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Artillery Fungus

Have you ever heard of something called artillery fungus or shotgun fungus? It festers in wood mulch. I’ve been plagued with this problem about 2 years. Do you have any idea how to lessen the effects of it or get rid of it entirely? Thank you very much.

In spite of its unattractive appearance, I find this fungus quite fascinating. Sphaerobolus stellatus gets its common name, artillery or shotgun fungus, from the fact that it shoots its spores like a gun up into the air – sometimes as much as 15 feet. Another interesting fact about this fungus is that the firing is often aimed at light or shiny surfaces. This makes cars, aged wood and pale colored siding especially at risk. And once the spores reach a target, it is extremely difficult to remove.

Artillery fungus begins its life as a sticky mass growing on organic mulches. It thrives during moist, cool weather.

The most efficient way to eliminate this fungus is to replace your hardwood mulch with a non-organic material such as pea gravel. You can also try using either pine bark, cypress, or cedar mulch. These mulches seem to be less susceptible to attack. At the very least you should replace your hardwood mulch every year.