Diseases of oyster mushrooms and their causes
In fact, oyster mushroom is quite unpretentious and forgiving to grow and generally not very prone to diseases. Those shape deviations or deformations of oyster mushrooms found by growers have very different causes, and real diseases are rather the consequences of these abnormalities and often develop on the dead fruiting bodies.
So, most problems with the shape and appearance of the fruiting bodies are the result of:
1.Deviation from the optimum parameters in the fruiting chamber:
Sharp fluctuations in temperature and humidity can cause the death mushrooms primordia as a result of becoming too damp or dry- see photos and captions;
The lack of fresh air, accumulation of carbon dioxide near mushroom clusters, improperly organized ventilation (too weak or too strong airflow) causes deformation of the fruiting bodies (too long leg and a small cap; folded mushroom cap; bumps, cracks and ruptures of fruiting bodies);
Water droplets accumulation on the mushroom surface after watering leads to the formation of yellow dots and spots.
- The presence of fungus gnats larvae, black flies and other pests on mushroom blocks
These pests cause wilting of mushroom clusters for no apparent reason. It often happens that single individuals flying midges mushroom are not taken into account, and the larvae are developing in the block unnoticed. Therefore, if you started to have shrinked and withered mushrooms, pull out a cluster and inspect its basis under a magnifying glass. Perhaps you will find there some mines or larvae themselves. Also study the perforation very carefully (hole in the block) from which you have picked a dead cluster – perhaps there are also some small wormlike larvae, – white, orange or pink in color. Please, read, how to get rid of fungus gnats and black flies.
3. Slugs, as well as other parasites can damage oyster mushrooms
This type of damage looks as in the photo on the left.
The circle and the arrows indicate the place where mushrooms have feeding damage.
Chemical agents to deal with slugs are difficult to use because mushrooms grow in the chamber, and it is not clear where the slugs appear from.
So to start, try to get rid of these pests using simple and trivial methods – using salt. It is desirable to find a few slugs and sprinkle them with salt. But if you do not see the mollusks themselves but only their damage (bitten or eaten mushrooms), try to make a trail of salt along the row where there is a bite. Salt adsorbs fluid from their bodies, and they leave this place.
If slugs cause much harm, you can try to treat the chamber from outside, between the ground and the wall, in a place where they can crawl in using anti-slug chemical agents.
By the way, cats can also bite mushrooms, but they usually do not eat large pieces. They can rather leave two small holes or dents – those are the traces of their fangs. They like to “punch” mushrooms biting through them. And then they decide to eat more or stop eating.
- The changes in the fruiting bodies of oyster mushrooms can be a consequence of substrate blocks problems
Read more about this here.