Are Brown Lawn Mushrooms Poisonous? (Solved!)

Are brown lawn mushrooms poisonous? Most of the time, the mushrooms growing on your lawn are not toxic and can be a good sign that your property’s soil is healthy. However, not all mushrooms are harmless, and you will want to stay away from mushrooms with an acrid smell that can point them out as poisonous.

How can you tell if mushrooms are safe? 

You will want to check the colour of the gills of the mushroom. Brown or tan gills mark a mushroom as harmless, whereas white gills usually mark a poisonous one. Most deadly mushrooms have white gills marking them are part of the Amanitas family. You will also want to avoid mushrooms with red on the cap or stem as they are most likely poisonous. 

What mushrooms you should avoid

Here are some of the poisonous mushrooms you will want to avoid:

  • Death caps: are one of the most poisonous mushrooms in the world and cause the majority of mushroom-related deaths globally. They are primarily white mushrooms with a cup-like base. 
  • Conocybe filaris: are a common lawn mushroom in the Pacific Northwest and have the same toxins as the Death Cap. It has a cone-like top of a brownish colour and can be fatal when ingested. 
  • Autumn skullcaps: are small with brown caps with a small ring on the stem. They mostly grow on rotting wood and are one of the most poisonous mushrooms.
  • Death angel: grows along the United States’ West Coast and is related to the Death Cap. It’s primarily white and can cause severe illness or death if ingested.
  • False morels: resemble true morels, an edible mushroom, but true morels are entirely hollow inside when cut, whereas false morals have a cotton-like substance inside. They are especially dangerous since they look so similar to the edible variety.

Some of these poisonous mushrooms above are also brown. Suppose you’re unsure whether there are harmless or toxic mushrooms growing in your yawn. In that case, you can carefully remove all of them, or you can look up more details about these poisonous varieties at the Encyclopedia Britannica website. 

Are brown mushrooms poisonous to dogs?

It can be challenging to check and keep track of which mushrooms are harmless and deadly to your dog. While some brown mushrooms will have no harmful effects, others can seem to get your dog mildly sick only to have them relapse a few days later with kidney or liver failure. It’s best to avoid the risk by removing any mushrooms from your lawn.

How to tell if you have mushroom poisoning

There are three main symptoms of mushroom poisoning:

  1. Hallucinations: some mushrooms have toxins that cause hallucinations but can also cause muscle weakness, agitation, headaches, confusion, and increased heart rate. 
  2. Stomach pains: most poisonous mushrooms will cause stomach cramps, nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting. 
  3. Liver or kidney failure: in the most extreme cases, poisonous mushrooms result in liver failures causing death. 

The symptoms occur between 6 to 24 hours after the mushroom is eaten and can result in death within 48 hours. 

What to do when mushroom poisoning occurs

If you suspect that you, a child, or a pet has eaten a poisonous mushroom, seek medical attention immediately, even without waiting for symptoms to occur. 

Medical professionals will ask for a summary of the situation and give you treatment advice. If you can get a sample of the mushroom ingested, bring that with you or take a picture to help the doctor identify the species. 

In most cases, it is safest to seek help at the nearest emergence department or vet, or call an ambulance in a case where someone has collapsed, stopped breathing, or having an anaphylactic reaction. 

How to get rid of brown mushrooms on your lawn

Before you can decide how best to get rid of the mushrooms on your lawn, you will need to figure out why there are mushrooms to begin with. 

Too much moisture

You may have a drainage problem in your lawn that is causing mushrooms to grow. Usually, too much moisture in your yard is because there is clay soil causing rainwater to stay on your property for over a day. You can add more organic material to your ground to help with drainage. 

You can also try adding an underground drain to redirect water out of your lawn. If you find a lot of water is collecting around your home or any outdoor building, you can try adding rain barrels to collect run-off water from the roofs before it collects on the lawn. 

Remove decaying organic matter

You may want to remove any dried grass from mowing the lawn, dead leaves, or any other clippings that you might have left on your property for too long. Mushrooms thrive in environments with plenty of decaying organic matter, so be sure to rake your lawn regularly to prevent them from growing.

Thinning surrounding trees

It’s also a possibility that mushrooms are growing in your lawn because it’s too shady. To bring more sunlight into your yard, try to prune or thin out surrounding trees. Pruning your trees will also help keep dead leaves from coving your lawn, and the extra sunlight with help dry rainwater.

When to get rid of mushrooms on your lawn

If you have children or pets, it’s best to remove and prevent mushrooms from growing on your lawn. While they are usually harmless, it can be challenging to keep an eye out for harmful ones or keeping your child or pet from sticking whatever they find in their mouth. 

Removing mushrooms from your lawn can also reduce the number of spores in the air, which can help reduce allergic reactions or help prevent respiratory issues. The lack of spores will also prevent new mushrooms from growing. 

When to leave mushrooms on your lawn

If you don’t have any pets or children that will be out playing in the yard, then there isn’t much use worrying about mushrooms growing up. Mushrooms can be very beneficial to your lawn’s health as they help retain moisture and break down organic materials that add nutrients.