may not be the word, after all, as Joe Ponessa, emeritus
professor of housing, indoor environment and health at Rutgers
Cooperative Extension, sees it.
was responding to a recent column in which a reader reported
what looked like "light grease stains on a portion of
vinyl siding in the rear of the house."
professor says: "If the ‘grease stains’ on siding are
not slippery but in the form of small, hard black dots, they
are most likely spores from artillery fungus."
fungus, which grows in organic matter, forms vase-shaped
structures that are capable of firing out spores six feet or
more, and that are especially attracted to light-colored
surfaces. They are notoriously difficult to remove, says
Ponessa, who adds that he once tried a series of powerful
organic solvents and that none worked.
may be the source of the problem, he says, and it has been
suggested that bark mulch may be less problematic than wood
mulch. The best prevention is to use gravel or black plastic
as a mulch near buildings (or where cars are parked).
Internet search brings up informative fact sheets from the
Cornell and Penn State Cooperative Extensions, he says.
latter lists numerous reader suggestions that might be
helpful, and information from a professor there who has
studied this issue.
about artillery mulch a few years back, and it was then that I
decided to use mulch only when it doesn’t come into contact
with my house.
Cornell University’s Plant Disease Diagnostic Clinic come
fungi spores do not normally structurally damage the houses,
cars, and plants they cover."
the fungi is virtually impossible. Scrubbing and scraping with
tools or washing with soap and water aids somewhat in removal;
however, the use of tools or harsh chemicals may damage
painted or otherwise colored surfaces."
fungicide treatment is recommended at this time."