Milky Spore Vs Diatomaceous Earth [Japanese Beetle Control]

Milky spore and diatomaceous earth are almost impossible to compare because they have extremely different uses. Milky spore only kills Japanese beetle grubs underground. Diatomaceous earth has no usefulness for killing grubs. Diatomaceous earth is useful for killing insects on a hard surface, soil surface, or on plants. Milky spore does not kill any of the pest insects harmed by diatomaceous earth.

Milky spore vs diatomaceous earth

What is the Difference Between Milky Spore and Diatomaceous Earth?

Milky spore is a bacteria that kills Japanese beetle grubs under the soil surface. Diatomaceous earth is a powder made from tiny fossils. When insects crawl through dry diatomaceous earth, they become dehydrated and die. When Japanese beetle grubs ingest soil with milky spore bacteria, they develop milky spore disease and die. These two products are extremely different and are used in different ways.

What are the Uses of Milky Spore?

Milky spore has one use—it kills Japanese beetle grubs. The P. popilliae bacteria in milky spore only attacks the larval form of Japanese beetles. It is completely harmless to all other organisms, including other insects, other types of grubs, wildlife, pets, and people.

  • Milky spore only kills Japanese beetle grubs.
  • If the organism is not a Japanese beetle grub, milky spore will not harm it.
  • Diatomaceous earth does not kill Japanese beetle grubs.

In order to use milky spore, follow our step-by-step guide to treating your lawn with milky spore. By spreading milky spore and watering it into the soil, you create a population of bacteria that continually kill Japanese beetles. In fact, this bacteria can continue to kill harmful grubs for over a decade after application.

What are the Uses of Diatomaceous Earth?

Diatomaceous earth is a powder made from the fossils of single-celled organisms. The powder makes small cuts in insects, slugs, and snails. Then, the powder dehydrates the creature, killing it. For diatomaceous earth to be effective it must be on the soil surface or other hard area. It also must remain dry to be effective. Diatomaceous earth has zero killing power against underground pests, such as grubs.

  • Dry diatomaceous earth dehydrates and kills bugs that crawl through it.
  • You can use diatomaceous earth to kill pest insects indoors and outdoors.
  • Diatomaceous earth is powerful enough to kill ants.
  • Diatomaceous earth does not kill grubs or other underground pests.

Because food-grade diatomaceous earth is organic and safe for humans and animals, it has several uses for pest control both inside and outside the home. Check out our guide to spreading diatomaceous earth on your lawn to learn how to use it outdoors. You can use diatomaceous earth indoors to control household pests, such as silverfish.

Can You Use Milky Spore and Diatomaceous Earth at the Same Time?

There is no danger in using both milky spore and diatomaceous earth at the same time. Both products are organic and have no interaction with each other. The bacteria in milky spore will breed beneath the soil surface and kill Japanese beetle grubs. Meanwhile, the diatomaceous earth will sit on the soil surface and harm bugs that crawl through it.

  • It is safe to use milky spore and diatomaceous earth together.
  • These two treatments will not interfere with each other.
  • Both milky spore and diatomaceous earth are organic and safe.

If you want to use organic methods to keep your garden pest-free, feel free to experiment with both milky spore and diatomaceous earth. Both are completely safe for pets and humans. So, you don’t have to worry about exposing your family to harsh chemicals.

Should You Use Diatomaceous Earth or Milky Spore?

Whether you use diatomaceous earth or milky spore depends on what pest you are battling. Here’s a quick guide:

  • Milky spore is only useful for killing Japanese beetle grubs.
  • Diatomaceous earth will not kill Japanese beetle grubs.
  • You can use diatomaceous earth to kill aboveground pests, such as ants, silverfish, and slugs.
  • If you have a grub infestation, use milky spore or beneficial nematodes for an organic solution.

Because milky spore and diatomaceous earth products are useful against entirely different pests, you cannot use one as a substitute for the other. However, you can use both at the same time since they are safe, organic products.

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