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Location: Menlo Park CA

How do you get rid of Death Cap Mushrooms in the yard?

Does anyone know how to get rid of Death Cap mushrooms in the yard? Our family just lost our 14 wek old Golden to a Death Cap mushroom that he ate. We have never had this type of mushroom in our yard before. Can anyone help me and tell me how to get rid of these things?

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Super Green Thumb
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Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 6:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

Very sorry for the loss of your dog.

Mushrooms aren't very susceptible to poisons. What you see is just the fruiting bodies; the mycelia are spread throughout a large area of the soil. Mainly you just need to change the conditions. Mushrooms like it moist and shady. So you want to make your lawn sunny and dry.... water as little as you can, don't water in the evening, because the water stays around longer, rake up any leaves or anything that might be shading the lawn. I don't know about death caps particularly, but often mushrooms spring up if there are woody roots under ground. And the death caps are usually found in association with trees. I know there used to be a tree in my front yard years ago, even though there's nothing visible left of it, because a circle of mushrooms pops up in that spot every time there's enough rain. So there must be tree roots under there. If you have something like that, you might have to have the roots dug/ ground/ drilled out.

Keep the lawn mowed frequently so you are mowing the mushrooms down before they get a chance to make spores. Don't fertilize your lawn, that will feed the fungus.

Again, I don't know about the death cap specifically, but I think in general mushrooms prefer alkaline soil. So if you can acidify your soil a bit, you should deter them.

Super Green Thumb
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Joined: Tue May 06, 2008 7:02 pm
Location: El Cerrito, CA

Oh, God, I am so sorry. The Death Cap mushrooms have changed their habitat, their odor, and many other characteristics in California within the past two or so years. Please read my post containing the [url=]sad story of Donato[/url], the six-month-old Bernese Mountain Dog Puppy, who ingested one of them in August 2010. He lived in the south Peninsula, like you do, and the various biology professors, park rangers, mycologists, and others whom his person, Diana, consulted in her campaign to make this new risk known all converged on the same message:

--the mushrooms, once virtually odorless, now smell like dead fish
--the mushrooms, once restricted to classic damp and shady sea-level environments, will now grow even at 7,000 feet in the Sierra, under dry oak trees
--carry hydrogen peroxide with you at all times to induce vomiting if you suspect that your dog has ingested a mushroom of *any* kind

Puppies are so sweet, so endearing, and breath-takingly fast to investigate the world with their mouths. Your tragic and devastating loss will, in time, become "merely" (right...) heart-breaking, rather than tearing at your breath, your sleep, your life at every turn.

Make it your mission to remove as many Death Caps as you can, every day if needed. Place them in a sealed plastic bag and put them in the TRASH. Do NOT compost them; do NOT let young children near them. The d*mned mushrooms may even have changed their method of reproduction; the researchers were and are investigating this possibility, horrifying as it is. :(

All we can do is increase our knowledge and our preparedness. Keep all the photos of your baby and any toys he loved. A future puppy/adult rescue dog (maybe?) will love them, too, when you can bear to let another one enter your home and your heart.

Cynthia H.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9

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I'm so sorry for your loss. I lost my boy Donato last year to a Death Cap. There's no way to get rid of them other than daily patrol your yard, pick them and throw them away.

I've made flyers to warn people and have just recently translated the flyer to spanish.

Here's a link to Donato's page where you'll find all the flyers and pictures of Deathcaps:

And a link to the flyer in Spanish:

My heart goes out to you....I know your pain. Here is my boy's story and now my quest to spread the word.

Take care...spread the word so your pup lives on to help others just as Donato does. It's hard...I know.

Menlo Park, CA

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