Mold vs Mildew – A Comparison

Mold is a fungus that grows in the form of hyphae. Mold belongs to the Kingdom Fungi and Divisions Ascomycota, Zygomycota and Deuteromycota.

Mildew is a kind of mold, and is classified as powdery (under the order Erysiphales) and downy (under the family Peronosporaceae).

Mildew is found on green  plants such as grape, beans, apple trees, lilac bushes, tomato plants etc.. Mildew also grows in homes on shower curtains, clothing, window sills, leather, paper (including books),  or wherever we find  high  home moisture .. Reproduction is through the production of spores.

Mold vs Mildew: Examples

Some of the common molds include Acremonium, Aspergillus, and Penicillium etc.

Examples of mildew include Peronospora sp, Blumeria, Podosphaera etc.

Mold vs Mildew: Appearance

Mold can be an  green, black, brown, orange and even purple or pink in color has a with a fuzzy surface. Downy mildew has yellow to brown spots and powdery mildew is white to yellow brown (eventually turning black )with a talcum powder-like appearance.

Prevention and Control

Mold and mildew prevention in your home begins by keeping surfaces moisture-free. Take measures to keep humidity levels in your home under control by fixing leaks in your bathroom and kitchen and keeping heating and cooling systems inspected and in good repair. If necessary refer to our mold removal pages or how to get rid of mildew smell.

There are a number of plants available that are mildew-resisitant. Plants that are susceptible to mildew should be planted in rotation. Always remove infested plants to prevent the mildew from spreading.

Mold vs Mildew: Uses

A few mold species are used in the production of foods. Penicillium, for example is used to produce certain cheeses, while other molds are utilized to make soya sauce and some kinds of breads. Mildew has no such uses in food production.

Mold vs mildew - a syringe and vialMedicinal uses of mold involve its role as a constituent in penicillin, in cholesterol lowering drugs like Lovastatin (derived from mold) and in cyclosprine, (again derived from type of mold) which is an immuno suppressant drug, used to suppress rejection of an organ which is transplanted. Then a few other types of mold contribute to the production of gluconic acid and citric acid. This particular mold is called Aspergillus Niger.

There are a number of other drugs that come from molds, as discussed in Drugs from Fungi by mycologists at the University of Sydney.

Health Effects

Exposure to the toxins (mycotoxins) in mold spores can cause allergic reactions and respiratory problems. Mildew is a mold and as such can create allergic reactions and other health issues though mildew strains are generally less dangerous than some of the more toxic species of mold.