How to treat for grubs/japanese beetle with no toxic poisons

fpmom(6)July 8, 2013

I'm new to growing/maintaining lawn and while I am enjoying the process I am getting frustrated trying to work out all the problems and how to fix them
We have 2 dogs and 2 small children and so I would prefer to maintain the lawn organically or at least with the safest least toxic products
I'm wondering if any body can advise how to treat for grubs/japanese beetle without putting down the really toxic stuff that wipes out everything including all the good worms etc (and if I did do this how long before kids/dogs could walk on the lawn?)
My understanding is that the grubs are going to start eating up the grass roots again come end July/beg August through September (we live in New England FYI) - and I would like to kill off the grubs before they kill off my grass again (happened in Spring this year - I got a lot of brown patches in June)
What can I apply that is not completely toxic? Any low grade grub killer out there (not that I could find via research)
I plan to start up a milky spore regime but need something to work during the 2 years I need to wait for that to work
Has anybody tried and had success with beneficial nematodes?
Thanks for any advice - I'm new to this but keen!!!

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botanicalbill(9b SWFlorida)

Use milky spore. It infects the grubs. It is safe for lawns and will stay active in your soil for years.

Here is a link that might be useful: milky spore

    Bookmark   July 8, 2013 at 12:06PM
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botanicalbill I intend to start using the milky spore but I have read and been told that it won't start working for 2 years and in the meantime my lawn will be eaten up! How did you start a resume with milky spore and what is your experience?

    Bookmark   July 8, 2013 at 12:16PM
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botanicalbill(9b SWFlorida)

I put mine down about 2-3 years ago. I still have an occasional grub spot, but not near as much. Also, this year I noticed I had very few june bugs, my guess, its working. Up until about a year ago, I would still use pesticides for grubs.

The way this stuff works, you put it down in grid piles on the lawn (there is a spreadable kind now). It washes into the soil and remains dormant. A hungry grub comes along eating your grass roots. When it passes through a milky spore area, it ingests some. the stuff breeds out of control in the grub and it dies from this in a few days. Where that grub dies is a new concentrated spot of milky spore. So for this stuff to really spread through the yard, you need a large grub population. Once you get past 2-5 years, I guess you dont have to worry about the grubs.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2013 at 11:40PM
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Thanks botanical bill
I think I need to use pesticides until the milky spore starts working
It's now mid July - when do you suggest I put something down? And what do you use? What do you think of: Bayer Advanced Season Long Grub Control since I have done nothing so far? Or should I wait for beg August and apply a 24 hr grub killer?
I'm also wondering if the beetles are burrowing back in to the turf to lay eggs - over the last week I have seen numerous small mounds of what looks like 'churned' dirt
I suddenly have a lot of brown patches which somebody suggested could be caused by a fungus since we have had a lot of rain/humidity but I'm also wondering if it's been caused by the grubs too?

    Bookmark   July 14, 2013 at 11:39AM
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