Artillery Fungus - How to Remove Those Black Dots
What Are Those Black Dots on My House?
When you see tiny, sticky black dots appear on your home’s siding, your car, your windows or other outdoor surfaces, you may think they are insect droppings or a kind of sap. Our professionals can clean anything off the exterior surface of your home, but we will admit that figuring out how to remove those black dots can be very challenging. These black dots are formally known as artillery fungus, though it’s also known as “shotgun” or “cannonball” fungus due to its ability to shoot its black spores into the air.
What Is Artillery Fungus?
Artillery fungus is a fungus that grows on rotting wood in moist environments. Its ideal conditions are in cool spring and fall weather climates where the temperature is between 50 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit, which makes Virginia the perfect place for this fungus. One of the places it is most commonly found is the mulch in your yard and around your house, which is why many homeowners struggle with getting rid of it. The moist, chipped up wood is the perfect place for the fungus to grow.
When artillery fungus reaches maturity, it forcefully ejects its spores high into the air. These spores can travel as far as 20 feet and are particularly attracted to light, which is why your siding or car is a common place for them to land. When they do land, the spores will grow into those black dots in a matter of hours. Though artillery fungus can morph into its black form in a matter of hours, once attached, figuring out how to remove those black dots is a much more difficult process.
How to Remove Artillery Fungus
Unfortunately, there is no fungicide available for artillery fungus, so you’ll need to remove those black dots manually. If you have time, you can scrape them off and follow it with soap and water. This may be effective, though it is very time-consuming and sometimes stains can be left behind.
Artillery fungus also cannot be removed with normal pressure washing or soft washing. The stubborn fungi cling on even with high pressure or excessive soap. Each spec will need to be scraped off and then the brown stain left behind will need to be scrubbed off. The best option would be to not use hardwood tree bark for your much around the house. Hardwood tree bark is especially prone to artillery fungus. If you can prevent the fungus from having a place to grow then your house or vehicle will be safe from the spores.
No matter which method you decide to use to remove those black dots from your house, the sooner the better! The longer artillery fungus makes itself cozy on a surface, the tougher it is to remove.
How to Prevent Artillery Fungus
The best way to remove those black dots from your house is by working to prevent them in the first place! To prevent artillery fungus, you have a few options. Because artillery fungus mostly develops in wood chip mulch, you may consider purchasing another type of mulch. Bark mulch or cedar mulch may be a more resistant option. Mulch that consists of larger pieces may keep it drier which will help prevent the fungus. You could also choose to rotate your mulch more regularly so that it keeps dry. This will help prevent artillery fungus since it only grows in moist environments. However, the best option may be switching from mulch altogether. Try another organic material such as rock or stone to decorate your flower beds. You might find that you like how it looks, and even better, save yourself from dealing with artillery fungus!
Call Dr. Powerwash For Questions About Those Black Dots!
Dr. Powerwash is the leading power washing and soft washing company in the Charlottesville area and for good reason. We handle every job like it was at our own home. When you need help keeping your property clean and or advice about pesky fungi like artillery fungus, give us a call. We are the professionals you can trust to explain any external cleaning issue. Call us today at 434-207-6783 or fill out our online form for a free quote for any of your pressure washing needs.