|Tuesday Tools & Products: Get Rid of Japanese Beetles|
|Written by Heleigh Bostwick Tuesday, 13 July 2010|
During the summer months, Japanese beetles wreak havoc in gardens throughout the country. One of our Daily Dirt readers asked whether milky spore was an effective method of getting rid of them naturally. It is, but it won't happen overnight. This method is effective only when significant populations of bacteria have been established in a specific geographic area.
Approved by the EPA (US Environmental Protection Agency) for use as a biopesticide, milky spore is the spore from a bacterium called ( Bacillus popilliae) that is normally present in soil. Spores are ingested by the larvae (aka grubs) of Japanese beetles, develop into bacteria, and eventually killing the grubs.
milky spore is sold as a powder. Sprinkle a teaspoon of powder on the lawn (or garden) every 3 to 4 feet in a grid pattern and then water enough to wet the soil. As a precaution, do not inhale the spores or let them touch open wounds. There are no adverse effects to the environment.
According to the EPA's Bacillus popilliae Spores (054502) Fact Sheet, "In 1948, spores of B. popilliae became the first microbial agent registered as a pesticide active ingredient. In 1995, the active ingredient was reassessed to ensure it met current registration requirements. As of October 2004, there was one end-use product."