type of GrubX), can I still try to go organic and put down Nematodes? Or will the chemicals kill them? The chemical I used is once-applied-good-for-a-year stuff. I read that MSD isn't affected by chemicals previously put on the lawn, so I know I'll be safe using that. (Safe, but broke!) But what about the poor Nemmies? I don't want to send them to their death...
natureperson, this is an Organic Gardening forum and using or suggesting using a product that is clearly not organic is something that should not be done here. I know all about the products Bayer Crop Science puts out and none are organic, all of them pollute your and my environment, and all of them kill too many beneficial insects.
i released some nm this year after several questions to the company re: my florida st.aug. grass...chemical applications will not hurt them unless they were specific to kill nematodes; they are temperature sensetive(85-90 max)it was suggested to apply spring and fall...bz
Kimmsr, you need to reread my post because I NEVER suggested anyone use the Bayer product. I was asking a question on using organics after using the other product. I may be incorrect in my thinking, but I thought there was a possibility that some who use organics may have started out using non-organics and may be able to help in my situation. Just as weddingdance asked a question about organics after using Grub-X, we are only looking for answers. If you don't have them, please refrain from responding.
I thought this was a forum where we could get help on using organics. However, it appears that I was wrong, at least in this case.
Thanks Beezee! As I suspected, it's way too hot here right now, but as soon as it cools down, I will order and apply the nematodes. I refrained from using chemicals in the backyard completely, so it will be no problem there. I'll check the bags of stuff I put on the front, and if it's safe, I'll put nematodes there too, but if not, I'll have to wait until next year. All we can do is try our best, eh?
Thanks a lot for the information beezee!
I've used with great success Bayer Advanced Garden, Tree & Shrub. It should work for 9-12 months I use it in late July; I use it as a last resolve for my fruit, nut, ornamentals and vegetables. I however dont do what they suggest, and have had with a little experimentation very good results; I mix 32 ounces with 1 Â¾ gallons of water and a teaspoon of coco wetting agent (lowers the surface tension) in my 2 Â½ gallon Hudson pump sprayer. I totally cover starting from the top of the tree or shrub; covering all the leaves, branches and trunk; and no more than a foot away from the trunk on the ground all the way around. It uses the same process just a lot quicker, do it in the evening so it has all night to go to work without evaporating. Once it gets to the roots it is transported through the vascular system into the tree and shrub, or plants making the whole plant lethal after a couple of bites. This is a last resort as I have said already before anyone gets the idea to jump down my throat, I understand this is the organic gardening section, IÂm getting there. Beneficial Nematodes (BN) and Milky Spore - Bacillus popillae (MS) are the best for the larvae of the Japanese beetle or commonly called the white grub and a bunch of other names, none of them good I can assure you. In my opinion, the best time to use them is when the ground temperature is below 85 degrees but above 65. I prefer to use both BN & MS together and also both types of nematodes (Steinernema & Heterohabditis bactereophora). I also prefer to use them in the fall when the temperature is within the range I already mentioned. For your area "contact your County or State Extension Office and ask them for assistance". Or contact one of your colleges in your area, the Science Department would be a good place to start and ask them for advice. Also, sometimes your state may be running a program to offset the cost of these treatments, but you will never know until you ask!
I used Milky Spore three years ago and each year the Japanese Beetle hatch is smaller and smaller. If I had tried to kill them all at once with a chemical control I might have had some success but would have been right back in the same position a few years later. Instead, they are 2/3 gone and in decline.
These girls are less expensive
You can not use a broad spectrum pesticide and have them around
Milky Spore works if you do the whole county
Bryon, Your point is well taken. However the JBs should yearly decrease with Milky Spore. The neighbors beetles become your beetles and lay many of their eggs in your yard now. I see it as a win, lose a little, win situation.
hate to burst any bubbles here, but the university of delaware after extensive studies rated beneficial nematodes as only "marginally effective" in reducing JB populations. milky spore is primarily recommended for lawns eight years old and younger; older, more established lawns already have thriving populations of organisms harmful to grubs. so save yourself some money...
Could you link that/those reports?...I like to evaluate some things for myself.
I have an older more established lawn (64 yrs old) and the grubs are thriving. Last year I counted up to 16 psf in some areas.
