A question about milky spore applications and grubs

Wondering if milky spore applications work well for grub control? Find out here!

I received this email question about grubs this week from Tom Reed, Jr., located near Traverse City, Mich. I thought others may have the same question. You can find my answer below.

Hello Dave,

I have had a recent request to check into the use of milky spore applications for the grub problems as an environmentally friendly solution. I have not had any experience with this product nor do I know where to even go to as a potential source for it, or if I even want to consider it.

Have you done any work with this product or have information on the success or lack of which ever applies? My first look at it is that it could amount to be very labor intensive to apply for commercial apps.

-Tom Reed Jr. (April 12, 2012)
Tri Turf

Hi Tom,

It’s great to hear from you. Unfortunately, the milky spore product does not appear to work well for grub control. I have not seen a single university test with positive results.

For a pesticide alternative I recommend growing Kentucky bluegrass or fine fescue, raising the mowing height to the highest setting on the mower, fertilize modestly (1 to 3 lbs active N per year), and water during dry periods (or frequently with an irrigation system). This will produce a large root system tolerant of grubs.

- Dave Smitley

Dr. Smitley's work is funded in part by MSU's AgBioResearch

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