Spectrum Pest Management


The Problem: Fungus

A fungus is a eukaryotic organism that is a member of the kingdom Fungi. The fungi are heterotrophic organisms possessing a chitinous cell wall. The majority of species grow as multicellular filaments called hyphae forming a mycelium; some fungal species also grow as single cells. Sexual and asexual reproduction of the fungi is commonly via spores, often produced on specialized structures or in fruiting bodies. Some species have lost the ability to form specialized reproductive structures, and propagate solely by vegetative growth. Yeasts, molds, and mushrooms are examples of fungi. The fungi are a monophyletic group that is phylogenetically clearly distinct from the morphologically similar slime molds (myxomycetes) and water molds (oomycetes). The fungi are more closely related to animals than plants, yet the discipline of biology devoted to the study of fungi, known as mycology, often falls under a branch of botany.

Occurring worldwide, most fungi are largely invisible to the naked eye, living for the most part in soil, dead matter, and as symbionts of plants, animals, or other fungi. They perform an essential role in all ecosystems in decomposing organic matter and are indispensable in nutrient cycling and exchange. Some fungi become noticeable when fruiting, either as mushrooms or molds. Many fungal species have long been used as a direct source of food, such as mushrooms and truffles and in fermentation of various food products, such as wine, beer, and soy sauce. More recently, fungi are being used as sources for antibiotics used in medicine and various enzymes, such as cellulases, pectinases, and proteases, important for industrial use or as active ingredients of detergents. Many fungi produce bioactive compounds called mycotoxins, such as alkaloids and polyketides that are toxic to animals including humans. Some fungi are used recreationally or in traditional ceremonies as a source of psychotropic compounds. Several species of the fungi are significant pathogens of humans and other animals, and losses due to diseases of crops (e.g., rice blast disease) or food spoilage caused by fungi can have a large impact on human food supply and local economies.

Wood-Decay Fungi. White rot leaves wood with a bleached appearance and a spongy and stringy texture. Brown rot leaves wood with a dark brown, checkered appearance and a brittle texture. Note: wood that exhibits brown rot has lost its structural integrity and is easily crumbled. Water-conducing fungus or "dry rot" produces a decay similar to brown rot, but may vary in color.

Proper identification of the type of fungus is essential to developing the proper control measures.

Fungus: White Rot
House Fungus

Health Effects

Many fungi produce compounds with biological activity. Several of these compounds are toxic and are therefore called mycotoxins, referring to their fungal origin and toxic activity. Of particular relevance to humans are those mycotoxins that are produced by moulds causing food spoilage and poisonous mushrooms. Particularly infamous are the aflatoxins, which are insidious liver toxins and highly carcinogenic metabolites produced by Aspergillus species often growing in or on grains and nuts consumed by humans, and the lethal amatoxins produced by mushrooms of the genus Amanita. Other notable mycotoxins include ochratoxins, patulin, ergot alkaloids, and trichothecenes and fumonisins, all of which have significant impact on human food supplies or animal livestock.


Don't wait for mold to take over your house and adversely effect your health. Call us now at 256-990-1815 to schedule an inspection and quote for treatment.

Source: Wikipedia:Fungus Source: US Inspect

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