If you properly manage your turf you will not have a grub problem. If you have enough grubs to warrant control Milky Spore Disease and beneficial nematodes are the single best way to do that as is encouraging starlings to patrol your lawn.
Hi everyone :)
I'm in NH, does anyone know where I can purchase the nematodes and/or Milky Spore around here? Any websites out there that offer these products? This would be for next year -- the grubs have already eaten my lawn this year :)
We're starting over and would like to avoid the chemicals.
I am no expert on either milky spore or the nematodes as I don't yet have a JB problem, although I am preparing as the surrounding area does have a problem and I have seen a few in my yard this year so I am sure I won't have long to wait.
The milky spore can be put down pretty much anytime as I understand it. The reason is they are spores and spores can withstand darn near anything. The spores seem to 'come alive' once eaten by a grub. I would avoid it on frozen ground for good soil penetration purposes, but other than that it seems the spores themselves will survive.
There is a bt strain registered for use on JB grubs. It acts immediately and has to be applied when the grubs are feeding.
The nematodes will actively seek the grubs (as opposed to waiting to be eaten by the grubs). The weakness of this approach is that the soil has to be fairly loose and have a high oxygen content or the nematodes die. If you consider that they move through the soil to find grubs it isn't too hard to understand that compact soils are going to have an adverse effect. Both the BT and nematodes, from what I have read, are best applied when the grubs are in the soil and for the bt, the grubs need to be in a feeding stage.
All of these measures will only control the grubs in the lawn one has control over. It will not do anything about beetles from the surrounding area enjoying the plants in your yard.
For control of the adult beetles there doesn't seem to be a whole lot in the way or organic solutions yet although I understand at least 2 parasitic species from Japan have been introduced in some places in an attempt to get them to reproduce and suppress the populations the way they do in Japan.
Lena, Here is one source of Milky Spore. I would say that the prices are simular elsewhere.
From reading the GardenWeb forums for many years, the milky spore solution seems to work best in the northern climes (which agrees with the University of Delaware). In the south, beneficial nematodes seem to work very well. I'm thinking soil temp is everything to the nematodes. Nematodes kill by bringing a disease to the grubs. The disease kills the grub almost immediately and the nematodes lay eggs in the grub host. When the eggs hatch, the disease has run rampant through the host body and becomes food for the newly hatched nematodes. Then they go on to search out other hosts. All this takes about a week. If you really want to get the full effect of a few gazillion nematodes, apply a million about 3 weeks before you think you'll need them and let them multiply.
I apply in the winter following a drenching rain that softens my spongy soil. The winter application (in south central Texas) controls fleas, ticks, noseums, chiggers and other hateful bugs. For grub control, apply anytime (during a rainstorm) following the first appearance of the June bugs until late summer.
The BN I've used successfully are the Guardian/Lawn Patrol Nematodes from Hydro Gardens in Colorado. I buy them from my local organic retailer, but he charges more than the online sales. They come as a smear on a small blue sponge. You wring out the sponge into a gallon of water and spray that water onto the yard. You can see them wiggling under a magnifying glass or microscope.
Natureperson, too bad you didn't think to ask here before resorting to nuclear weapons. That's what this forum is for.
Thanks Wayne :) Good to know, I'll definitely order some for next year, my lawn is definitely in great need of this stuff.
A good way to control the japanese beetles, is to go out when it is dark with a flashlight and a bucket of soapy water, it is very easy to knock them off the plant into the bucket. I have killed hundreds this way,. It really helps to have the hat with the light attached to it, like a miner. leaves your hands free. who cares what the neighbors think!
I have been using Insect-Killing Soap and it seems to work by killing the beetles. They don't die right away, but it eventually does kill them. I make up a solution in a spray bottle according to the directions on the product.
The beetles are taking over, it's June 30, 08. I am located in south central VA, an hour drive from the coast. First time poster, be gentle. Tried sevin before I knew,don't want to hurt the "good" ones. Are the nematodes effective in my area & what & where to buy enough for 2 acres of coverage. Thanks
I have bought beneficial nematodes at arbico organics on the internet. They have a sale on now, 1/2 off your 2nd order or something like that, until july 8 or 9, if I remember correctly. I DO NOT have any connection with arbico organics, other than as a customer. I have been very satisfied with my purchases from them. their website is very informative on the subject of beneficial nematodes.
