Where is Epicoccum Nigrum Money found

Yellow mold: this is how you recognize it

Yellow mold affects both building materials and food. Different molds are responsible for this. We explain which types are poisonous, how to spot and get rid of yellow mold.

Yellow mold: this is how you recognize it
Yellow mold: this is how you recognize it

What does yellow mold look like?

Molds consist of almost invisible threads (mycelia) and the larger carriers of spores. In yellow mold, the spore carriers are yellow, yellow-brown, yellow-red or ocher-colored. However, the mold is seldom a homogeneous yellow. We often see a yellow coating in different tones next to green, black or white mold spots.

Some molds are also yellow in certain stages of their growth and later change color. The consistency of yellow mold varies depending on the type of mold. Some molds like Aspergillus flavus and Geomyces pannorum have a powdery consistency, others are more like cotton wool.

You can distinguish the yellow mold from the dry rot, which is partly similar in color, but has a sponge-like surface.

Common mistakes: is that yellow mold at all?

Yellow spots on or in the wall do not always mean mold. Some yellow wood-destroying fungi are easy to mistake for mold, including:

  • The dry rot (Serpula lacrymans) - this house rot fungus has the highest damage potential. It destroys buildings by spreading in damp wooden structures. The ideal temperature for reproduction is around 20 degrees, but the sponge can survive in areas between 3 and 26 degrees. Its surface looks yellowish brown and furry like the surface of many molds. Often large, white fruiting bodies form on the affected areas.
  • The Spreading House Porling (Donkioporia expansa) is yellow-brown to white, but sometimes shows orange and red nuances. Its consistency is similar to that of foam. Unlike the real dry rot, it only breaks down the lignin in the wood. In the case of a large infestation, the bars and other elements become fibrous as a result.
  • The yellow pore sponge (Antrodia Xanta) looks white to lemon yellow and forms a fluffy to spongy coating. It attacks wooden beams and looks white to lemon yellow. Overall, however, it is rare and usually found together with the brown cellar sponge.

Where does yellow mold appear?

Molds need moisture and oxygen and the right temperature to grow. Each type of mold has one or more preferred milieus. The most famous yellow molds are:

  • Aspergillus flavus: This mold feels comfortable at temperatures of 12 to 48 degrees. It grows in the ground all over the world and attacks fatty and starchy plants such as wheat, corn and nuts. The spore carriers form a dust-like mass that appears yellow-green at the top and red-gold at the bottom.
  • Epicoccum nigrum: The colonies of this yellow mold thrive at room temperatures on plants, in food, in the soil and in textiles. The pharmaceutical industry in particular uses its ability to kill other fungi and bacteria in the manufacture of medicines. Its color varies from yellow-red tones through brown to black.
  • Geomyces pannorum: This yellow mold lives in the ground at cold temperatures down to -20 degrees. But it also grows on and in walls, on wallpaper and in wood.
  • Mucor: Some molds of the genus Mucor have white-yellow spores, including for example Rhizomucor pusillusthat grows in a hot environment from 50 degrees. Its consistency is cotton-like.

How dangerous is yellow mold?

Basically, any mold growth in living spaces is unhealthy, but it counts Aspergillus flavus among the most poisonous molds. Its metabolic products include the mycotoxins aflatoxin B1 and aflatoxin B2. Even short exposure to high doses can damage the liver, lungs and kidneys. Previously ill people rarely develop a dangerous infection of the respiratory tract (aspergillosis). In the long term, the aflatoxins are carcinogenic.

Also some types of Mucor cause severe inflammation in already weakened patients. The mucormycoses cause thrombosis, necrosis, pneumonia and gastrointestinal complaints in rare cases. Epicoccum nigrum is not quite as harmful to health, but it also triggers allergies.

What helps against yellow mold?

If you have discovered yellow mold on the wall or on wallpaper, the further procedure depends on the size of the mold. For small spots under half a square meter, you can remove the yellow mold yourself. It can often be treated with anti-mold products based on alcohol or hydrogen peroxide. If larger areas are affected, professional mold remediation is essential.

The dangerous yellow mold Aspergillus flavus occurs in Germany mostly in imported foods such as nuts and dried fruits. Strict controls by the supervisory authority ensure that the maximum permissible values ​​for aflatoxins are not exceeded in domestically produced foods. Nevertheless, consumers should check their supplies regularly and dispose of them immediately if there is any signs of mold.

More on the subject of mold

How do I prevent yellow mold?

Invisible mold spores are always buzzing in the air. Still, they only sprout when they find the right environment. Especially in winter, condensation forms in the window area when the warm, humid air in the interior condenses on the cold panes.

Anyone who ventilates at least three times a day ensures that the moisture that has developed in the interior can escape and thus prevents mold. For the same reason, the window should be left open for at least five minutes after showering and after cooking. Overall, the humidity in rooms should not exceed 60 percent.

If it becomes too cold in the house, mold grows more easily because cold air absorbs less water vapor and thus more water condenses. The ideal temperature in living rooms is 19 to 22 degrees, in the bathroom 22 to 24 degrees.

Yellow mold can also be effectively prevented in the food sector. Those who store their supplies in a cool and dry place, use them quickly and ensure hygiene in the kitchen create unfavorable conditions for mold.