What Are These Black Dots On My Home?
“Artillery” or “shotgun” fungus (Sphaerobolus stellatus) originates in the mulch that homeowners place around their home. Its name is derived from the Greek for “spear thrower”, as it indicates how the black spores are propelled from the ground to your home. The spores are extremely adhesive and will stick to any surface they land on. They aren’t harmful, but are extremely difficult to remove. The black dots resemble an artillery spray, or shotgun blast, hence the name.
What Causes Artillery Fungus?
It is a common misconception that more expensive mulch will be fungus free, or that cheap mulch is more prone to having the fungus in it. This is simply not true. Artillery fungus can infect any organic mulch, and under the right conditions it will flourish and create a pesky problem for your home. Artillery fungus thrives in cool, moist, shady areas. If you have the telltale black dots on your home from artillery fungus, you will notice that they are located above mulched areas where the fungus has shot their spores up to 20 feet on to your siding. In the Charlotte area, the fungus is actively shooting spores for approximately 2 weeks each year. Until action is taken, the dots will accumulate, getting worse every year.
What Is The Solution For Artillery Fungus?
At this time, Camelot Pressure Washing has no recommended solution for the removal of the fungus spores, however we can tell you how to stop them from getting worse. Pressure washing does not remove the spores. Some folks have had luck using abrasive cleaning sponges and elbow grease. The first step is to remove the infected mulch by raking and disposing. The second step is to replace the organic mulch with an inorganic material like rubber mulch or stone. This is the only way to ensure that the mulch is completely removed. Some folks have had success smothering the fungus with plastic, or adding more mulch to the old mulch. We do not recommend this, as it rarely works.
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We are licensed and insured to work on residential and commercial properties throughout the greater Charlotte area, including our other two MAIN service areas of Concord and Harrisburg in North Carolina. In Mecklenburg County, our techs pressure wash in Charlotte, Cornelius, Davidson, Huntersville, Matthews, Mint Hill and Pineville. In Cabarrus County, we work in Concord, Harrisburg, Kannapolis, Midland and Mount Pleasant. In Union County, we travel to Indian Trail, Marshville, Marvin, Matthews, Monroe, Stallings and Waxhaw.