One of the drawbacks of organics is that it lacks the "clean sweep" capabilities of non-organic solutions. Of course nothing with the ability to completely eradicate harmful bugs is going to be natural, since no predator actually wants to completely consume its food source. Instead, nature seeks a balance.
Which, for us, is not always the goal.
That's why its almost always more effective to combine two or more natural methods to fight a pest even though a single inorganic method can do the job with more speed and certainty.
One thing that does disturb me is the degree of "Organic Extremism" I've seen in this section of the forums. I don't think there'd be too much argument with the idea that growing things organically is clearly preferable, but organic gardeners aren't going to win anyone over to their side if they treat the guys on the other side like they're Evil Incarnate.
It's all about being kinder to the Earth and our environment, right? Doesn't that include each other?
Understanding how the Milky Spore Disease, "Bacillus popilliae" works is a key to properly applying it. The grubs it will control must ingest the spores and they need to be of a certain age for those spores to be able to grow and develop. The powder that contains the spores could be put down any time of the year but since applying it in early August, so the spores will be in the soil when the grubs hatch and start to grow, is probably the best time. It is kind of the same with the nematodes, they are most effective on younger grubs than they are on older ones. While it would be really good if everyone were to apply MSD to control these grubs that is unlikely to happen anytime soon so each of us can only do what we can on our wee corner.
What'd be awesome is if we could find some kind of symbiotic host for MSD - something that could carry it without either harming the other.
Then that bug or animal could spread MSD all over without any further direct involvement from us - it'd just become part of the ecosystem.
For the adult JB I've heard that Neem oil actually works fairly good. But even though it's organic it's to be used sparingly and only on effected plant. Some studies show that it may bother (not kill) helpful bugs. But it's my understanding is that it gives the effected plant a bad taste to JB so they stop eating and if they eat enough it will actually kill them.
My tall birch has been dying and I realized today that it's due to a Japanese Beetle infestation (and I mean THICK). It's too tall to spray easily and I didn't want to use GrubEX, so I started to research on the internet and happened upon this website. I just wanted to thank you all for the information! I live in the Chicago burbs and will start looking ASAP for milky spore and nematodes to get these pests under control. Thank you all again!
Milky Spore Disease, Bacillus popilliae, already exists in most peoples soil, in small quantities not quite enough to do a good job of controlling the grubs that populate that soil. When you add some of this to your soil, and wash it down into the soil where the grubs are, you put it there until the grub ingests some where it then becomes an active, bacteria that causes the grub to stop eating and it dies. When that grub does die the bacteria that it ingested then go dormant again, enter the soil (in greater quantity) and wait for the next beetle grub to come along and ingest them where the same thing happens.
Some people seem to think that Neem Oil products have this magical quality that allows it to distinguish between beneficial insects and insect pests and therefore it will only kill the bad ones. Neem Oil products are broad spectrum poisons that will kill off most all insects, good or bad, that it contacts, so it does, just like any other spray or dust, need to be used with due care and in strict accordance with the label instructions. Some peole will tell you that since the label does not list certain beneficial insects that this poison will not kill them, but the requirement is that the manufacturer must list the insects that it tested this product on and found the product would kill, but it need not list those insects that it has not tested the product on. So you will not see listed honeybees on any Carbaryl product because no one would test that to see if it would kill honeybees and since no one has tested it for that it need not list honeybees as one of the targets.
That's the truth with Neem - it kills bugs. All bugs.
Neem works by making it so that bugs can't molt (shed their exoskeleton in order to allow for growth). This means they can't mature. So the new generation never grows up to lay their eggs and before long all the old eggs have hatched and failed to mature as well. That decimates the entire population in a single generation.
Neem is organic, which makes it better than a lot of the stuff out there, but it's still a big bomb style of pest control. Milky Spore and nematodes are nice "smart bombs" for JB.
I've used Genius Oil (a Neem Oil product) on plants, but it should only be done in a targeted manner. Like they said, it'll kill pretty much any insect indiscriminately.
