There’s a reason why artillery or shotgun fungus has such an ominous name. It’s a real pain to get rid of. You might think the black spots on the side of your house or car are mud splatter, but they could also be artillery fungus. Officially known as Sphaerobolus stellatus or Sphaerobolus iowensis – those are the two most common types – shotgun fungus loves landscape mulch. What can you do? Let us here at Gordon Pro Tree Service help.
Artillery Fungus 101
This fungus feeds off wood, which is why it can shoot spores as high as 20 feet and generally shoots them onto your home exterior. Although it prefers woods as its source of feeding, it will shoot the spores randomly – hence the reason you might find it on the side of your automobile. Artillery fungus begins its initial life cycle by breeding in ground mulch, and once your mulch is infested with this annoying fungus, it’s extremely hard to get rid of it.
Many people make the mistake of assuming if they simply switch out their landscape mulch or go to an organic groundcover this will resolve the problem, but it isn’t that easy. Shotgun fungus thrives in the moisture mulch creates, and it will thrive in just about any type of mulch there is. You could pull up your old mulch and lay down new groundcover, but chances are the artillery mulch will return. It’s quite hardy and survives most abatement attempts.
Some Tried and True Removal Methods
This does not mean all hope is lost. One way to get rid of artillery fungus is to remove its breeding source: mulch. You can rip out your ground mulch and replace it with something that doesn’t trap the moisture the fungus craves, such as artificial mulch, cement or stone, or large wood chips that stay drier in the humid Georgia climate. If you’re attached to your landscape mulch, you can remove and replace it on a regular basis to abate artillery fungus, but there are no guarantees this will work.
We can help. Gordon Pro Tree Service in Buford, GA, is Buford’s premier landscape service. We also serve the Auburn, Braselton, Cumming, Dacula, Duluth, Flowery Branch, Gainesville, Hoschton, Lawrenceville, Oakwood, Sugar Hill, and Suwanee areas, so give us a call at 770-282-1616 to discuss those annoying black spots on your home. We’ll come out and take a look to determine whether they are artillery fungus or something else.