Does insect killer interfere with milorganite or alfafa?

andyx123April 5, 2013

I plan to use ortho bug-b-gon insect killer on my lawn and applying alfafa or milorganite.

Does the insect killer interfere (affect negatively) the action of milorganite or alfalfa?

What options are there for "organic" lawn insect killer?

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Kimmsr(4a/5b-MI)

Ortho does not make anything acceptable to an organic grower. The Active ingrediant in Bug B Gone is a pyrethroid, a synthetic form of the pyrethrins that is a broad spectrum poison that will kill off many more then to 100 or so insects listed on the label including the Soil Food Web that might inhabit your soil.
Both Milorganite and Alfalfa depend on your Soil Food Web to be converted into plant nutrients so applying a poison to your soil will defeat the purpose of using those products.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2013 at 7:38AM
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andyx123

Ok, good thing I asked before applying!

So, how do I control pests more "organically" or organically friendly?

I see some ants, crickets, spiders and ticks. Mostly interested in preventing the ticks.

Thanks.

This post was edited by andyx123 on Sat, Apr 6, 13 at 9:45

    Bookmark   April 6, 2013 at 9:40AM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

Beneficial nematodes are effective against ticks if you can catch the ticks before they climb out of the soil. BN only live in the soil.

Ants, crickets, and spiders are usually not a serious problem in an organic lawn. Generally there is a higher population of natural predators when there are fewer chemicals used.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 12:11AM
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watersbrian1

So, what does one do if they encounter a chinch bug infestation? I am currently starting the alfalfa regimen, but am prone to getting chinch bugs. What should we use to get rid of the infestation if we are currently using alfalfa pellets as well?

    Bookmark   October 1, 2013 at 12:36PM
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Kimmsr(4a/5b-MI)

What to do depends somewhat on where in the world you live and the type of grass and soil you have, but generally Cinch Bugs are much less of a problem in a good healthy lawn then it is a lawn that is grown using synthetic means.
Getting the soil into a good healthy condition so the grass will grow up strong and healthy is the best method of solving any insect pest problem. While some thatch (about 1/2 inch) is good for the lawn, too much contributes to the problem. Thatch buildup is an indication of using too much synthetic stuff to try and grow a lawn since over time those things disturb and disrupt the natural eco system.
Keep in mind that spraying any poison meant to control Chinch Bugs will also do great harm to any of the predators of those Chinch Bugs.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2013 at 7:33AM
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watersbrian1

Thank you Kimmsr for your response, however I have a few questions/concerns. For those of us who have just moved into a home and have just started to try to go the organic route this is difficult. My builder laid the sod on top of 4" of builders sand. Not much organic qualities in that. If I understand correctly, it honestly takes years of organic treatments to build up the organic matter in your lawn to make it healthy and to hopefully deter bad things from happening. In the meantime, however, I have gotten cinch bugs and had to place insect killer on those patches because the bugs would have eventually killed that area of my lawn. So, until I can get a "healthy" lawn after a few years of organic treatment am I stuck in limbo with not being able to apply any synthetic type of insecticide? Do I simply let the bugs take over, and replace sod?

    Bookmark   October 3, 2013 at 10:01AM
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Kimmsr(4a/5b-MI)

You do face a common dilemma. In your instance it could take years of applying compost and/or grains to begin to get adequate levels of organic matter into your soil or you could destroy the lawn you have, till in large amounts of OM, and start the lawn over.
Keep in mind that spraying poisons to control those Chinch Bugs will also kill off any beneficial insects that may be there to control your pests. To keep the beneficial insects around you need a population of the insect pests the beneficial insects prey on, so having an insect free yard is not a good goal.

Here is a link that might be useful: Chinch Bug control

    Bookmark   October 4, 2013 at 7:03AM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

I would wait until you had an actual problem and diagnosed it before becoming concerned. Your old lawn may have been prone to getting chinch bugs, but your organic lawn may be strong enough to keep them away. If not, the beneficial nematodes sprayed into a very wet lawn should kill them. It's only ticks that climb out of the soil and avoid the beneficial nematodes.

Beneficial nematodes work by transmitting a disease to the insects.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2013 at 6:16PM
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