There’s something strange in your neighborhood

You got slimed. Just like Dr. Peter Venkman in the Ghostbuster movie. Peter VenkmanWhen Dr. Ray Stantz says, “That’s great. Actual physical contact. Can you move?” Dr. Venkman replies, “I feel so funky”. You may feel that way when walking into your garden or landscape and stumbling on a orange, yellow, tan slimy blob. Don’t call the Ghostbusters. The blob also unscientifically refered to as dog vomit, wet cookies or scrambled eggs is Slime Mold or Fuligo septica. With the right combination of moisture, temperature and food supply (decomposing matter) individual spores release amoeba-like individual cells that come together in a single mass. This moving changing slimy mass is something scientists call plasmodium. slime_mold4A Japanese research team has found that slime mold plasmodia using rhythmic, coordinated pumping movements can travel. Slime molds will not attack your landscape plants. They may be an indication that your bark mulch is piled to thick or is too wet. It may also indicate your mulch has become surface crusted or water shedding hydrophobic. It’s a good idea to stir up the mulch in your landscape areas from time to time. In areas where the mulch is over 2 inches thick pull some mulch away. If you don’t, you might just get slimed like Dr. Peter Venkman.