Gardener Don

Does Milky Spore Really Work?

25 Apr '07 11:43 pm
Hello All,
While I am not a truly dedicated organic gardener, I use a lot of organic techniques and not chemicals. My problem is Japanese Beetles! They finally found our area about 3 years ago and I am overrun with them in June and July. While I know they will fly up to 1-1/2 miles to a target, and I live in the country, I feel I need to use all the resources I can to control them. I read an article a few months ago that stated Milky Spore is only about 20% active. Have any of you had experience with it and control of Japanese Beetles? It seems the traps designed for the beetles simply draw them to your area. Hum, maybe I should buy my neighbors traps. Thanks, Don

Faith S
Perpetually learning gardener
User avatar
Alabama, USA

Japanese Beetles

26 Apr '07 4:16 am
Hi Don. Sorry to hear the Japanese beetles have found you. Milky Spore supposedly does work if everyone in the neighborhood uses it. I don't know how close your neighbors are, but you would have to convince them to use it also. Your idea of buying them all traps is a clever one; but if they caught on you could be in hot water. I heard a talk by an organic gardening specialist who recommended chewing tobacco tea for Japanese beetles. However, he did caution that it is not selective and will kill any other insects that are sprayed (including bees) so care should be taken to spray only Japanese beetles if possible. I haven't tried this personally, but it may be worth a try. The other tried and true method is to go out early in the morning with a bucket of sudsy water and knock them into the water. Japanese beetles will drop to the ground if disturbed, so just position the bucket underneath where they are sitting and tap the stem of the plant. They will obligingly drop into the bucket. The soapsuds keep them from escaping causing them to drown.
Faith at Bide-a-Wee Farm, Alabama, USA

Come abide with me a wee while.

Gardener Don

Japanese Beetles

27 Apr '07 2:26 am
Good Morning Faith,
Yes, I know about the soapy water and it really works. The beetles do not start to stir until it warms up and early morning is the perfect time. I guess I just get frustrated with the hundreds I pick. A class I took on insects taught me they will "target" plants and it is important to catch the first ones in order to try to stop their targeting the plants. Even then, I have so many roses it is a big job and I literally drown hundreds. I live in the country and do not have close neighbors, but do have soybean fields on two sides about a quarter mile away and the beetles love soybeans. Thanks for the response. I will have my soap ready come June. Don

valued member

7 Jul '09 10:41 pm
Thanks for both of you commenting here & awaking me also about that. I really appreciate you both people.
Have a good luck.

valued contributor

10 Jul '09 11:05 pm
I agreed to gardener don that soapy water works and the beetles do not start to stir until it warms up and early morning is the perfect time. beth


10 Jul '09 11:33 pm
Milky Spore powder is an amazing product developed for gardeners, by Mother Nature. Organic and natural, Milky Spore kills off Japanese beetle grubs that damage the lawn by: (a) chewing on grass roots and (b) attracting moles who love to eat those grubs.


Re: Does Milky Spore Really Work?

8 Sep '10 6:12 pm
Unfortunately, the Japanese Beetles are very hard to get rid of. I'm not an expert so for now, that's all I know. But, I know that PestMall, a professional online pest control store will be more than happy to help you. They are really nice and I call them for any pest control advice and before I buy any product from them! I hope the beetles will go away soon!

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