Awesome stuff for aphids and their friends, but you wouldn't want to cover everything with it. Hit problem areas with it to kill the local bad populations without annihilating all your beneficials.
i'm a landscape tech,Botanist & and im going on my second year of hordaculture in college,in the off season i work in a plant nursery taking care of plants in green house's & hot beds & in my opinion milky spore disease is more effective then predatory nematodes on japanese beetles in the long run,nematodes will have a more immediate effect but die off every 4-6 weeks while milky spore disease lasts up to 3 & a half years and keeps killin beetles,predatory nematodes kill over 250 different species of harmful insects while milky spore disease mainly kills beetles such as the japanese beetle,mexican bean beetle,cucumber beetle & unfortunetly most of the 5000 species of ladybugs & another drawback is it kills ladybugs for years & California has protected ladybugs, mainly the 9 dotted ladybug, with strict rules on contaminating their predator bug habitat so u get fined as much for having milky spore disease as you would for dumping sewage in a lake, & as for a study on nematodes that proves their not effective i'd like to take a look at it,did it say which ones they studied?if you looked at all the known nematode species in alphabetical order and counted how many different species there are for each letter you would average around 300-450 species per letter.There is 2 species of nematode's that stand out the Steinernema Species & the Heterorhabditis Species most often reffered to by predator bug merchants when sold together as "predator nematode double death mix".Don't take my word for it,go to my link,http://www.naturescontrol.com/controls.html & get some hands on knowledge,this is the site that the plant nursery i work for buys their Predator Bugs "A.K.A Hired Bugs" from.As a side note those of you who have OMMP or CMMP cards if your doing indoor,nematode's are better used along with praying mantis's for preventive maintenance & all around keeping your grow room or green house clear of any bugs,if you have a pre-existing spider mite problem that just wont go away i recommend a combination of spider mite predators, more specifically the three species Phytoseiulus persimilis,Neoseiulus californicus & Mesoseiulus longipes.All three types can be used either separately or in any combination.Wen you order your spider mite predators ask for the "Triple Threat" and they will automatically give you a even mix of the three species.If you have an extreme infestation of spider mites in your grow room or green house,like a web net appearing on the top of your plants,most notably on the tops of your flowers/buds,then its time for a battle plan, wat i do is to buy the Triple Threat pack along with a pack of Stethorus punctillam "A.K.A Spider Mite Destroyers,yes thats their real name" then i release a third of the spider mite predators-Triple Threat pack onto my plants,wait a week then let go half my spider mite destroyers,wait another week then release the other half of my spider mite destroyers,then i wait one more week & release the 2/3rds triple threat pack i have left into my grow room/green house to track down & finish any spider mites that are left hiding in any cracks.the spider mite predators look like the spider mites but are a different color and only eat bugs,the spider mite destroyers look like a pure black ladybug,but are much hardier & eats spider mites,eggs & their larvae much more aggressively then any other species of ladybeetle
Just out of curiosity,garysgarden,when you refer to natural pest control as lacking the abillity to do a "clean sweep" are you talking in the indoor or outdoor sense,because outdoor i agree with you if it was possible to do a clean sweep outdoor with predator bugs mother nature would've done so long ago,& i assume that you are speaking in the outdoor sense,considering that the original post is about japanese beetles,which are almost exclusivley an outdoor pest,occasionally they will pop up in green house's,but anyway this is a subject that causes much debate in my college class's,there is a case back in the 1970's in which several orchard reliant states had a massive insect infestation,and many of the main orchards were on the brink of bankruptcy having projected the loss of most of there crops,so the inflicted orchards prospective states decided to step in and save the day,but instead of any money kickdowns or loans they decided to try & take care of the bug infestations for the orchards by importing asian lady bugs,millions of asian ladybugs & it worked took a couple months but it worked totally "Wiped Clean" the bug infestation's but as a side effect it also killed several of our local predator bugs, wiped them clean into extinction,& the asian ladybugs are still at it to this day, eating our local predator bugs into extinction & just straight killing our indigenous ladybugs,several species just recently became protected from having to battle the asian invasion,anyways my argument is that how can that even be considered a natural form of pest control when it had more impact on the local ecology then if they would've just used pesticides? so in the end it seems even if you use predator bugs in an outdoor setting it's still only a natural form of pest control if your bugs do wat nature intended & that is to keep your pest bugs down to an acceptable level for the plants that are infested.indoor is a different story though,indoor you have a limited amount of space which can work to your advantage when using predator bugs,wat you do is measure your grow room then eyeball your plants & guesstimate the surface area of vegitation add room footage to plant surface footage then decide how many predator bugs you want per foot,of course you'll want more bugs per foot the worse your infestation is and the amount of bugs you'll need will change with the type you buy,most predator bugs eat calcuable amounts of pest
