Spring is the most waited for season. The chilly winter weather ends for another year, and we’re all finally able to get back out into the sun. There’s just one problem.
Sixty million Americans suffer from asthma and allergies. If you have either, you can be hit with an unexpected attack when exposed to certain substances, called triggers. These are airborne allergens or lung irritants that cause an allergic reaction.
We know how annoying it can be to be caught up in a fit of sneezes or battle a running nose and puffy eyes when the weather is perfect for a long walk. Knowing what causes your allergies or asthma to act up is the first step to preventing symptoms or attacks.
Luckily, we have a few tips for what you can do to ensure your home and lawn are as trigger-free as possible.
Before we dive in, please note: We here at Green 365 Lawn & Pest Solutions, LLC are not medical professionals. All suggestions mentioned below are based on our knowledge of pest and lawn care. If your asthma or allergy symptoms are severe, you should consult your doctor.
What exactly is it that triggers allergy and asthma attacks?
The short answer is pests, mold, and pollen. These are the three most common and proliferate triggers in the air every spring.
Pests – insects, rodents, and other creepy crawlies – become more active in the warmer weather. They invade our homes and make nests in our gardens and walls. There are a few types of pests to watch out for as the weather warms up.
- Cockroaches – According to 76 percent of allergists, cockroaches are a major factor contributing to asthma in urban areas. From the skin they shed and feces they leave behind, to their bodies turning to dust after they die, every part of the cockroach will become a part of your home’s dust, potentially leading to an asthma attack.
- Rodents – Rats and mice are the second-most problematic pest, according to 57 percent of allergists. They love nesting in dark, warm spaces, like attics, sheds, and other low-traffic spots close to a readily available source of food. Once they’ve nested, rodents shed hair and leave their droppings around to contaminate the air around your home. Both can trigger attacks in people with asthma or cause allergies to act up.
- Stinging insects – We’re all familiar with mosquitos. But these aren’t the only stinging insects that can cause allergic or asthmatic reactions. You should also be on the lookout for yellow jackets, wasps, hornets, and fire ants, especially if you know you’re allergic to them.
- Dust mites – Like rodents and cockroaches, it’s what the dust mites leave behind that triggers allergies and asthma. These microscopic critters are common in most homes. They eat the dead skin we’ve shed and transform it into dust up to 200 times its body weight. They love warm, humid environments and live in bedding, upholstered furniture, pillows, curtains, and carpeting.
We’ve all heard the horror stories about mold and mildew in the walls. They’re horror stories for a reason. Mold and mildew are fungi, which means that they release spores into the air to propagate. Inhaling spores triggers an allergic reaction, and prolonged exposure to mold spores can cause or worsen respiratory issues like asthma.
As we know, mold can grow indoors, especially in dark, humid rooms, like bathrooms and basements. But did you know mold also grows outdoors? It loves hanging out on rotting logs, lounging in compost piles, chilling with grasses and grains, and burrowing in last fall’s rotten leaves and dead plants.
Pollen gets the most heat for triggering allergies, especially in the spring. Florida’s climate is perfect for flowers and trees. Icy winters and summer drought are very rare, meaning local flora can bloom for longer periods. With the increased blooming season comes more pollen.
This can aggravate allergies and even trigger asthma attacks.
Ragweed is the best at producing pollen, which means it’s the worst offender for allergy triggers. From August through to November, it’ll release copious amounts of pollen into the air.
Other pollen-producing plants that can cause allergic reactions:
- Burning bush
- Sagebrush and mugwort
- Tumbleweed and Russian thistle
The US Environmental Protection Agency lists pesticides as one of four environmental pollutants that can cause allergic and asthmatic reactions. Unfortunately, pesticides are the first thing people reach for when they have a pest infestation. Bug bombs and sprays irritate our lungs and can cause allergic or asthmatic attacks.
So, what can you do to reduce and eliminate allergic and asthmatic reactions in and around your home?
