Issue 11, July 12, 2013

Don't blame it on the dog: Dog Vomit Slime Mold

A type of slime mold that resembles dog vomit has been noted in numerous landscapes. However, your dog (or neighbor’s dog) had nothing to do with it. Slime molds are rather interesting organisms. They first appear as slimy masses ranging from a few inches to over a foot across. They can be colorful; with shades of orange, yellow green, and even some blues and purples. They also have the ability to move, however movement is too slow to watch. Over a span of several days, the slime mold masses may move short distances. The organisms eventually develop colorful, crusty fruiting bodies filled with masses of dusty spores. The spores are then dispersed to create new slime mold patches.

Slime molds can be found on a variety of surfaces, especially those with decomposing organic matter. Dog Vomit Slime Mold is most often observed on recently applied mulches and wood chips, especially following warm, wet weather. They can be an alarming sight. However, the slime molds will not harm your plants, pets, or family. No chemical controls are known, or recommended, to control slime molds. They usually dry up and disappear in dry weather. You can speed the process by removing unsightly patches in the landscape. Spore masses can be moved to a spot in the yard that is out of sight, or disposed of in a compost pile or in landscape waste.

Dog Vomit Slime Mold

Travis Cleveland

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