How to Control Stinky Squid Mushrooms

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Stinky squid mushrooms are a type of stinkhorn (Pseudocolus fusiformis). This fungus derives its nickname from its resemblance to a squid and the smell of rotten meat that it emits. The smell attracts flies and beetles that help spread the mushroom's spores. It thrives in areas with damp wood, such as wood mulch or rotted roots. Stinky squid mushrooms are most prevalent in the summer and fall in the eastern part of the United States. Fortunately, the stinky squid lives for only a short time. The best control, therefore, is prevention.

Things You'll Need

  • Rake
  • Pine needle or bark mulch
  • Shovel or spade
  • Remove hardwood mulch, rake the soil beneath it and allow the soil to dry.

  • Apply pine needle or pine bark mulch instead of hardwood.

  • Remove dead or decaying woody plants and trees that you suspect may have root rot.

  • Dig up wood debris. In new construction, especially, wood becomes buried under the soil. If conditions are moist enough, the wood begins to decay -- ideal for the stinky squid mushroom.

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