Are mushrooms that grow in your yard poisonous? The mushrooms growing in your backyard can be poisonous as there are varieties of wild mushrooms that are considered toxic or otherwise inedible. Generally, you can tell a poisonous mushroom by the foul odour.
Keep reading to learn how to tell if you have harmless or poisonous mushrooms growing in your yard and how to get rid of and prevent mushrooms from growing.
Can you eat the mushrooms that grow in your yard?
Many of the wild mushrooms that could grow in your backyard are edible. Some common and tasty varieties are:
- Shaggy Mane or Ink Caps
- Chicken mushrooms
- Sulphur Shelf mushrooms
You can always look up which wild mushrooms grow in your specific area and see what kinds of species you’re getting in your backyard. A word of caution though, if you are ever unsure of what mushroom you have growing in your yard, it’s best to assume it isn’t edible and treat it as if it is poisonous.
How can I tell if a mushroom is poisonous?
There is no set of characteristics that will tell you whether a mushroom is poisonous or not. While some toxic mushrooms are blue inside when you cut them open, edible ones have the same colouring.
If you’re ever unsure whether the mushrooms in your yard are poisonous or not, you can contact an expert, or you can get rid of them and air on the side of caution.
Are mushrooms that grow in your yard poisonous to dogs?
The vast majority of mushrooms are harmless to dogs, just as they are to humans. However, you can’t always control what your dog is eating, and they won’t be able to tell which mushrooms are harmless and poisonous. It’s best to keep mushrooms out of your yard if you have a dog that could eat one.
What causes mushrooms to grow in lawns?
Mushrooms like to grow in places with plenty of moisture and organic material. A rainfall the night before could cause mushrooms to pop up on your lawn the next day, especially if your yard doesn’t have good drainage. If your property has standing water for longer than a few hours, it can cause mushrooms to start growing.
Mushrooms also like to grow where there is plenty of organic material for them to use as food. Organic material includes:
- Dried leaves.
- Fallen branches from nearby trees.
- Grass clippings from mowing your lawn.
Mushrooms growing on your property could be a good sign that your lawn is well fertilized.
Should you get rid of mushrooms on your lawn?
The only time you should be worried about mushrooms growing on your lawn is if they signify a more significant fungal problem in the soil. Fungal problems are rarely the case, and usually, mushrooms are just a natural result of your soil having a lot of fertilizer.
Whether you should get rid of them depends on how you want your lawn to look and have pets or children who might try to eat them.
How to get rid of mushrooms without killing the grass
If you decide that you don’t want mushrooms growing on your lawn, then here are some steps to follow to remove them and prevent them from coming back. All of the methods listed below are nontoxic and pet-friendly.
Remove by hand
It may not be the fastest way to get rid of mushrooms but removing them by hand is the more efficient in the long run. Removing them by hand and placing them in a sealed bag will ensure that they don’t spread spores across your yard, causing more mushrooms to sprout.
Remove organic material
Decaying organic material will only feed the mushrooms and attract more, so you will want to remove any grass clippings, fallen leaves and animal waste from your yard regularly. Taking away that food source is one of the best ways to prevent mushrooms from growing in the future.
You don’t want to have standing rainwater on your lawn for days at a time. Standing water will provide the moist conditions that mushrooms thrive in. Putting in a drainage ditch or cutting back trees to let more sunlight hit your yard can help dry the soil faster and prevent mushrooms from making your lawn their home.
Fungicides only work if the mushrooms are a symptom of a more significant fungal problem with your soil. If you’re only dealing will mushrooms growing, fungicides will not help get rid of the mushrooms or prevent them from growing again.
Vinegar or soapy water
A great alternative to fungicides is a mixture of either white vinegar or dish soap with water. Both vinegar and dish soap contains natural ingredients that kill mushrooms without causing any harm to your grass or other plant life in your yard.
What happens if you eat a poisonous mushroom?
If you eat a poisonous mushroom, you should start to feel the effect within two hours of ingestion. Here are some of the symptoms you can expect:
- Stomach pains can cause illness, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
- Confusion and agitation can occur depending on what toxins are in the ingested mushroom.
- Rapid heart rate resulting in headaches.
- Muscle weakness can cause a lack of coordination.
- Liver failure in more extreme cases can start showing symptoms within six hours after eating and can result in death.
These symptoms appear not only with humans that ingest a poisonous mushroom but dogs and other pets as well.
What to do if you eat a poisonous mushroom
The first step to take if you think you’ve eaten a poisonous mushroom is to go to the nearest emergency hospital. If you have anything leftover from the mushroom, you ate then put a portion of it in a paper bag or take a picture to show to the doctors to help them identify which species it is. You can then follow the medical advice of the doctors.