Types of Mold – The Good, The Bad, The Toxic

Types of Mold – The Good, The Bad, The Toxic

Types Of Mold – The Good, The Bad, The Toxic

When it comes to mold, many people wonder what types are good and what types are bad. Mold Inspectors of Florida performs inspections of homes and test for this very answer. Many patrons ask for the detailed lab results, mostly concerned about toxic mold. But did you know that mold can be good for you as well?

The world of fungi comprises thousands of species of yeasts and molds. With so much still to learn about their potential, what we do know is not all of these species are toxic. Our goal today is to educate you as a home or building owner to know the types of molds, and danger signs to look for. And finally, we will advise on when to bring in a professional and licensed mold inspector, such as MIOFL.

Good Mold

There are thousands of types of molds, yet when you hear the word mold, most people get scared. However, let’s not forget that there are some molds that are good for us.

Medications

Penicillin is a medication that treats a broad spectrum of illnesses. It originates from the mold Penicillium, which grows naturally on bread and foods. Back in 1928, scientist, Alexander Flemming discovered Penicillin in his laboratory. Flemming found mold from his bread contaminated Petri dishes. The mold began to kill the various bacteria in the Petri dishes he was studying. Flemming’s first name for Penicillin was “mold juice.” Today, Penicillin is a common prescription for most illnesses. The most commonly used is Amoxicillin or “pink medicine.” Amoxicillin is continually used as a safe first antibiotic for most children today.

Besides antibiotics, some molds fall under the “good mold” category for foods as well. Many of your favorite foods rely on fungi to become the product you enjoy in your diet.

Cheese

Cheese production includes the use of a mold. However, the level of mold exposure with this food depends on the type of mold you eat. The highest concentration of edible mold is within Blue cheese, Gorgonzola, and Roquefort. The lowest concentration of edible cheese is within Mozarella, Provolone, and Ricotta.

Mushrooms

Mushrooms themselves are fungi. Most mushrooms are edible, such as Portabello, Agaricus, and Chanterelles. In fact, many cultures consider types of mushrooms, such as Truffles, a delicacy.

Tomato Products

Unknown to many, canned and bottled tomato products use moldy tomatoes. These products include sauces, ketchup, and pastes.

Fermented Foods and Drinks

The fermentation process, in many cases, involves fungi or yeasts and molds. Wines and beers rely on yeasts to create their product. The darker the beer, the higher the yeast or mold content. Same is true for wines. Red wines contain higher mold concentrations than white wines. If you are an allergy sufferer, it’s best to consumer light beers and wines. The higher the mold concentration in your food or beverage, the worse your sinus reaction may be. For beer, choose a Lager over a Stout and for wine choose a Chardonnay over a Merlot.

Bad Mold

Now it’s time to acknowledge the “elephant in the blog”- mold can be dangerous! While we do enjoy some foods that require the use of fungi, other species are a danger to our home and health. Let’s begin with the less dangerous, mildew, and work our way to the highest toxicity.

Mildew

Mildew occurs in many instances and is the least dangerous of all these categories. However, because it can lead to a more dangerous mold problem, we have classified it as a “bad” mold. Mildew is a fungus that contains spores and can cause health risks to any exposed. While most mildew around your home is less dangerous, such as those in the bathtub or on damp clothing. But when exposed to this type of fungi, coughing, headaches, and sore throat may occur. If there is mildew on clothing and worn by individual skin irritation may also occur.

Various Colored Bad Mold

Mold comes in many colors and species, ranging from orange and white to the infamous black mold. Some black molds though, are not considered toxic, just a health risk like any other mold. For molds that fall under this category, health risks include the following:

  • headaches
  • sore throats
  • coughing
  • sneezing
  • shortness of breath
  • cognitive function decrease
  • skin irritations
  • dizziness
  • fatigue
  • and more…

Any mold that lives on a sustainable food source in a home can become a danger. Mildew may grow on damp fabrics, a food source, the likelihood of the mildew causing serious harm is rare. Molds that grow on drywall, floors, subflooring, or HVAC units, can become devastating. These molds will use the material they grow on for food and breed at a faster rate. The spores will also become airborne and travel to new areas of the home. When this occurs, the home can become overridden with mold growth. Mold-induced illnesses can occur in humans and pets. Pet food left in a bowl can also become contaminated by airborne mold spores.

