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Have you ever spotted a strange, yellow, foamy blob in your garden that resembles something your dog might have left behind? That’s likely dog vomit slime mold! Despite its unpleasant name, this unusual substance has nothing to do with our canine pals.

Dog vomit slime mold, scientifically known as Fuligo Septica and sometimes referred to as scrambled egg slime, is often found in gardens on mulch or decaying logs. It thrives in moist, shady spots and often shows up after a period of rain.

This slime mold is named for its appearance, which can resemble a pile of yellowish, foamy vomit. It has a bright yellow or orange color when it first appears, turning brown or gray as it matures. The texture is often spongy and foamy, resembling scrambled eggs or (worst) vomit.

When dog vomit slime mold matures, it forms fruiting bodies that release spores into the air. If conditions are favorable, these spores can settle in new locations and grow into new slime mold colonies. Dog vomit slime mold plays an important role in breaking down organic matter and recycling nutrients into the ecosystem.

While it might look alarming, dog vomit slime mold is totally harmless to you, your pets, and your plants. But you’d have to admit, it isn’t a pleasant sight! If you’d rather not have this unsightly visitor in your yard, there are plenty of natural ways to get rid of dog vomit slime mold.

1. Physical Removal

Fuligo septica (Scrambled Egg Slime Mould, Flowers of Tan or Dog Vomit Slime Mould) growing on a pile of wood chippings.
Image Credit: Deposit Photos

If you can stomach the idea of picking up dog vomit slime mold, this is the quickest and easiest way to get rid of it. Simply scoop up the slime mold with a shovel or hand trowel and dispose of it in a compost bin or trash. Make sure to remove as much of it as possible to prevent the spores from spreading into other areas of your yard.

2. Reduce Moisture

Garden lawn water sprinkler system.
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Slime molds thrive in moist environments and, by reducing moisture, you can discourage their growth. After removing the slime mold, allow the affected area to dry out fully to prevent it from recurring.  Reduce the watering frequency and improve drainage in areas with an excess of rotting wood, and be mindful not to over-water your garden or lawn.

3. Rake or Turn Mulch

mulching garden conifer bed with pine tree bark mulch
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Damp, decomposing wood mulches are perfect for dog vomit slime mold to pop up. Regularly turning or raking mulch can help break up the slime mold and expose the spores to air and sunlight, drying it out and inhibiting growth.

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4. Sunlight Exposure

Large green back yard with browns house.
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Increasing sunlight exposure by trimming back plants or trees can help dry out damp, shady areas and make them less hospitable for the slime mold.

5. Increase Air Circulation

Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis
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Improve air circulation by spacing out plants and removing dense ground cover to help reduce moisture levels and discourage slime mold growth.

6. Use Alternative Mulches

mulching garden conifer bed with pine tree bark mulch
Image Credit: Deposit Photos

If slime mold is a recurring issue, consider switching to a different type of mulch that is less susceptible to this disgusting problem. Pine bark or cedar mulches tend to dry out faster than hardwood mulches, making them a good option for damper areas with less sunlight. As an alternative, consider gravel or pebbles in areas prone to slime mold instead of woodchips or bark.

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7. Compost Tea

Horse Manure Tea Compost
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Compost tea is packed full of beneficial microorganisms that outcompete the slime mold for resources. Take a handful of well-rotted organic compost and steep it in water for 2-3 days. Strain carefully and spray the remaining liquid compost tea onto areas that are prone to developing dog vomit slime mold.

10 Compelling Reasons to Start Composting Today

8. Vinegar

White vinegar in bottle.
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Acidic vinegar sprays create an environment that is inhospitable to slime molds. Mix 1 part vinegar to 3 parts water and spray the solution on the affected area to help break down the slime mold. Always take care when spraying vinegar near plants, as the high acidity levels can affect their growth.

14 Clever Ways to Use Vinegar in Your Garden

9. Cornmeal

Corn meal on wooden background.
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If dog vomit slime mold keeps appearing in specific localized areas, sprinkle cornmeal to help absorb moisture and inhibit the growth of this unsightly substance. Remember to reapply frequently, especially after rain.

10. Baking Soda

Baking soda in jar and spoon.
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Mix one tablespoon of baking soda with one gallon of water and spray it onto the slime mold to dry it out and prevent regrowth. Repeat as necessary whenever dog vomit slime mold appears to prevent the spores from spreading to other areas of your yard.

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11. Remove Debris

Slime mold (Fuligo septica) on rotting wood Myxogastria yellow mold.
Image Credit: Deposit Photos

Dog vomit slime mold thrives in areas with high levels of organic debris, particularly rotting wood. Regularly clean up fallen leaves and dead plant material to reduce the amount of food available for slime molds.

12. Soil Aeration

Gardener digging in the garden. Soil preparing for planting in spring. Gardening.
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Dog vomit slime molds can be a big problem in garden soils that have been amended with wood chippings. In this situation, aerating the soil can improve drainage and reduce moisture levels, making the environment less favorable for slime molds. Use a garden fork to make holes in the soil, taking care to avoid delicate plant roots.

13. Improve Soil Drainage

Men building a wooden frame for a new raised garden bed.
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Slime molds thrive in damp conditions, so well-draining soil is less likely to develop slime mold growth. Add plenty of well-rotted organic matter to garden beds to improve soil structure and drainage.

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