5 Things to Know About Our Sneaky Little Tenant – the Mold
Mold is a large group of fungi growing together forming a colony. They produce airborne spores abundantly as means of their further reproduction, and that’s one hell of an orgy if you ask me.
In natural setting, fungi serve as perfect decomposers, meaning they eat what died and fell of the trees. The peculiar thing – it is what they call “a perfect dish”. After they feast, they spread on everywhere, and they never miss an opportunity to stop by your home, eager to move in.
1. Living Together with Your Family
After fungi moves in, they make their own way around the house having no manners whatsoever. They prefer to settle in places with a lot of dump water or moist, so they hang out in basements and attics. But ok, we all know a weirdo or two that prefers these sinister parts of the house, staying there late at night and all that.
Another indoor place they adore is bathroom, specifically the shower cabins. Damn voyeurs! Seriously, you might want to keep your underwear on in the shower. Otherwise, hundreds of thousands microscopic eyes will be watching you and… you’ll get covered in spores in no time. Nasty!
2. The Most Resistant Organisms
Fungi love humid continental climates like, for instance, ones you got in Montreal or Ottawa. They thrive in spring and summer, because humidity level goes way up, and the temperature is around 30 °C (86 °F) which is just how they like it. Well, they are definitely not Irish, I’ll tell you that!
Furthermore, another organism called the lichen contains within itself -fungi and algae. These two form a perfect symbiosis, needing only scarce sunrays and humidity to survive. This is the reason lichens can grow in most extreme weather conditions and is found in afar regions of North Pole. Thus, fungi are amongst most resistant tenants on Earth.
In short, fungi are literally ubiquitous. They became such through years of evolution which made them the ultimate survivors.
3. Masters of Survival but They Suck at Decorating
Fungi that make up the indoor mold include more than just a few species. We could name them all here, but it’s really just a bunch of Latin mouthfuls you could look up on the internet. Pictures of mold growth (also available on the net) can turn out to be great though. If you love abstract expressionism and Jackson Pollock in particular, you’re bound to love some of the artworks fungi made on various surfaces.
But as it is in humans, not all the fungi are talented, very few species actually are. So, some of them just end up blackening or in other way discoloring your perfectly white walls. You might have wanted a piece of minimalism in your interior design, but you ended up with tasteless cave-drawings.
4. Now, Let’s Get a Bit Serious
Spores fungi tend to release in the air inevitably end up in our respiratory system. Also, even though most fungi species turn out to be benign, some are known to be toxic. And since you can’t just go around asking every single fungi to identify itself, you cannot be absolutely sure of whether ones that live with you plan to poison you.
Furthermore, people with respiratory problems prone to frequent infections (like babies and elderly), those suffering asthma and allergies should be considering mold remediation.
5. Fungi Take Your Food Without Asking
How many times has it happened to you to open your fridge only to find a patch of gray fuzz resting on the top of your food? Yes, these are the same organisms that take over your walls, only this time they went to grab a bite to eat. You see, molds are plant-like organisms but unlike plants fungi cannot produce their own food through photosynthesis (which requires sunlight and water) like plants do.
Molds are more like animals in that they must consume nutrients already made by other organisms. For this reason, they produce enzymes that can digest organic tissue like fruit and vegetables, and meals you made for yourself but put aside or stored somewhere. One thing is for sure, they aren’t picky!
To wrap it all up in a single sentence – fungi are fun little organisms, resistant, consuming everything that doesn’t move, nature’s helpers in the process of decomposition. However, once they move in with you this fun little fellow proves to be an annoying guest you don’t want to keep for long.