What’s That Yellow Mold You See in Your Yard?
Have you ever walked out into your yard after a heavy rain and been greeted by slimy patches that look like something straight out of a dog’s stomach? If so, you’ve likely encountered a peculiar organism known as “dog vomit fungus.” Officially named Fuligo septica, this unusual substance is neither a fungus nor a mold but rather a type of slime mold.
What is Dog Vomit Fungus?
Dog vomit fungus, also humorously referred to as “scrambled egg slime,” gets its name from its striking resemblance to the freshly regurgitated contents of a dog’s stomach. It typically appears as white, yellow, or orange patches and is commonly found on tree bark or wood mulch, especially after a period of heavy rain.
While its appearance may be off-putting, dog vomit fungus isn’t toxic to humans, pets, or plants. However, it can be a nuisance if it spreads in your yard or garden.
Where Does it Thrive?
Dog vomit fungus thrives in areas of moisture and decomposition. This is why it often makes its appearance after a good soaking rain. If you have wood mulch in your garden or yard, you may notice it cropping up there as well.
How to Get Rid of Dog Vomit Fungus
If you’re not particularly fond of the unsightly dog vomit fungus in your yard, here are some steps you can take to get rid of it:
The first step is to carefully rake away the affected areas. Be gentle to avoid spreading the spores.
Since dog vomit fungus loves moisture, drying out your yard can help prevent its return. Ensure proper drainage, and avoid overwatering your plants.
Trim overhanging branches or foliage that create excessive shade in the area. Dog vomit fungus prefers damp, shaded spots.
Since it feeds on decaying organic matter, remove any dead leaves, logs, or other organic debris from the area. This can help discourage its growth.
While the appearance of dog vomit fungus might be unsettling, it’s not harmful to you, your pets, or your plants. By taking a few simple steps to address the conditions it thrives in and removing its food source, you can effectively manage and even prevent its growth in your yard. So, the next time you spot these slimy patches after a rain shower, you’ll know exactly how to handle them and keep your outdoor space looking clean and inviting.