What is Artillery Fungus?
The term Artillery refers to the fact that the Artillery Fungus actively (uses energy) shoots its spore masses, sort of like a cannon or howitzer (an artillery piece). We will call these “spores,” although they are technically spore masses, or gleba. The spores are usually shot only a short distance but the wind can carry them for longer distances and even up to the second story of a house.
How did the Artillery Fungus get in my mulch?
This is extremely difficult to answer. The Artillery Fungus commonly occurs on dead trees, dead branches, rotting wood, etc. throughout the Northeast. I have seen it in the forest on standing dead trees and limbs on the ground, as well on wood in mulch-producing yards. If infested material is used for mulch, the Artillery Fungus may be already in the mulch when the load of mulch arrives at a job site, and may then grow rapidly along your foundation during cool moist conditions. However, this may be more of a problem when mulch is not composted, which subjects the mulch to higher internal temperatures, which may inhibit Artillery Fungi.
How to get rid of Artillery Fungus?
The spore masses of the Artillery Fungus stick like super-glue. We have not found an efficient way to get them off without leaving a stain on the siding, especially on old dry siding. Power Washing may work on brand new (only) vinyl siding that still has a shiny, oily, sheen. However, even Power Washing usually fails.