Toxic Black Mold

Stachybotrys Chartarum, also known as the toxic black mold, is the last thing a homeowner wants to see. This mold causes serious health risks, including those mentioned in the previous category. In addition to those health risks, toxic black mold also induces serious symptoms. The length of exposure and the amount of mold present will determine the symptoms that arise. Serious symptoms induced by black mold are the following:

  • Memory Loss
  • Chronic Fatigue
  • Chronic Respiratory Distress
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Confusion
  • Trouble Concentrating
  • Nausea and Vomiting

When To Seek Professional Help

Mold is not a substance that you want to take lightly. Mildew, however, you can easily eradicate at home.

Mildew Natural Remedies

If you choose not to spray a chemical mildew cleaner, there are three natural mold and mildew killers. Two home staple items are natural mold killers: vinegar, and hydrogen peroxide.

Vinegar

Distilled White Vinegar is a natural mold killer for 82% of home mold and mildew species. If you leave your clothes in the washer and a pungent smell develops, that is mildew. Simply pour 1/4 cup of vinegar into the washer basin and run a rinse cycle. Follow this cycle with your regular laundry detergent. This should eliminate any mildew that grew on your clothing.

Alternatively, use a spray bottle should you have any surface mildew growing. Place the vinegar in a spray bottle and spray the affected area. Let it sit for an hour. Remove by cleaning with a wet cloth. The vinegar smell should dissipate over time.

Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen Peroxide is a natural antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral. These properties are what make this product a wonderful addition to home first aid kits.

For natural mildew remedies, hydrogen peroxide application uses a spray bottle as well. It is important to note that it is not recommended for use on laundry, only surface mildew. Spray the hydrogen peroxide onto the affected surface. Let sit for 10-15 minutes, and follow up with scrubbing of the area. Wipe clean with a wet cloth.

Mold

For home and building mold growths, we strongly recommend not tackling the removal. When you suspect mold due to a small contaminated area or symptoms occurring, the mold may be worse than you see. It is always best to bring in a professional to inspect for mold. Chances are when you see one area of mold; it is only the tip of the contamination. Mold grows within the wall structures and foundation of the home. It can also affect the ventilation systems and be unseen without proper equipment.

Mold Inspectors of Florida has the capability to inspect deep building structures. MIOFL offers testing with infrared thermography, air sampling, surface swabs, hygrometers, and protimeters. Our samples undergo lab analysis with a 72-hour turn around time. Our turn around expedites to 24 hours for an additional fee.

When you need to search for or remove mold in the home, a professional is the safest route. Without the proper protective equipment, and inspection equipment, DIY options can be dangerous. DIY options cause unnecessary exposure to health risks and risk of spreading spores.

Contact our office today to set up a mold inspection of your home or office building. Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for the latest mold news in Southwest Florida!

Blastomyces Dermatitidis: What to look for!

Blastomyces Dermatitidis: What to look for!

Blastomyces Dermatitidis: What Is It and Are You And Your Pup Safe?

 

What is Blastomyces Dermatitidis and how can you and dog contract this you ask? For such a strange word, this issue is more common than you think!

The Fort Myers area is full of residents, snowbirds, travelers, and man’s best friend, dogs! In today’s world, we want to be more educated about illnesses than ever. One significant fungal-based disease is Blastomyces Dermatitidis. And while our general focus as a company is about inspecting your home for mold, we want to help educate you as well.

For some mold infections, such as Blastomyces Dermatitidis, there is no commercial test. With symptoms that mimic the seasonal flu diagnosis can be challenging to obtain. This fungal infection affects humans and dogs alike. And today, we will equip you with the knowledge to understand and cope should this illness arise for you.

 

Blastomyces Dermatitidis, What Is It?

