What is Artillery Fungus

Have you noticed black spots forming on your siding, walkways, or other exterior areas? You may even see it on your car. They look kind of like scaly dirt or mud. It sounds like you’re dealing with artillery fungus, a wood-decaying fungus that can also find a place of residence on your light-colored exterior or trees. With such a vast growth rate what exactly is artillery fungus and how do you get rid of it?

What is it?
Artillery Fungus is also known as sphaerobolus stellatus which is Greek for “spear thrower.” It gets both names because of how easily and how far the spores can be propelled. It’s actually a common fungus that gravitates towards lighter colors and can resemble tar or dirt. You’ll see it a lot around bark mulch and especially hardwood mulch. Not only do the spores enjoy lightly colored areas, but they enjoy bright light as well. This means you’ll find them facing the brightest part of the sun. While the fungus doesn’t do any real damage to the surface or your health it can be a huge pain to get it off because of how sticky it is. On top of that, it’s just not pleasant to look at.

How can you remove it?
There’s no official treatment for getting rid of the spores. If they’re fresh, you might be able to get rid of them with soap, water, and a scrubbing brush. The longer they’ve been on the surface, the harder they’ll be to get rid of by hand. The best method is to have the area power washed. If the spores are becoming a nuisance, it’s also recommended to change out your mulch. You can use a mushroom compost blend, which can help suppress the spores. You can also replace the bark or hardwood mulch altogether with a plastic or gravel mulch which will prevent the spores from growing. Another way to prevent them is to block the light from getting to the mulch with black plastic.

At Advanced Power Wash, we understand how unsightly and annoying artillery fungus can be. Let us take care of it for you! Contact us today!

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