What Is Slime Mold – Facts And Control

Slime mold feeds on microorganisms found inside of any type of dead plant material. They are contributors to the decomposition of dead vegetation and feed on yeasts, bacteria, and fungi. They can be found in lawns, soil, decaying logs, woodpiles, and rotting vegetation.
What Is Slime Mold – Facts And Control
What Is Slime Mold – Facts And Control

If you notice a color change in your lawn, you may have been affected by the slime mold. The mold can be found in the soil, trees, fences, and other surfaces.

This mold can also be found in compost piles or lawns. When the fungus colonizes wood mulch, it causes the mulch to decompose.

What is a Slime Mold?

Slime mold, known as dog vomit fungus, is a single-celled fungus that looks like a soft white slurry.

Slime Molds are a fascinating group of organisms. They look like a fungus, but they are unique to their kind, and they aren’t part of the class of fungi. A slime mold is a living organism that feeds on bacteria and fungi. It can grow up to a mass of 20 kg.

When food is plentiful, it will live as a tiny single organism, and you will not even notice them. However, when the food source becomes low, these organisms will assemble and form this slime mold. [1]

Slime Mold Lifecycle

Slime molds begin life as cells similar to amoeba. These amoeba-like creatures reproduce and grow in cool, humid conditions. Reproduction is fast, and they can expand meters in size. When there is a food shortage, these creatures join and migrate from one area to another.

The slime mold initially appears in the form of white, yellow, or orange foamy slime. The mold will continue to grow and produce more spores. After that, the mold will release spores that float to the ground and settle. These can then be carried away with the help of wind and water.

After the moisture in the area is gone and conditions are unfavorable for continued growth, the mold will change colors and appearance. It hardens into a crusty, gray, or brown, shrunken mass (really starting to look like vomit). Spores will eventually die out, and mold will remain dormant until conditions are favorable for growth again.

Effects of Slime Mold

Don’t worry! While this organism can be unattractive and persist for a while (as long as conditions stay moist), it isn’t toxic or harmful to you, plants, or pets. 

An increase in lawn moisture could be accompanied by a color change of your lawn from green to yellowish-brown. This happens because the grass beneath the plasmodium is starting to turn yellow.

It’s OK to leave it like this for a few weeks, and then your lawn will go back to its usual color. 

How to get rid of Slime Mold?

Dog vomit fungus is harmless and not worth removing from your lawn. You can just wait for it to disappear naturally.

However, suppose it is becoming a nuisance. In that case, an easy method can be used to remove it from your property. And no, you don’t need to use chemicals. The best way to remove it is to scoop it up with a shovel and throw it in a bin.

If you see it on your plants, try to remove it with a garden hose. Do not use a vacuum or power blower if you are in an enclosed space because the spores will be dispersed in the air.

If you like our article, check out our other Lawn Care guides. Read and learn more about how to manage your lawn issues.

Also, check out our Gardening Guides to learn easy step-by-step tutorials on how to grow plants.

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