 

As aforementioned, this illness is a fungal infection that affects humans and dogs. The fungi originate in the moist soil and leaves near river banks and bodies of water. The reason for mentioning snowbirds and travelers is because of the endemic areas.

These areas include:

  • Ohio and Mississippi River Valleys
  • Great Lakes
  • Saint Lawrence River
  • Canada

The fungi transmit to an individual when a person, or dog, inhales the conidia (or mold spores). Following the inhalation, the spores travel to the lung tissue. Within the lung tissue, the spores germinate into budding yeast, causing respiratory distress. Unfortunately, the fungi will not stop at the lung tissue; it will spread to other systems in the body as well. While some individuals, of both human and dog species, may fight off this infection, others may not. The ability to attack these fungi relies on the affected individual’s immune system.

Blastomyces Dermatitidis lives within the soil and leaves along the water. The breakouts of this mycotic infection only occurs when something disrupts the soil. Camping, hiking, and construction are top disruptions leading to an outbreak.

With construction in the forest areas of our country at a high, the risk of this disease has increased. Campsites also have a higher risk of exposing guests to these fungi, and yet there is no warning given. Many pet owners bring their pets along on hikes and camping trips. Unknowingly, these owners are putting themselves and their pups at risk.

 

Dogs vs. Humans, How Are They Affected?

 

When it comes to Blastomyces Dermatitidis, dogs are more at risk than humans. Both species treatments include antifungals with a good prognosis. However, in dogs, the treatments may become more radical if it becomes systemic.

When a dog begins to suffer from this infection, granulomatous pneumonia begins. In laymen’s terms, this means the canine body is working hard to fight off the infection with immune cells. Unfortunately, when this immune response occurs, the fungi have begun to spread. The systemic dissemination occurs within the eyes, prostate, testes, skin, and bones. It is at this point that canine treatment begins to become more radical than that in humans.

Veterinarians have needed to remove eyeballs or castrate to seize the growing infection. Without treatment, the systemic spread can cause block capillaries (blood vessels). The disease can also cause ulcerations to form within the affected body systems. This radical treatment is rarely needed. And the prognosis for humans and dogs alike is favorable in many instances. Should an individual with a weak immune system, or a child, become infected, the prognosis may be grim.

 

Diagnosing Blastomyces Dermatitidis

 

The incubation period of Blastomyces Dermatitidis ranges from 3 weeks to 3 months.

Diagnosis for canines initially conducted with clinical symptoms. Symptoms include fever, weight loss, appetite loss, coughing, lameness. These symptoms will occur within the timeframe of the incubation period. However, asymptomatic cases are possible, as well. For canines, diagnosis can also occur with cytology or histopathology of the area.

The symptom list in humans is the same as that in canines and remains a means to diagnosis as well. However, humans alternatively can receive a diagnosis through a blood or urine analysis.

 

Treatment And Likelihood Of Contraction

 

Treatment for Blastomyces Dermatitidis is the same for both species: a prescribed antifungal. This type of medication will attack the fungi within the body, similar to that as an antibiotic.  Treatment tends to run long, six months to a year, to eliminate the entire fungi from the body.  It will be assuring to pet owners to know this mycotic infection is not zoonotic. Meaning, this infection will not be contagious between species. If your dog picks up this disease, it is ten times less likely you will contract it as well. Although should you also be walking in the wooded areas mentioned above, you do have a higher risk.

Changing the route in which you walk your dog or hike is also recommended if one of you test positive. Blastomyces Dematitidis is not detectable for tracking the origin. The best solution is to change your routes now that you know the fungi were living on your old course.

 

Conclusion

 

There is no way of tracking the precise origin of this fungi, due to the lengthy incubation period. We do recommend monitoring the areas in which you bring your pet for optimum health and safety. If you frequently travel to the high-risk areas listed above, consider a change in path.

