Does Milky Spore Harm Grass Seed?

Milky spore will not harm new grass seed or established grass. Milky spore products do not contain any chemicals. Instead, milky spore is made from the living cultures of a bacteria that causes fatal disease in Japanese beetle grubs. Milky spore is so targeted toward this one species, that no plants or animals other than the Japanese beetle grub will be affected.

Does milky spore harm grass seed?

Is it Safe to Use Milky Spore if You Just Seeded?

You can apply milky spore powder to your lawn no matter how recently you seeded. If you wish, you can apply milky spore and grass seed to your lawn on the same day. However, if your grass seed just sprouted, you may want to wait to apply milky spore. This wait is simply to allow your grass to establish itself. Walking on new grass as you apply milky spore could crush and kill the baby grass plants.

  • You can apply milky spore any time before or after seeding.
  • Milky spore will not interfere with grass seed germination or development.
  • Wait to apply milky spore if your grass sprouts are young—walking across the yard during application could kill grass seedlings.

If you have recently spread milky spore powder, you do not need to wait to spread grass seed. Once milky spore has been watered into the soil, it is active. It will not harm grass seed, prevent germination, or hinder root development.

Why Doesn’t Milky Spore Harm Grass Seed?

Milky spore will not harm grass seed because it contains no chemicals that damage or affect grass. Instead, milky spore contains the bacteria Paenibacillus popilliae. This bacteria enters the soil during application. Then, when it is ingested by a Japanese beetle grub, it causes an infection known as milky spore disease. This disease kills the grub within days.

  • Milky spore contains no chemical pesticides or herbicides that interfere with grass seed growth.
  • The active ingredient in milky spore is the P. popilliae bacteria that causes fatal disease in Japanese beetle grubs.
  • White grubs eat grass roots. Killing grubs with milky spore allows your grass seed to flourish.

Using milky spore powder or granules is actually helpful to your grass seed in the long term. The Japanese beetle grubs that milky spore kills feed on grass roots, which kills grass plants. If you treat your lawn with milky spore powder, you will kill off the grubs that are waiting to devour new grass roots as soon as your grass seed sprouts.

Do Other Grub Control Products Hurt Grass Seed?

Almost all grub-killing products are harmless to grass seed. The pesticides used to control grubs have no effect on grass seed, young grass plants, or mature grass. Although milky spore is a natural grub killer, even pesticidal grub control options are safe for your new grass seed.

  • Pesticidal grub-killing products are almost always harmless to grass seed.
  • This fast-acting grub killer won’t damage your grass seed or stop it from sprouting.
  • You can use milky spore or other grub control products no matter how recently you seeded your lawn.

We compared milky spore vs. GrubEx for controlling white grubs. Chlorantraniliprole, the active ingredient in GrubEx, will not harm grass seed or prevent it from sprouting as usual. So, it is safe to use pesticidal grub-control products if you do not get good results from using milky spore. Even if you just seeded your lawn, you won’t damage your grass seed while killing white grubs.

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What is Milky Spore Used For?

Milky spore is used to kill the Japanese beetle grub only. No other organism will be harmed by milky spore bacteria in the soil. On the plus side, this means milky spore is surprisingly safe for grass seed, the environment, and is even safe for earthworms. As a negative, milky spore won’t kill a wide variety of grubs. If your grub damage is caused by June bug grubs, chafer beetle grubs, or any other species, milky spore won’t help.

  • Milky spore is used to exclusively kill Japanese beetle grubs.
  • Since milky spore harms only one grub species and won’t kill beneficial insects, it is very safe for the environment.
  • Because milky spore only kills Japanese beetle grubs, it is not always the right choice.
  • Have a professional identify the grubs in your yard before you spend money on milky spore powder.

Before you purchase a drop spreader and begin to apply milky spore powder across your entire lawn, it’s a good idea to verify the species of grubs that are harming your lawn. It is best to contact an exterminator or expert for this job. Several grub species look very similar, and you may even have more than one type of grub in your soil. Once you are sure Japanese beetle grubs are the problem, it’s a good idea to use milky spore. If the grubs come from another species, then milky spore won’t help at all.

What is the Benefit of Milky Spore Over Other Products?

The main benefit of milky spore is that it is an organic product that is extremely safe for the environment. Japanese beetles are a non-native species. Since milky spore disease only affects this species, you can kill grubs without harming native wildlife, humans, or waterways. This means milky spore will help you maintain a healthy earthworm population and won’t kill pollinating insects, such as bees and butterflies.

  • Milky spore is organic.
  • Only Japanese beetle grubs will be killed—other organisms will be unharmed.
  • Other grub killers contain pesticides that kill soil organisms and essential pollinators.

Other grub-killing products are not as selective as milky spore. The pesticides in other products kill grubs, but they will also kill helpful earthworms, beneficial insects, and may be a danger to the environment. For organic grub control, there is no better choice than milky spore.

What are the Negatives of Using Milky Spore?

Milky spore is not an all-around grub control product because it only kills one species of grub. Several types of grubs destroy grass roots and kill large areas of your yard. If your lawn is infested with masked beetle, chafer beetle, or June bug grubs, milky spore won’t stop the damage at all.

  • Milky spore will not harm all species of harmful grubs—it only attacks Japanese beetle grubs.
  • Even if you kill off the Japanese beetle grubs, other species might destroy your new grass seed as soon as it grows roots.
  • Pesticidal grub treatments often kill several species, which makes them more versatile than milky spore.

Pesticide lawn treatments are often capable of killing several grub species. If you choose a milky spore competitor, you don’t have to identify the grubs in your lawn to make sure the product will work. You can spread a product that kills a wide range of grubs. This makes your lawn safer for grass seed.

Is Milky Spore Harmful to Grass?

If you have just seeded your lawn, or are planning to seed soon, you may be wondering if you can apply milky spore. Here are the facts:

  • Milky spore will not cause any harm to grass seed or grass plants.
  • Pesticidal grub-killing products are also harmless to grass.
  • You can spread milky spore any time before or after seeding your lawn.
  • It is safe to spread grass seed even if you have just used milky spore on your lawn.
  • Milky spore is a natural bacteria that targets and kills Japanese beetle grubs only.
  • Pesticidal products kill several grub species.
  • Milky spore is safe for the environment, but it has more limited effectiveness than pesticides used to kill grubs.

Since killing grubs won’t interfere with the growth and development of your grass seed, it is safe to use milky spore any time you are seeding your lawn. Just remember to consider the benefits and limitations of milky spore before you invest in this product.

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