Wednesday, September 14, 2011
More about Milky Spore
This is the first year we have treated our garden for grubs and I am hoping that we see a long term benefit from treating with Milky Spore.
Milky Spore is a bacterium that when spread into the soil, begins a cycle that is supposed to eventually get rid of grub worms, especially the dreaded pest, the Japanese beetle. I would love for my green beans NOT to have lacy leaves on the top from Japanese beetles feeding on the leaves and the beans. But there are many benefits of using this product.
One is the benefit of being environmentally friendly. Pets and beneficial wild animals, especially birds, can be harmed when using products like Grub-X, but they are not harmed by Milky Spore. It works by infecting the grubs who feed on the Milky Spore after they hatch. The bacteria then grows in the grub and when they die from the bacteria, the Milky Spore continues to grow and there is even more bacteria in the soil for more grubs to ingest. In some reports I have read, the grubs can be controlled by Milky Spore for ten to fifteen years.
Another benefit is that you can rid yourself of some non-beneficial birds, like blackbirds (who fly in to feed on grubs and can also help themselves to other things) and a new pest to our area, armadillos who love digging holes in your yard at night while you sleep. They feed on the grubs and tear up your turf. Milky Spore will eventually control the armadillos by controlling the grubs. I've heard that you rarely see armadillos but they can really destroy a lawn. They are hard to control by any other means but when you take away their favorite meal, they will go where the grubs are plentiful.
Armadillos also carry some nasty diseases, like leprosy, and while it is extremely unlikely that a human or pet would catch a disease from armadillos, I have read that it is a possibility, though a remote one. Leprosy not easily transmitted even from person to person. I would rather have a disease-carrying pest somewhere else besides my lawn or garden.
We will treat again in the spring and then in the summer but I am hoping to reap some long term benefits from Milky Spore and I intend to keep a record of just how beneficial the treatment will be to our garden.