Hi new friends! I’m Katie and I live just north of Boston in Medford, MA (where Tufts University is!)
I’ve come here seeking what I hope will be some mental relief from anyone who knows mushrooms REALLY well. It’s my first post and I’m new to the community. Anyways, I’ve got OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) and pretty severe anxiety about contamination. This could be about anything from chemical toxins to poisonous plants. This summer we’ve been dealing with a LOT of lawn mushrooms, since my husband reestablished our grass after some deck construction over the winter. The top soil has mulch which I know is probably creating the coziest of homes for all the mycelium/mushrooms, especially since he watered religiously and often lets the grass get too long (it’s been hard to mow regularly with all the rain of the spring/summer in the northeast this year). I’m not sure if it’s at all accurate but I’ve been using the “Picture Mushroom” app to try and identify them. In my “discovery work” the app has “identified” the following mushrooms based on pictures of the side, top, and bottom of each mushroom. I’m most concerned about the top 4, since the app has identified them as toxic.
- Common conecap (conocybe tenera)**
- Pretty pinkgill (Entoloma formosum)**
- Liberty cap (Psilocybe semilanceata)**
- Mower’s mushroom (Panaeolina foenisecii)**
- Hairy longstem marasmius (Rhizomarasmius pyrrhocephalus)
- Orange mycena (Mycena leaiana)
- Red edge brittlestem (Psathyrella corrugis)
- Common fieldcap (Agrocybe pediades)
- Common stump brittlestem (Psathyrella piluliformis)
- Yellowfoot (Craterellus tubaeformis)
- Powderpuff bracket (Postia ptychogaster)
- Pinecone cap (Strobilurus tenacellus)
- Jelly baby (Leotia lubrica)
- Parrot waxcap (Gliophorus psittacinus)
I’ve included some pics from the app of the collected mushrooms and associated “IDs.” Again, no idea if any are accurate. I’m assuming there are some identification errors in here as some of the mushrooms look the same but were identified differently, and some that look super different were identified as the same. Was only able to upload 4 pics so will try to put the others as comments.
As you can see I usually wear gloves when picking them. Then I go through this tiring exercise of bagging the mushrooms, then the gloves, then wiping my hands with bleach/Lysol wipes and trying to wash them really well. And sometimes I wash my floor because I’m worried my dog or I could have dragged in some of the mushroom remnants/pieces or spores on our feet or clothes. Then I agonize for a while—usually a long while. I honestly haven’t wanted to go out there. Which I hate bc my husband and I have worked so hard to make it nice again and it’s one of my dog’s favorite spots. There are sometimes like 30 or more at a time! I feel like I’m just walking on a bed of fungi and mycelium and it feels like my own episode of The Last of Us. I miss enjoying my yard but I’m always afraid I’m dragging in toxins that endanger my family and my pup. She doesn’t eat mushrooms but she does like to eat grass (though not terribly often in our yard that I’ve noticed.)
Here is my question for you knowledgeable fungi folks: are any of these mushrooms so toxic that touching them and then touching something else in my home, or touching them then my mouth or my dog’s mouth could make us seriously ill or kill us? Or is the type of thing where we’d need to eat one or more to get sick? And then how sick would that be?
Please… help me relax. The desert is starting to look pretty good right about now :(
Would also love any tips for eliminating the mycelium. I read last night that it can easily survive winter temps and come back next year. My saving grace was the assumption that the winter would kill them and we could start fresh next year with mulch-free grass seed/topsoil and better mowing and watering hygiene.
I really appreciate any insights you can offer.