When it comes to mold and mycotic illnesses, health risks seem to be a never-ending list. If you or your pet are experiencing health symptoms, consider a mold inspection. The mold can quickly travel indoors through the wind, clothes, or pet hair. When mold spores enter the home, they can spread rapidly, especially in a Florida home. The climate is optimal for mold growth, moisture, and warmth. Should you or your pet continuously around mold, your health is sure to pay the price. And soon after, your home will begin to show signs of mold damage as well.

Drywall bubbles, cracks, discoloration, and swelling are all signs of mold growth. When mold grows within our Southwest Florida homes, the spread is rapid and dangerous.

At Mold Inspectors Of Florida, we perform detailed mold inspections. Our professional services include air sampling, moisture meters, and infrared thermography, and more. Surface swabs and air sampling tests go under laboratory testing. Reports are ready by 72 hours, or 24 hours for an additional expedited fee.

For a comprehensive mold inspection that gives you peace of mind, call today! Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for the latest mold news in Southwest Florida!

 

The Truth About Mold on Food

The Truth About Mold on Food

The Truth About Mold on Food

 

While mold may seem harmless, it’s important to know the truth about mold on food! Can it harm you? Should you toss it? We’ll take a look at some potential concerns, which foods mold quickly, and some tips for you to follow.

Imagine, you just finished the best workout you have had in a long time. You worked up a sweat, you are dreaming of that perfectly juicy Florida orange waiting for you when you get home. Only to find, when you open the refrigerator, utter disappointment. That once perfectly plump, bright and juicy orange is now shriveled, fuzzy, and green. You may want to discard the moldy peel and eat the rest of the orange. The peel protects the fruit, right? Wrong. Mold on peels can penetrate beneath into the flesh of the fruit! As well as spread microscopic spores another 2cm away from the visibly affected area.

How careful are you with the food you ingest? It may be time to learn the truth about mold on food.

The Truth About Peels

While it may be tempting to remove the peel barrier and eat the fruit, as mentioned above, don’t. This does not remove the risk of ingesting mold. When mold is present on fruits with softer peels like oranges and bananas, you’ll want to throw them away. Because the mold can penetrate this barrier and infest the fruit. Firm fruits such as pineapple have a tougher barrier. That may protect the fruit flesh from minor mold growths. Cutting away the affected areas, cutting an extra 2-2.5cm of non-visible mold, could be safe to eat. But treat these as a case by case scenario. When in doubt, throw it out!

Finally, for fruits such as the avocado with a tough skin but easy to peel, discarding may be the safest choice. While some outside dangers may stop at this barrier, molds can still breakthrough. And infect the fruit underneath. For fruits with a peel, it can be a tricky game, but remaining cautious is always most important!

Foods That Mold Fast

Mold needs water, nutrition, and oxygen to grow. All these necessities, we find in food, which is why our food can become moldy so easily. Storage containers block the amount of oxygen provided to the food. This will have a significant effect on the time frame that mold takes hold of food. Food that has a high-water content will mold faster than others. This is because mold draws from the moisture content for growth. Fruits and berries, cucumbers, and bell peppers are all high-water content produce. These will mold before other foods in the refrigerator or on the counter. Bread molds faster when stored at room temperature than it will in the refrigerator.

Health Concerns Of Ingesting Moldy Food

The effects of mold around the home differ from person to person. This difference in reaction is due to the individual immune response each person has. If a person is allergic to mold, then the reaction will be more severe. They’ll experience symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, itchy eyes, or even vomiting. If a person doesn’t have mold allergies, ingesting molds can still cause unwanted illness. They may experience irritation of the respiratory, urinary, and gastrointestinal systems. While some molds are allergenic, other molds produce poisonous mycotoxins. At times, this can become fatal to some people.

Tips For Preventing Mold Growth On Food

No one wants wasted food, so the best way to avoid this is by preventing mold growth in the kitchen!

· Consume early, Don’t Over Shop: Having too much food purchased at one time leaves you with a short window to consume. You’ll want to eat it before it gets moldy. Shop for a reasonable amount at a time and try and eat at home more than out when you do. This shopping strategy will help you consume your food before it goes bad and it has a financial perk to it as well!

