Mildew vs. Mold

Mildew
Mold

Mold and mildew are both types of fungi; typically mold is black or green and mildew is gray or white. Mold typically grows on food whereas mildew on damp surfaces like bathroom walls, leather or fabrics. Mold grows in the form of multicellular filaments or hyphae, while mildew has flat growth. Mildew is often referred to a kind of mold (or mold in its early stages), and is classified as powdery (under the order Erysiphales) and downy (under the family Peronosporaceae).

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Mildew

Mold

Definition Mildew is a specific kind of mold, usually with a flat growth habit. Mold is a fungi that contains multiple identical nuclei. It grows in the form of hyphae of filaments.
Appearance Mildew could be downy or powdery: Downy mildew starts as yellow spots that first become brighter in appearance and then the color changes to brown. Powdery mildew is whitish in color and that slowly turn yellowish brown and then black. Mold has a fuzzy appearance and can be an orange, green, black, brown, pink or purple in color. Can be found in several shapes.
Uses None. Some molds are used in food production, for example, Penicillium is used in the production of cheese, Neurospora in the production of oncom, which is made from the by-product of tofu.
Prevention and Control To prevent mildew at home, keep all the areas moisture-free. There are mildew removers available at stores to eliminate mildew. To protect crops from mildew use mildew-resistant seeds, remove infested plants, avoid overhead heating. To prevent mold in your home, you need to keep all the areas dry and moisture-free. Check the humidity levels inside the house and take measures to control it. Finish perishable food within 3-4 days.

Contents: Mildew vs Mold

Mold growth on old batter
Mold growth on old batter
Mildew growth on walls because of moisture
Mildew growth on walls because of moisture

edit Differences in appearance

Mold has a fuzzy appearance and can be an orange, green, black, brown, pink or purple in color. Downy mildew starts as yellow spots that first become brighter in appearance and then the color changes to brown. Powdery mildew is whitish in color and looks like talcum powder. These white spots slowly turn yellowish brown and then black.

edit Health Effects of Mold vs Mildew

Prolonged exposure to mold spores can cause health problems such as allergic reactions and respiratory problems, due to the toxins (mycotoxins) it produces.

Mildew can cause damage to crops and other plants it infests. Inhalation of mildew can cause coughing, headache, scratchy throat and lung problems. Mildew can also start growing in lungs and cause other serious health problems.

edit Toxic vs. Allergenic Mold

This video explains the difference between toxic and allergenic mold (mildew).

edit Prevention and Control

To prevent mold and mildew in your home, you need to keep all the areas dry and moisture-free. Check the humidity levels inside the house and take measures to control it. Fix any leak in the bathroom, kitchen or other areas. Have your heating and cooling systems regularly inspected. Finish perishable food within 3-4 days.

A dehumidifier is the most common way to control excess humidity. You can purchase a specialized crawlspace dehumidifier or even a full-sized unit to control humidity throughout the whole house.

To protect crops from mildew use seeds that are resistant to mildew, remove infested plants and weeds; avoid overhead heating, plant crops that are resistant and susceptible to mildew in rotation to prevent the growth of these fungi.

edit Biological Differences

Molds obtain their energy from food and other organic matter. Enzymes secreted from the hyphae breakdown complex molecules such as starch, cellulose and lignin into simpler substances, and then absorbed by the hyphae. Reproduction may be sexual or asexual through spores. These spores are airborne and able to survive in extreme conditions. Mold has a musty smell and is only visible to the naked eye when the colonies start growing.

Mildew is found on host plants like beans, maize, potato, tomato, rice and other plants. Mildew also grows on clothing, leather, paper, shower curtains, window sills where the moisture content is high. Reproduction is both sexually and asexually, via the production of spores.

edit Examples

Some of the common molds include Acremonium, Aspergillus, and Penicillium. Examples of mildew include Peronospora sp, Blumeria, and Podosphaera.

edit Uses

Some molds are used in food production. For example, Penicillium is used in the production of cheese, Neurospora in the production of oncom, which is made from the by-product of tofu, other molds in the production of bread, soya sauce and so on. Mildew has no uses as such in food production.

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Comments: Mildew vs Mold

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Anonymous comments (3)

December 7, 2012, 7:58pm

not really, anything that's moist will attract these (obviously if you read this). but why is under your bed so wet? planning on making a hot-tub?

— 205.✗.✗.21
4

August 25, 2013, 3:17pm

Under your bed? You might have water damage

— 107.✗.✗.105
1

July 29, 2012, 6:45pm

i found mildew surrounded by mold on my carpet under my bed. is this common at all?

— 24.✗.✗.186
-10

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