bugs,the amounts should be in a pamplet that comes with your predator bugs you can factor that in to your calculations if you wish, i usally dont bother though,i decide how many i want per foot then buy enough to do a 4 stage attack,you can keep most predator bugs dormant in your fridge for 2-3 months,less depending on how old the batch you get is,& more often then not my room will appear insect free before i release the last two stages of bugs,by the time you release your last stage of predator bugs there should be no evidence of live pest bugs,eggs or larvae & about the time you think all your predator bugs are dead or escaped your first hatching should happen,sometimes your second if conditions are right,and they should continue to hatch about a week apart for continued protection,sounds harder then it really is,its mostly a trial & error sort of thing.praying mantis are probly best for someone who's just starting,they eat anything & everything as long as they can over power it they'll eat it right down to small hummbing birds,i'm not sure if they even sleep,the one's in my green house seem to be active day or night,i'm told their nocturnal bugs though.
I'm kind of new to this, but as I understand from reading these posts, it sounds like I can apply Milky Spore AND nematodes at the same time to help in getting rid of my Japanese Beetles. First question: I am in zone 7 and have read several differing instructions on when to apply. Should I apply in Spring? Or August? Or both? Or does Milky Spore get applied at a different time than the nematodes? Secondly, I have 2 acres of land so its a little cost prohibitive to do the whole property. Is it OK to focus mainly on the areas most hit by the beetles and skip the other areas? And thirdly, I have been using Neem to help control the the beetles with some success - can I continue to use Neem along with the Milky Spore and Nematodes? Thanks in advance for your advice!
Flyer, I suggest that you apply mainly bordering the hit areas. I did that [applied Milky Spore] and can not say for certain why my beetles have been near zero the last two years. I counted 5 last year and 8 the year before.
In comparison, I trapped about 280,000 estimated [besides killing others] in 2003.
I suggest applying August 1st.
Don't forget to make homes for the birds that eat Japanese Beetles.
Thanks so much for your advice Wayne_5. I'll try applying the Milky Spore in early August and I'm going to apply nematodes in a couple of weeks when it gets warmer and see how it goes. I figure between the two I should get the JB's under control - I hope! :) Thanks again!
Thank you for the link, Henry. I didn't know Crows and Grackles were such big eaters of grubs. We have lots of Crows and I see Grackles occasionally. Hopefully they are feasting away, lol. I have several bird feeders and baths around the property and prefer natural predators like birds and bats to keep the insect population down. It really works! Thanks again.
Hi I have a home vegetable garden in raise beds and one of the beds is full of grubs and i been thinking if it would be safe or effect to use the milky spores on it.I live in south of california the only way of getting that spores is online.
Milky Spore Disease, "Bacillus popilleae" is a passive method of grub control because the spores do not seek out the grubs, the grubs must ingest the spores as they search for food. Since this is most effective when the grubs are newly hatched the time to apply the spores is just before they hatch in August, or apply the spores sometime in July to give the carrier time to move the spores into the soil where the grubs will be eating plant roots or other soil organic matter.
Unless one were to either ingest or inhale fairly large quantities of the Milky Spore Disease there has not been found to be any detrimental affect on humans from this bacterium. However, at this time parasitic nematodes may be a better control since the grubs could well be beyond the growth stage that Milky Spore Disease will do them harm.
It was wayyy too much work for me to read all the preceding comments so not sure if I am repeating anyone or not, but I stumbled across this article that should be very helpful about Organic Pest Control in your garden.
Hope it helps someone!
There is some good information there and some misinformation. Just keep in mind that you do not want to eliminate all insects from your garden, and organic growers should be more concerned about making the soil good and healthy so it will grow strong and healthy plants that are better able to ward off insect pests.
Lots of good info here! If I could make a comment it would be that it would be vary helpful for posters to list their location. It makes a huge difference if you're in TX or ME! ;-)