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AIR QUALITYIN CHARLOTTEJune 23, 20213 Allergy (Pollen) Seasons of North Carolina

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3 Allergy (Pollen) Seasons in North Carolina

A bee with pollen macro image
A bee with pollen macro image
In North Carolina everyone is effected directly or indirectly with allergies. Here’s some useful information to prepare you for the three pollen seasons we have here in NC.
Itchy eyes, runny or stuffy nose, coughing, and sneezing are inescapable during the pollen seasons.Throughout the year, plants and trees release pollen as part of their reproductive process. Sadly most of these plants rely on wind to spread their pollen which create a lot of allergens in the air we breath.Some may think that flowers cause the most pollen, but it’s more likely from trees, grass, and weeds .Flowers and colorful plants are drawn in by insects, this typically means they rely on insect pollination. This being the case, when plants don’t rely on wind for pollination, they don’t produce as much pollen. Knowing this means the wind-pollinated plants are the enemy of allergy sufferers all over North Carolina!

Allergy Symptoms vs Cold Symptoms

 

The signs may be more obvious than you think. If you have itchy or dry eyes you probably have allergies instead of a cold. It’s a fact,  if your symptoms seem to get worse when you leave the house, then you probably are an allergy sufferer. Another giveaway is colds lasts about a week, but allergies will stick around until the allergen is gone. In North Carolina allergy season feels like it lasts all year long. Well guess what? That’s because we actually have multiple allergy seasons that last the majority of the full year!

 

3 Pollen Producing Plant Types of North Carolina

 

At this point in the article it should be obvious that there are 3 full seasons of allergies in the state we live in. There’s also some overlap in these 3 seasons. The different types of plans that produce the pollen are what break these out into 3 groups. Read along below to find out in detail the diverse vegetation causing this havoc.

 

Oak Tree Pollen
Oak Tree Pollen

Tree Pollen

Oak trees are pretty and pretty prevalent in the Charlotte area. If you drive around through neighborhoods you’ll see plenty of them and it’s one of the mains reasons they make up a bulk of the pollen produced in the area.

Between March and June, trees are releasing their pollen into the air we breath. In North Carolina this allergy season tends to be at it’s peak in April. Some of the biggest tree pollen culprits in Charlotte include:

  • River birch
  • Yellow poplar
  • Hickory
  • American beech
  • Oak

Bradford pear, Magnolia, Crepe Myrtle, Leyland Cypress, Sweetgum, Maple, and Loblolly Pine sometimes cause allergies in certain people, but they’re not known for having as big of an effect as the others do. You may find some other allergy-inducing trees, such as willow, cottonwood, pecan, elm, cedar, aspen, and ash trees, though these are not as commonly found in Charlotte NC.

 

Grass-allergies-NC
Grass-allergies-NC

Grass Pollen

 

Grass allergy season in NC lasts from mid spring until mid fall, and the peak seems to be between April and May. The most common types of grass in NC are Bermuda grass, tall fescue, centipede, ryegrass, Kentucky bluegrass, and zoysia grasses. If you know that the grass on your property is fescue grass you may be lucky! That’s because fescue isn’t typically a major cause of allergy symptoms.

 

Weeds Causing Pollen

The3rd pollen season in North Carolina caused by weeds, lasts from August until the first frost, with the peak being in September. Various weeds in the Carolinas cause allergies, but ragweed is by far one of the worst because it affects the most people.

 

ragweed-pollen
ragweed-pollen

Ragweed Pollen

Ragweed is every allergy-sufferer’s living in NC’s worst nightmare. It statistically medically affects the most people with the most severe symptoms. It produces about a billion pollen grains per season, and there are 17 species of it across the country. 23 million people have a ragweed allergy and growing! The suburbs and rural parts of Charlotte tend to suffer from worse ragweed allergies, but if weather permitting, ragweed can blow in the wind and travel up to 400 miles, affecting people even in the middle of the downtown city area.

The ragweed season in the states starts around mid-August. In the Charlotte area, peak ragweed season is September, and because Charlotte has warmer weather and ragweed produces pollen so late in the year, the season can last as late as November.


Reducing Allergy Symptoms in North Carolina

 

North Carolina’s allergy season can seem hopeless. It feels never-ending, and the allergy symptoms seem inescapable! Fortunately, there are a few things you can do! To survive Charlotte NC allergy season:

 

Do More Outside After Rain

If you need to get things done or have projects that need to be completed that involve being outdoors then remember that pollen count can be lower after it rains. Rain naturally cleans the air and can temporarily make being outdoors less of a pain.

 

Cut Grass With A Mask or Hire Lawn Care!

Wearing a mask or hiring a lawn company to cut your grass during allergy season can protect you from one of the worst things for your allergies. You’re exposed to up to 8x times more grass pollen when you cut the grass in comparison to when you’re just outside. If you have to be the one to mow your lawn, we recommend wearing a 3M mask or a painter’s mask to help filter out some of the pollen. Raking leaves or gardening can also cause allergy flare-ups due to outdoor exposure.

Monitor Pollen Count In Your City

There are plenty of resources available online and with apps for allergy sufferers to find updated pollen counts. Just know that if the pollen count is notably high, it’s best to stay indoors all together. Pollen count is calculated by the number of pollen particles per cubic meter in the air.

 

Discuss Filter Options With Your HVAC Tech

From filters and strong air purifiers to air scrubbers, we’ve got tons of air cleaning options up our sleeves that can help you allergy season in NC. Also if your allergies aren’t seasonal and are related to pets, we may can help! Just schedule an visit with one of our technicians to talk about how we can get you breathing clean air again. Would you like to learn more options our techs can help you with? give us a call 704-684-5339