Mold and Bugs: Does Mold Attract Bugs?

Mold and Bugs

In many cases, mold and bugs seem to coexist. It’s almost like the two are friends. Why is this? Well, maybe they are friends. Maybe they just thrive in the same environmental conditions. Maybe it’s both. Well, let’s solve this puzzle and get some answers!

Environmental Conditions

Yes, both of these home invaders do thrive in the same environmental conditions. Mold is known to thrive in warmer, wet conditions. These conditions also attract bugs. Similar to most living organisms, these invaders need both food and water to survive. However, what is it that these guys are eating?

  • What Does Mold Eat?

    Mold is not a picky eater at all. It eats a lot of things. If a substance is made of a porous material for it’s roots to dig into, it’s pretty much fair game. These substances include just about everything in your home, pantry and refrigerator. If you’d like to know more about things that it loves to feed on, visit our What is Mold Page

  • What Do Bugs Eat?

    Of course we are talking about our mold-friendly bugs here and not referencing all bugs. Bugs that associate with active growth do eat a number of things. These foods range from the food in the pantry to organic matter, and even the mold itself. That’s right, there are bugs that eat mold. Some of these bugs have names that reflect their relationship with mold, such as mold mites and fungus gnats.

Bugs That Mold Attracts:

  • Cockroaches: Cockroaches are known for their ability to survive by eating paper. Well, mold makes the cockroach’s job easier because it breaks down paper and makes it easier to digest. It also breaks down wood and makes wooden materials digest-able to cockroaches.
  • Booklice: Moldy paper attracts booklice, mostly books. However, you can also find them in piles of paper, behind wallpaper and around windows. The mold breaks down the paper and the booklice eats the moldy paper.
  • Mold Mites: Mold mites, also known as the cousins of dust mites, thrive off of mold. These tiny, white bugs have long hairs known as setae. These hairs breaks off, become airborne and cause allergic reactions in some people. In other words, they don’t only eat mold, they have similar habits as their dinner.
  • Termites: Odors that mold produce attracts termites. The mycotoxins produced by mold makes wood seem more appetizing to termites. Mold also breaks down the wood and makes it more easily penetrable for termites. However, termites seem to reciprocate the favor by tunneling wood and making the area in which mold can reach much larger.
  • Foreign Grain Beetles: The foreign grain beetle is another insect that thrives on mold. This bug is usually found in older homes with high humidity levels; however, they are also known to infest new homes where lumber and building materials are still wet. Learn more about the relationship between mold and grain beetles.

So, Does Mold Attract Bugs?

The answer: Yes, mold does attract bugs. Mold and bugs seem to have a great relationship since mold provides great food sources for the bugs listed above. To prevent mold growth and the bugs that it attracts, you will need to control the moisture in your home. If you already have mold and bugs in your home, you may need a professional mold remediation and pest control services.