· Keep It Cool: Keep food, especially moist and soft foods, such as fruits and breads, in the refrigerator. To keep foods better longer, freeze it! Mold prefers warmer moist climates and will take longer to invade food in the fridge.

· Heat It: For preserving fruits, jams, or jellies, boiling water baths are a safe practice. Depending on what you are canning, the time of the water bath will vary. This technique will help keep out molds as well as bacteria for a longer shelf life.

· Clean Clean Clean: As annoying as one more task is to your to-do list, keep a clean kitchen! This will greatly impact the effect of mold on your food and your home. Keep the counters and appliances clean. This includes the rubber seal of the refrigerator, which can grow mold unseen for quite some time. Keep your moist fabrics such as dishcloths, sponges, mops, and sponges clean. That musty smell they produce after some time is a sign it is harboring mold. If the item does not look or smell clean after washing, it’s time to replace it.

We hope this information proves to be helpful in your day to day living. While living around mold is inevitable, there are practical things we can do. Applying a little bit of knowledge about food and mold can go a long way and keep you healthy too!

Though mold growing on food is a common occurrence, mold growing in your home, outside of being on food, is not. If you see or smell anything that seems odd or musty, don’t wait to have that investigated further. Mold can be very sneaky and you could have an issue lurking in places that you are unable to see. Give us a call at Mold Inspectors of Florida today. Our certified inspectors will do a visual inspection, and if necessary, take samples. We’ll provide you with an extensive comprehensive report of our findings in 72 hours or less!

Call us at (239) 233-1705 or contact us online!

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The Colors Of Food Mold

The Colors Of Food Mold

The Colors of Food Mold

Have you ever found mold growing on your food and wondered if it was safe to eat? Have you questioned if you should keep some of the food if the mold wasn’t covering it all? In this article, we’ll go over the different colors of mold often found on food and answer these questions!

When we hear the word “mold” around food, we assume the green fuzzy fungi that appear on produce. This mold also develops on bread when we forget to eat it in time. Yet, while green and white are the typical colors found on food, there are many other colors of mold that can grow.

Black Mold

Homeowners are watching out for the infamous “toxic black mold” or Stachybotrys Chartarum. But, when it comes to black mold on food, there are plenty of non-toxic molds as well. The most common is Rhizopus Stolonifera, also known as black bread mold. As the name suggests, this mold is often found on bread. Other black molds appear on the rubber seal of the refrigerator. Should you find this mold on your appliance, it doesn’t mean you have black mold in your home. But, it is best to discard any food affected by the mold as well as wash the affected appliance.

Pink Mold

Actual pink mold is often on bread and baked goods. Pink mold can cause respiratory infections. Additionally, it causes gastrointestinal and urinary tract infections. More often than not, when a pink appearance is present on food, it isn’t mold at all. Instead, it is bacteria growing and invading your food. In either case, it’s best to throw out any food with unwanted growth.

White Mold

White molds may be in your purposefully or accidentally. Some white molds are grown on the outside of cheeses, such as bloomy rind cheese. Unfortunately, white mold is fuzzy and not safe to eat. It’s often growing on berries and other fruits and vegetables. This fuzzy mold means the plant has spoiled and is no longer suitable to eat.

White mold comes with a complicated dilemma. Many molds go through a phase of white before developing the spores that give the mold their actual color. What may appear white one day may turn red or blue the next. Unless the mold was purposefully grown on the food, assume it is toxic and discard it immediately.

Green Mold

This mold is the typical fuzzy green mold you find on your citrus fruits and breads. The most common of these species invading your pantry is Cladosporium. For people with mold allergies, the potent smell of this mold releases can be irritating. It may cause wheezing, coughing, or vomiting. For others without mold allergies, the look and smell are unpleasant. Cladosporium produces mycotoxins, which are dangerous to your health. Avoid touching the green molded foods. Wrap them in plastic when discarding to stop spores from spreading. Discarding foods nearby may also be a wise choice.