There are a few steps you can take to reduce, and even eliminate, these spring-time allergy triggers.
Hire a pest control expert that uses natural based products
More than 97 percent of allergists say that a pest-free home is the most important step to preventing asthma and allergy reactions. Natural-based pest control products are a great alternative to chemical pesticides. They are safe for the environment, safe for you, and safe for your pets.
Green 365 Lawn and Pest Solutions, LLC offers natural-based pest control solutions to your pest problems. Give us a call today at (813) 938-0000 or fill out the contact form below to get a free quote.
Keep your lawn nicely maintained
Mold thrives in decaying organic matter. If you have a compost heap, a pile of old foliage from last fall, or even just frost-bitten grass, mold might be growing in your lawn. Proper lawn maintenance will prevent mold growth and reduce the spores released into the air.
Take an afternoon this spring to clean up old leaves and grass clippings, toss rotting wood and repair any spots on your home’s exterior that could give mold a chance to grow.
Stick to a regular cleaning schedule
As you’ve probably noticed, most of the triggers we listed above enjoy dirty spaces—rodents, cockroaches, and mold flock to rotting waste and garbage. One way you can keep your home trigger-free is to stick to a regular cleaning schedule.
These are a few key places and things you should remember to do:
- Regularly clean:
- Garbage bins, sinks, drains, and appliances with a bleach solution.
- Under the refrigerator, stove, and any other big appliances.
- Carpets, upholstery, and other fabrics with a vacuum that has a high-efficiency particulate (HEPA) filter
- Linens, frequently, in hot water.
- Cooling and heating vents; change the filters easy season so trapped allergens won’t be released into the house.
- Reduce clutter by throwing out things you don’t need, like old clothes, newspapers, magazines, and cardboard boxes. This will remove possible hiding places for pests.
- Remove the pests’ food source by:
- Storing leftovers in plastic or glass containers with tight-fitting lids.
- Keep dirty dishes in soapy water.
- Put your pet’s food in a container overnight.
- Use a trash can with a tight-fitting lid; empty it regularly.
- Prevent stagnant water or leaks that could cause water damage by:
- Fixing any water leaks as soon as they start.
- Wiping up spills immediately.
- Emptying your pet’s water dishes at night.
- Cover your drains.
Wear the right clothes
We all want to go outside – it’s beautiful out there! Not to mention the fact that many of us have been stuck inside for a very long time. If you find that the great outdoors has just a few too many allergy triggers waiting for you, you can reduce how often you sneeze by dressing for the occasion.
So, let’s talk about what to wear when you’re heading outside during allergy season:
- Sunglasses to protect your eyes.
- Shoes and socks (not sandals!), especially if you’re walking in a field or on a natural path, to prevent bug bites and mold.
- Dust mask, especially if you’re doing lawn work, to filter out the triggers
Once you get back inside, change your clothing, wash your face, hands, and hair. This will remove any allergens that clung to you while you were outdoors.
You might also want to consider buying allergen-proof covers for your pillows and mattresses. This will reduce dust mites’ contribution to your indoor air quality.
Improve the air quality in your home
Speaking of your indoor air quality, there are a few things you can do to help keep the allergens outside.
First, block pests from entering your home by covering up and caulking cracks and crevices. Pay close attention to where your pipes and wires come into the home.
Next, invest in a HEPA filter for your air conditioner. These filters will catch harmful allergens and particles so that your lungs don’t have to.
Finally, keep your home’s indoor humidity level at about 50 percent by properly ventilating your basements and crawl spaces. Mold loves humidity. Don’t give it a chance to get comfortable.
9 out of 10 allergists say you should contact a professional pest control company to help manage pests, mold, and other allergy triggers.
Our Green 365 Lawn & Pest Solutions, LLC experts can check your lawn and home for pests, mold, pollen, and pesticides that cause allergic and asthmatic reactions. We will provide you with friendly, professional pest management and lawn care service and maintenance. Contact us today for a free quote.
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