Milky spore powder is a better choice than milky spore granules because it requires fewer applications and is less expensive. Using the powder requires only one application of the less expensive powder. Using milky spore granules requires 6 applications over 2 years. Using milky spore granules means you do more work and spend about 5 times as much money on granules than you would by using the powder. The good news is, both the powder and granulated form of milky spore are safe, organic ways to kill Japanese Beetle grubs without harming your plants, grass, soil, humans, or animals.
What is Milky Spore Made Of?
Milky spore is an organic grub-killer made from a bacteria called Bacillus popilliae. This bacteria spreads through the soil and attacks invasive Japanese Beetle grubs. It is a chemical-free solution for killing harmful grubs.
- Milky spore is a product that contains the Bacillus popilliae bacteria.
- The bacteria in both the powder and granule form of milky spore organically kills the Japanese Beetle grub.
- Once you’ve established Bacillus popilliae in your soil, it will continue to kill grubs for up to 20 years.
If your garden is infested with grubs or if Japanese Beetles are a rampant menace in your area, it’s a great idea to use milky spore to stop these pests. Once you’ve established the Bacillus popilliae bacteria in your soil, it will continue to kill grubs for up to 20 years, keeping your lawn safe.
Is Milky Spore Safe to Use?
Milky spore is one of the safest ways to control Japanese Beetle grub infestations. The bacteria in milky spore attacks Japanese Beetle grubs only. Earthworms and other soil organisms will not be harmed. In addition, the bacteria is harmless to humans, pets, and other wildlife. Milky spore is a totally organic way to get rid of invasive pests.
- Milky spore is harmful to Japanese Beetle grubs only.
- People, animals, and other soil organisms (including earthworms) are not harmed by milky spore.
- Because Japanese Beetles are an invasive species, you are actually helping to preserve the environment by using milky spore to kill their grubs.
The bacteria in milky spore spreads through the soil. When Japanese Beetle grubs consume soil with Bacillus popilliae bacteria, the bacteria attacks and kills the grubs. This not only prevents the grubs from destroying plant roots, but also stops invasive Japanese Beetles from reproducing. Since adult Japanese Beetles destroy garden plants, fruits, and trees, using milky spore is a great way to protect your garden from this non-native insect species.
Milky Spore: Powder vs. Granules [Head-to-Head Comparison]
Because milky spore is so effective and safe, its use is highly recommended. However, milky spore comes in two main forms—powder and granulated. Using these two formulations of milky spore requires different tools and techniques. Below, we’ll break down the pros and cons of each method. Then, we’ll let you know which method truly is the best.
Which is Easier to Use?
The powdered form of milky spore only requires one application. To do so, apply 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of milky spore in a small pile every 4 feet (120 cm). This must be done in a grid across your whole lawn, but using a milky spore applicator makes the job much easier. However, the upside is that once you’ve made your application and watered it into your lawn, you’re done applying milky spore.
- Milky spore powder only requires 1 application.
- Milky spore granules require 6 applications over 2 years.
- When using the powder, 1 teaspoon (5 ml) must be placed on the soil in a grid, every 4 feet (120 cm).
- The best way to spread milky spore powder is with this applicator tube.
- If you use granules, you can easily spread them with this broadcast spreader.
To apply granulated milky spore powder, load the bag-recommended amount of granules into a broadcast spreader. Then, use the spreader to evenly distribute the granules throughout your yard. The application process is simple, but it must be done 3 times per year (spring, summer, and fall) for 2 years. So, granulated milky spore requires more applications than milky spore powder.
Why? 1 application of powder provides the same results as 6 applications of granules.
Which is More Effective?
Both powder and granulated forms of milky spore are equally effective. However, both options require some time to reach their full strength. Here’s a quick breakdown of the effectiveness facts:
- Both milky spore powder and granulated milky spore begin killing grubs immediately following the first application.
- Because the Bacillus popilliae bacteria must multiply and spread through soil, both powder and granules take 2–3 years before they are at full strength.
So, neither the powdered org granulated form of milky spore will wipe out all the grubs in your yard immediately. The bacteria will slowly grow, killing more and more grubs as it does.
Winner: Tie between powder and granules
Why? Both powder and granules have the same killing power.
Which Lasts Longer?
Both powdered and granulated milky spore last for 20 years after you spread them. Yes, you read that right. After your first application of milky spore powder or your final application of the granules, your lawn will be protected from Japanese Beetle grubs for 20 years.
Winner: Tie between powder and granules.
Why? Both last for 20 years once the application is complete.
Which Costs Less?
Milky spore powder is less expensive than using the granulated form of milky spore. This 40-ounce box of milky spore powder is capable of treating 10,000 square feet of lawn. One box is capable of treating the average-sized American lawn. So, you can typically treat your lawn with milky spore powder for less than one hundred dollars.
- Treating your lawn with spore powder is less expensive than using granules.
- Because you only need to make 1 powder application, you do not need to buy as many materials as you will when making 6 applications of granules.
- Milky spore granule treatment can be up to 5 times more expensive than using powder.
In comparison to the powder, granulated milky spore is more expensive. This bag of milky spore powder is capable of treating 7,000 square feet of lawn. This means you’ll need about 1.5 bags to treat your lawn once. However, when using granules you’ll need to make 6 separate applications. This will require about 9 bags of granules, resulting in a cost of 400–500 dollars to treat your entire lawn with granulated milky spore.
Why? You can treat your lawn with milky spore powder for one-fifth of the cost of using granules.
Which is Safer?
Whether you use the powdered or granulated version of milky spore, both will be completely harmless to plants and animals. The bacteria in both products will attack only Japanese Beetle grubs and inflict them with milky spore disease, killing the grubs. This is a 100% organic solution for killing invasive insects.
Why? Both are 100% safe for all plants and animals besides Japanese Beetle grubs.
When Should You Apply Milky Spore?
Milky spore can be applied any time the ground is unfrozen, but you will get the best results from applying it in the late summer or early fall. If you are using milky spore powder for a one-time application, plan to apply it to your yard from August through September.
- Apply milky spore powder once in late summer or early fall (August or September) for best results.
- Make 3 applications of milky spore granules for 2 years to properly treat your yard.
- When using granulated milky spore, apply in spring, summer, and fall.
Because milky spore granules must be applied 3 times per year for 2 years, you must stick to a strict application schedule. Make your first application in spring, a second in summer, and a third in fall. Repeat this pattern the following year. We recommend making your first application in April/May, the second in June/July, and the third in September/October.
Should You Use Milky Spore Powder or Granules?
If you are comparing and contrasting milky spore powder versus a granulated version of milky spore, the powder is a clear winner. Here’s why:
- Milky spore powder requires only 1 application to treat your yard.
- If you use milky spore granules, you must make 6 applications over a 2-year period.
- Using milky spore powder is up to 5 times cheaper than the granules over the long-term.
- Both powder and granules are safe and equally effective.
- The powder and granulated forms of milky spore both last for up to 20 years.
Milky spore is a great choice for organically killing pest Japanese Beetle grubs. However, you’ll save yourself labor and money by using the powder instead of the granules. Invest in an inexpensive lawn applicator and you’ll be able to treat your entire lawn with milky spore powder in a single day.