In fact, what you are seeing is very common and is not a fungus at all. At one time, slime mold was considered part of the fungi kingdom, however it is actually single cell organisms that form together and reproduce.
So, is slime mold bad?
While slime molds are definitely unattractive, they are not harmful. Slime molds often appear in the spring due to the fact that they get their moisture from the air and feed on the nutrients from whatever it is growing on, which is commonly your mulch beds. There are hundreds of varieties of slime molds and their appearance can vary depending on location. However, most Canopy Lawn Care customers report seeing it in shades of yellow to orange – resembling dog vomit.
How do you get rid of slime mold?
You do not have to get rid of slime mold, as it is not harmful to your plants or lawn. However, if you would like to remove it due to its unsightly appearance, the best thing to do is scoop it up with a shovel. Spraying it with water can actually help it spread and chemicals could do damage to the area around the organism. Slime molds will eventually dry up on their own and raking the area of the slime mold can help circulate air flow to accelerate the drying process.
More interesting facts about slime mold…
- It is actually not a fungus, nor a mold, but rather a soil-dwelling single cell organism or amoeba.
- Slime mold would much rather feed on decaying matter, such as mulch, instead of live plants, and therefore presents little to no risk to your landscape.
- Masses (such as those piles that look like dog vomit) are formed when the amoebas get hungry. They essentially ban together to spread out and find nutrient sources.
- While masses typically remain small, they can spread up to 10 or more feet in diameter.