Orange Mold

Orange molds are most slimy in texture and can have bacteria close by. This mold is often found near a lot of bacteria and can cause respiratory problems. Orange mold may grow on bread or cheeses but can be on wood as well. Eating food infected with orange mold is less dangerous than others. But, the risk of ingesting bacteria is very high.

Red Mold

There are various strains of red molds within the fungal kingdom. Yet, most red mold on food is a mold called Neurospora. Neurospora and other red molds themselves may not be toxic when ingested. But, there are plenty of molds that appear red or grow in proximity to red molds that could be toxigenic. It’s best to treat all red molds on foods with caution and avoid ingesting.

Blue Mold

Most strains of blue mold are not harmful. Some blue molds classify as a member of the Penicillium family. This mold can produce a medicine called Penicillin. Blue molds on bread and those used to cultivate blue cheese are strains of Penicillium. Blue mold on bread is unsafe for consumption and indicates the food spoiled. The blue mold used in blue cheese lacks oxygen and is safe for consumption. But only when stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. The same strain of mold can produce mycotoxins when exposed to air.

We hope this article has shed light on what you may find growing on your food and how to handle it! Here at Mold Inspectors of Florida, we pride ourselves in over a decade of mold experience! We love helping our community by offering matchless quality in our inspections. If you suspect mold may be growing in your home and would like to know for sure, give us a call!

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What Does Mold Smell Like?

What Does Mold Smell Like?

What Does Mold Smell Like?

When most people think of mold, they think of the classic musty mildew stench similar to the smell of when wet clothes are left in the laundry too long. Most mold begins growing out of sight in walls or attics, and by the time you see the mold growing, the problem is usually much more significant than you think. Luckily, relying on your vision rather than olfactory senses are a quicker way to detect a fungal contamination in your home. In most cases, your most useful weapon for early mold detection is your sense of smell. However, it is essential to note that not all molds can be identified with the classic “old wet laundry” smell.

The Varying Smells Of Mold

There are thousands of mold species known at this time, varying in textures colors and odors. While the classic pungent mildew smell is among the odor catalog, some molds also release sweet smells, earthy smells, while others can release odors resembling rotting meat. Mold does not always like to be easy to catch; the scents of molds vary not only by species but also vary depending on the cycle of growth and digestion or reproduction at the time. Without knowing the multitude of smells and scenarios of mold odors, most homeowners do not detect mold growth until it has become a visible problem and a much more massive clean-up.

While you may be frustrated at the thought of memorizing thousands of smells and analyzing your home, keep in mind the general rule of thumb for mold odors- The smells are generally classified with the same characteristics: Pungent, musty and moist. Should a smell resemble these characteristics, it’s safe to say an investigation into a potential mold problem is valid. Similar to cheese, which also is a type of fungus with diverse species, Blue Cheese and Cheddar Cheese are not identical types of cheese and smell different.  Should someone cut a block of cheese, regardless of the type, we know by the smell characteristics cheese is present.

No Smell, No Sight, No Problem- False.

Many homeowners believe that if they cannot see or smell mold, there is no problem. This method of thinking is false and can cause harm to the resident’s health and as well the home’s structure. When mold is out of sight or smell, it can still be growing, and typically the alerting cause is the health of those within the affected structure. Coughing, sneezing, itchy red eyes, and more can be signs of mold allergens present within the home. If there are no apparent causes for these symptoms, or more severe symptoms occur, consult a physician and call MIOFL for a mold inspection.

Allowing mold to grow when symptoms are present is a dangerous gamble. Within the thousands of species of mold are classifications known as pathogenic and toxigenic. Pathogenic molds are those that may cause simple allergic reactions to those that are allergic to mold allergens or cause no response in those that are tolerable to mold allergens. However, a pathogenic mold can also become a detrimental health problem to infants, the elderly, or those who are immune-compromised. Toxigenic molds are just as the name appears- toxic. These molds released mycotoxins in their spores, a type of toxic chemical that attacks the body. These toxins can cause symptoms similar to those in the allergenic or pathogenic category, or become as dangerous as affecting the neurological system, resulting in seizures, cognitive function distress, and more.

