One of the sample of Amanita phalloides, more commonly known as "death cap" mushroom found in downtown Victoria. Image: Island Health

Dog-walkers and parents of curious kids beware!

According to CHEK News, last week, over 1,000 “death cap” mushrooms were removed from Oak Bay, and more are popping up now than ever before.

Dubbed the world’s deadliest mushrooms, these apparently innocuous fungi are responsible for about 90% of all mushroom-related deaths around the world.

And last year, they took the life of a 3-year-old Victoria boy, after he went foraging for wild mushrooms with his family.

How to identify “death cap” mushrooms

Although we’re used to the idea that poisonous mushrooms are often larger or more ostentatious, death caps actually look a lot like non-poisonous, edible mushrooms.

They usually have a greenish-gold hue and a large, swollen bulb that can only be seen once they are dug up.

Symptoms of ingesting the toxic mushroom include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, low blood pressure, liver and kidney failure and possibly death. They generally appear between six and 24 hours after consumption.

So if you do find these silent killers in your yard, be sure to dig them up and throw them away before they cause any harm!