Hayfever Season


Unfortunately “Allergy Season” does not only happen in Spring. We all know what Hayfever Season means but do you really know what is sending your nose into a streaming spiral and your eyes into a watering , make up running catastrophe ?

Pollen is probably the main seasonal allergen that causes the most “Hayfever” reactions but  there are other agents can trigger allergic reactions as well. Mold spores, dust, airborne contaminants, dust mites, pet dander, cockroaches, environmental chemicals, cleaning products, personal care products, and foods can all cause allergic reactions.

We have provided a table below of the most common trees and grasses that are the main culprits found around South Africa – see our previous blog post at http://www.allergykids.co.za/allergy-season/ (table-of-grasses-tree-pollens)

We asked our resident specialist, Paul Gordon from Ferndale Nurseries if there was any way we can reduce the pollen in and around your property to hopefully reduce the immediate effects of pollinating trees/grasses.


For all your Nursery requirements, please don’t hesitate to contact Ferndale Nurseries at 021 794 5175 or visit them at Brommersvlei Rd, Constantia, Western Cape, South Africa.

According to Paul, Tree Pollen is at its worst in early spring, and cutting the trees back will do no good as the flowering cycle will only be delayed. Tree pollens are dry and lightweight, so they can travel great distances in the wind.

The most offending trees in the cape would be : Oaks, Cypress, Gum, Plane, Acacia, Syringa, Karee, Pine and Olives, Date Palms.

Grass Pollen is at its worst from late spring into early summer when the grasses flower. The offending grasses include: Kikuyu, Cynodon turf grasses, annual Rye grasses and certain tall tuft grasses e.g. Love grass.

It is easier to curb the effects for grass allergy sufferers by:

  1. Mowing the grass regularly to prevent flowers from forming.
  2. Plant Buffalo lawn that is slow growing and seldom reaches flowering height.
  3. Replace your lawn with a Perennial Rye or a Tall Fescue lawn that flower at tall leaf blade height, which it seldom achieves through regular mowing

Weed pollen is at its worst in late summer. The offending pollen laden weeds are Pigweed, Plantain, Nettles, Dandelions, Bunnytail, Goosefoot.

Effective ways to remove the weeks would be by removal via herbicide treatment, manual removal or by mulching beds with coarse compost which prevents the weeds from growing.

Fungal spores are mostly a problem in early spring and Autumn where warm temperatures combine with rain to promote fungal growth. When working in the garden, wear a dust mask when digging in compost heaps, or disturbing decaying wooden stumps. An effective way to prevent fungal growth in lawns is by treating it with Potassium permanganate.

There is a fab website which can give you an idea of when the trees pollinate in SA – http://www.pollensa.co.za/index.php/pollen-sampling-data/

Reduce the effects of hayfever in your home, but using some of these helpful tips we found :

  • Vacuum more often – vacuuming helps keep indoor allergens to a minimum. Make sure you clean your vacuum filters or replace them regularly.
  • Wear sunglasses & a hat – Pollen irritates your body by coming in through your eyes, ears, mouth and nose. Sunglasses will limit your eye exposure to pollen and a hat will prevent as much pollen sticking to your hair.
  • Take a shower before bed – Your hair is your main pollen holder so washing it will prevent you transferring it onto your pillow.
  • Wash your hands and face – Pollen spores are small so they will stick to your skin, hands, clothes etc. By washing your hands and face, you will prevent the pollen from going into your eyes, nose and mouth. Not to mention, washing your hands is just great for sanitary reasons.
  • Pets need a bath too – Your pet is outside, lying on the grass and collecting dirt, mould spores and pollen. So it makes sense that they too should be brushed/bathed a little more frequently when the pollen count is high as they will bring them inside on their coats and transfer them to your carpets, furniture etc.
  • Plan your activities later in the day – Trees tend to pollinate first thing in the morning making pollen counts in the early hours very high. It may be more of a benefit to wait until noon, or evening hours for outdoor activities when pollen counts are less than half the amount as the morning.
  • Clothing – Avoiding clothing made of synthetic fabrics, as they can produce an electric charge when rubbed that attracts and makes pollen stick to you. Better options include natural fibers like cotton.

We also found a few home remedies you could try :

  • A saline nasal spray can help rinse and soothe sinuses.
  • A few drops of eucalyptus essential oil in the bottom of the shower can make for a great, soothing steam treatment to help the nasal passages.
  • Make a mug of hot peppermint tea; before drinking, breathe the minty steam, which can work as a mild decongestant and expectorant.
  • Rub a tiny amount of Vaseline or the like just inside your nostrils and try and nose breath only as this will trap all those little nasty pollens. When you get home, wipe your nose and rinse.

If all else fails, consult your Doctor or Allergy Specialist for some antihistamines or preventative nose sprays.

Here’s to a long and hot, allergy free Summer season.

Yours in awareness.

Blog signature


resources :





About admin