Best time to use Milky Spore?

kentstar(5b, NE Ohio)March 26, 2009

Hi all. I bought some Milky Spore to rid my lawn of the critters. I know it will take a few years to work, but that's ok for now.. I have roses to protect.

What is the best time to use? Can I use it in spring, or does it have to be later on in the year such as late summer? I don't want to apply it at the wrong time of the year. Is it safe to use near a veggie garden? My hubby has one about 10 ft away from my roses.

Thanks all


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mad_gallica(zone 5 - eastern New York)

It comes with directions. Read them, and do what they say :-)

There are at least two different formulations of milky spore, with very different application rates, timings and general instructions.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2009 at 1:47PM
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karl_bapst_rosenut(5a, NW Indiana)

Here is a "FAQ" page about Milky Spore you may find answers most of your questions.

Here is a link that might be useful: Milky spore

    Bookmark   March 26, 2009 at 2:15PM
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karl_bapst_rosenut(5a, NW Indiana)

I copied and pasted the FAQ here for those who don't want to go to the FAQ webpage.
BTW, Many questions can be answered simply by Googling.

Frequently Asked Questions: .

1. How fast does the Spore work and how long does it last?

Milky Spore begins working as soon as it is applied as long as grubs are feeding. Once grubs are infected they will multiply the Spore by several billion times and spread it further. In warm climates good control can occur in one to three years. In colder areas like New England, three to five years. Once established in a lawn, Milky Spore has been known to last 15 to 20 years.

2. Will freezing ruin the Spore? What about heavy rain?

No, Milky Spore is not affected by freezing or other adverse environmental conditions. Heavy rain may wash away newly applied Spore dust necessitating retreatment.

3. Will fertilizer or chemical pesticides that have dursban and diazinon in them affect Spore?

Dursban and diazinon have been banned by the EPA as toxic to the environment. Milky Spore is safe for the environment and is not affected by pesticides, fungicides or herbicides. They may be applied at the same time.

4. Can I use it in the vegetable garden?

Yes, Milky Spore is harmless to food crops. It is not a chemical pesticide. It may be used in gardens, around pools and wells.

5. Should we keep our pets off the lawn?

Milky Spore does not affect pets, beneficial insects, fish, bees, birds, other animals, plants, or man. It is not a poison.

6. Can I mix the Spore with water and spray it?

Neither the Milky Spore powder nor the Milky Spore Spreader mix should be mixed with water and sprayed.

7. Can I cut my grass after applying the Spore?

Do not mow or rake your yard until Milky Spore has been soaked into the soil.

8. What if I treat my yard and my neighbor doesnt?

Your lawn will be protected even if you are surrounded by untreated property. Eventually, the Spore will creep next door into adjacent areas by natural movement.

9. WonÂt beetles fly in from my neighborÂs yard?

An adult beetle feeds only during itÂs first two weeks. By the time they fly in from adjacent areas, any new grubs laid in late Summer will be affected by the Spore.

  1. What about Moles?

Eliminating grubs with Milky Spore often cause Moles and Skunks to feed elsewhere. Unfortunately, they may head for your neighborÂs untreated yard instead. Milky Spore does not affect moles, it simply eliminates their food source.

  1. Can I have too many grubs?

If you are rapidly losing your lawn due to too many grubs, more than 10 per square foot, you may be wise to use an insecticide along with Milky Spore.

  1. How do I know if I have beetle grubs?

Grubs feed on the roots of your grass which can become brown and die. Simply lift the dead grass and look for white larvae curled into the shape of a "C" about the size of a penny. Active grubs can completely destroy a lawn. Use Milky Spore for safe, long-lasting control.

  1. Do beetle larvae feed more aggressively in Fall?

Yes, grubs in fall are in the first instar stage and are feeding for growth to store body fat for winter. In the spring, grubs reach 3rd instar prior to molting and do not require as much food.

  1. Are grubs infected by Milky Spore in spring when rising to the surface following hibernation?

Grubs become infected by swallowing a spore. They do not become infected by rubbing up against spores or passing through them. Since grubs feed less in Spring, the incidence of infection is not as great as in fall.

  1. What are the application rates for Milky Spore?

Milky Spore Powder in cans is a one time application put down in spots in measuring teaspoon amounts every four feet apart creating a checkerboard pattern of spots throughout your yard. Each spot contains 100 million spores.

Milky Spore Spreader Mix in bags is applied with a drop spreader over every square foot of grass and requires applications in Spring, Summer and Fall for two years to build the number of spores in any one area to millions of spores.

  1. Can I broadcast the Spreader mix?

No, Milky Spore Spreader Mix is too light to be used with a broadcast spreader. It must be placed in concentrated areas on the lawn and that is why it must be used with a drop spreader.

  1. Can I wait to water in the Spore?

Yes, you can wait 36 to 48 hours before watering in the Spore. Make sure you water the Spore before raking or mowing your lawn. The whole idea is to soak the Spore into the soil where it will become available to grubs feeding on the roots of grass. Simply use an oscillating hose sprayer for 15 to 20 minutes over the entire treated area. There may still be some white residue but this is chalk used as carrier for the spores.

  1. What is the difference between the Spreader mix and the powder?

The main difference is that in using the six part spreader mix program you are essentially spreading the spore over an entire lawn rather than in concentrated areas. In doing this the number of spores in any one location is significantly less than the concentrated spot method.

Grubs become infected by swallowing a spore and this occurs by happenstance when feeding on grass roots. The more spores in a given area, the greater chance for infection. Each infected grub dies and releases 3 billion new spores into the soil.

  1. How do I know if I have Japanese Beetle Grubs?

St. Gabriel Laboratories provides a free grub analysis for itÂs customers. SEE MILKY SPORE MAIN PAGE FOR FULL INSTRUCTIONS ON SENDING IT TO US.

  1. What is the shelf life of Milky Spore?
    The older the Spore, the more effective it becomes.
  2. What if I get Milky Spore in my eyes? What if I breathe it in?

Milky Spore itself is not toxic. However, Milky Spore contains chalk and a powder carrier. Care should be taken not to get any dust in one's eyes as it is an irritant.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2009 at 2:31PM
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kentstar(5b, NE Ohio)

I had already read the directions and faq's about it before I bought it. :)


    Bookmark   March 27, 2009 at 9:57AM
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karl_bapst_rosenut(5a, NW Indiana)

I presume then, the FAQ you had did not include the time of year to apply or if it's safe to use around veggies like the info above does?
They indicate that the grubs feed most in the fall and very little in spring as they get ready to turn into adults.
Being an infection that affects only grubs when they eat a spore and lasting up to 20 years once applied, the indication is to apply now so the spores are available in larger numbers when the new brood hatches in Early August.
It's important to get it applied so it can be effective when grubs are present and feeding.
I should add Mid July to early August is the best time to apply a lawn insecticide for the same reason. Any preventative should be applied or available when it is most likely to affect the greatest number of grubs and that is right after they hatch in late July/early August.
In the case of Milky Spore, due to the way it works, it needs to be down so it can spread and be available for the newly hatched and hungry grubs.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2009 at 4:29PM
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kentstar(5b, NE Ohio)

OK, I read the directions and I can apply it anytime the ground is not frozen. So I will apply it next week when I'm off of work. I bought the powder form, not the granular.


    Bookmark   March 27, 2009 at 8:55PM
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I have tunnels and mounds all over my yard. Should I apply milky spore now-April (Maryland.)Any other suggestions?

    Bookmark   March 30, 2013 at 12:08PM
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