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Dog vomit slime mold – fuligo septica

Dog Vomit Slime Mold

Inspiring the movie The Blob, slime molds can be quite fascinating if not a little bit revolting. They are a “fungus-like organism” that thrives in a wet damp environment. There is over 900 species of slime molds but one of the more frequently seen ones is amusingly called “dog vomit slime mold.” Most likely this originates from the fact it often resembles something a pooch might produce when having an upset tummy. They often originate on mulch. As trees are dragged through the woods they pick up various bacteria and despite the sterilization process some of these spores survive and replicate when the weather conditions allow.

Slime mold can often give the appearance of traveling due to its rapid growth and division. However no worries, despite its mobile appearance slime mold is completely harmless. If you do not enjoy the dog vomit slime mold’s appearance you can carefully scoop it up using a pitchfork or shovel and dispose of it in a bag. Many sources will recommend spraying it with a hose. This will destroy the microorganisms’ structure but will not actually remove the problem, in fact it simply spreads the spores so it can proliferate a larger area. The best method is to remove the mold and then decrease the amount of moisture the area receives. A drier area will discourage slime mold growth.

Fun Folklore fact: In Scandinavian folklore, Fuligo septica was believed to be the vomit of troll cats.

More Information

WSU Hortsense Lawn and Turf: Slime Molds

PBS Pictures of Various Slime Molds