Geotrichum is a widespread species in soil, water and air. It is also common in polluted water and sewage effluents, paper pulp and on textiles. It is widely found as a spoilage organism of bread, meat, fruit, fruit juices and other foodstuffs. In indoor environments, it has been isolated from carpet dust and damp walls.

Geotrichum frequently causes pulmonary infection but has also been reported to cause bronchial, oral, vaginal, cutaneous and alimentary infections. It poses inhalation health risks and risks related to major barrier breaks (e.g., corneal perforation, major surgery, peritoneal or venous catheter presence, and injection drug use) in persons with weak immune systems.

The fungus colonizes nearly all fungal surface-ripened cheeses during the early stages of ripening. It greatly influences the appearance, structure and flavor of Brie and Camembert, along with a variety of goat cheeses. It also helps prevent the skin from slipping off of your cheese. In red smear cheeses it helps neutralize the surface of the cheese and stimulates the development of desired, acid-sensitive flora.