Are mushrooms taking over your neighborhood? Here's why weather may be responsible

Elyse Smith Image
Tuesday, December 5, 2023
Why so many mushrooms in Houston? Here's what's causing the invasion
Nature Discovery Center expert Eric Duran talked to ABC13 about why weather has to do with mushrooms popping up around Houston neighborhoods.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Houston has seen more rain over the last nine weeks than all summer combined.

That's why more mushrooms have popped up recently, and that's nothing to be concerned about.

It turns out mushrooms are commonplace in southeast Texas during the cooler and wetter months, and their arrival is a good sign for local ecosystems.

On Tuesday, ABC13 Meteorologist Elyse Smith spoke to Eric Duran, head naturalist at the Nature Discovery Center, to learn more about these seasonal creatures.

Duran showed Smith around their fungi-filled property in Bellaire.

And while mushrooms might be an unpleasant sight, they're not necessarily harmful. It turns out you can touch a mushroom, just not taste it.

"There are no mushrooms that are so toxic that you can't be around them or that you can't touch them," Duran said.

Duran also addressed concerns that parents might have about their children or pets trying to eat them. To prevent that, you can just remove them.

"Pull them, put them in a bag, and put them in the garbage. And that'll be fine. You can do it with your bare hands," Duran said. "They're not likely to resprout soon, depending on what species of fungus you're dealing with."

Mushrooms will continue to grow after rainy days until a winter freeze. And seeing as that's not in the forecast yet, more mushroom-filled fields could be in Houston's future - especially considering that an El Niño winter could bring cooler and wetter weather patterns to the region.

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