Always take an odd household odor with caution. Investigate and follow the smell if you feel safe, and should you still be concerned, call in a professional for help. At Mold Inspectors Of Florida, our trained staff have the experience and tools needed to investigate deep into your homes’ structure and in your circulating air molecules. Call us today for an appointment and gain peace of mind.

Yeast vs. Mold

Yeast vs. Mold

Yeast vs. Mold

Have you smelled or seen something odd in your home? Are you chasing down smells and unsightly trails of colorful fungal growths? When it comes to fungus in the home, there can be confusion between yeasts and molds. While both are types of fungus, they play different parts in the fungal ecosystems.

 

Yeasts

Yeasts, like mold, are a member of the fungus family that can be found in nature as well as in a home. Unlike mold, however, yeasts are also cultured for industrial use, such as those used in the kitchen to ferment.

Yeasts are a unicellular structure, meaning they have only a single cell, and these single yeast cells are considered to be an organism. Yeasts, however, can vary and obtain multicellular structures in some cases.  Yeasts multiply new identical bodies from the single-cell it originally derives from to reproduce and grow across an area. Similar to the way twins are created in the womb, this, now multicellular yeast organism, is made of entirely identical cell structures.

Yeast is typically colorless and smooth to the touch; however, in some cases, yeasts may appear white or thread-like. In the beginning stages, yeasts can be hard to distinguish from the matter it grows upon due to the lack of color.

For growth and nourishment, yeast requires an organic host. In its natural environment, yeasts will grow prominently on plants and in soil. Yeast is attracted to sucrose-rich products and can also be found often on fruits and vegetables during the natural fermentation process. Yeast can also grow on and in humans and animals. The most common yeast found on and within the body is called Candida. At normal levels, this yeast is not problematic; however, should an overgrowth occur, unpleasant symptoms may arise. An abundance of yeast in the body can cause female reproductive infections, itchy dry skin, including triggering symptoms resembling athletes’ foot, and gastrointestinal issues resulting in unpleasant bowel movements. In most cases, an antifungal medication or cream can cure the yeast infection. However, a physician’s official diagnosis and treatment is required.

While the growth of yeast may be considered unpleasant, there are also benefits of yeast in nature and your home. Nutritional yeasts are used in brewing and baking, providing us with bread and beer. Naturally occurring yeast within the body, at normal levels, assist in the balance of bacteria along the digestive system.

 

Molds

As aforementioned, molds and yeasts alike are a member of the fungal family and feed on organic materials to survive. Unlike yeasts, molds are a complex multicellular organism. When molds begin to colonize the cells reproduced are the same structure, like yeast. However, while yeasts individual single cells are considered organisms, each mold colony is deemed to be separate organisms.

Molds are usually more natural to identify than yeasts. However, in the initial stages of mold growth, when single mold spores are present, the naked eye cannot visualize the mold as the spores are microscopic. Once the colony is formed, you may visually notice the mold. There are thousands of species of molds which all have different characteristics. Some species may appear slimy while others appear fuzzy or hairy. The same is true for the color of mold, orange, yellow, green, brown, white, and black are all possibilities. See our previous blog for a more in-depth look at the different mold colors and species.

Molds can also occur naturally like yeasts. However, molds require the right conditions to do so. With organic matter present for nourishment, in warm moist environments, molds thrive.  In the house, should a plumbing incident occur or a leak in the garage, mold would begin to grow at a rapid rate due to the humid Florida climate and water combination.

While molds can be dangerous, even toxic, to those around it, some molds have benefits for our daily lives and nature around us. When vegetation dies in the wild, mold grows and feeds on the substance to break down this matter and assist in its reabsorption in the earth. Mold is also a vital role when making cheeses, such a blue cheese. And finally, without mold, we would not have some of the most powerful medicinal breakthroughs around the world, including the famous penicillin.

 

While yeasts and molds hold similar properties and both carry pros and cons with its presence, invasion of either of these two fungi are unwanted on the home front. For a professional look into what is growing inside your home, set an appointment today!