Allergies are a year-round ordeal in Texas thanks to our many pollinating plants. Learn about how you can keep Texas’ worst allergens out of your home.
Living in Texas often means learning to live with allergies. The term is usually “seasonal allergies,” because people’s allergies only flare up in the spring in most places when plants start giving off pollen. Texas is different. It’s always the season for one allergen or another here. What are the worst allergens in this state, how do they end up in our homes, and what can we do about it? The following list includes ten of the state’s worst allergens.
Please note that we will be discussing allergens that enter your home uninvited. Cat dander is an allergen for many people, but that is usually the result of one or more pet cats. You can deal with cat dander by not having a cat. This list shows allergens that you cannot escape if you live in this state.
Many common Texas allergens consist of pollen released by plants.
Many Texans couldn’t tell you what a ragweed plant looks like. Ragweed is small, but it packs a serious punch. A single plant can spew as many as 1 billion grains of pollen. Pollen counts are usually the worst in the fall.
Cedar Tree Pollen
Allergic reactions to cedar pollen can be so bad they have their own name: cedar fever. When inhaled, cedar pollen can trigger an immune response that causes inflammation.
The mountain cedar, also known as the Ashe juniper, pumps out pollen during the winter months. The wind can spread cedar pollen for miles in areas with high concentrations of trees.
Various grass species release pollen starting in spring and continuing into the fall. Ryegrass, Bermuda grass, and timothy grass are three common culprits.
Oak Tree Pollen
Texas red oak can produce a severe allergic reaction in many people. It produces pollen during the spring months.
Pecan tree pollen
Despite being the State Tree of Texas, the pecan tree’s pollen can produce a serious allergic reaction. Late spring is typically the worst time.
Elm Tree Pollen
Cedar elm trees are not closely related to mountain cedar. In a way, though, the two work as a team to maximize the length of allergy season. Mountain cedar spreads its pollen in winter. Elm trees tend to do so in the late summer and fall.
Ash Tree Pollen
The Texas ash tree starts pollinating in winter. It tends to hit its peak in February and March.
Mulberry Tree Pollen
Mulberry trees produce pollen during the spring. Allergies caused by mulberry pollen got so bad in El Paso that the city banned the sale and planting of new trees back in 1992.
Most of the worst allergens in Texas take the form of pollen. A few take other forms, though, and present different problems.
Mold is pretty much everywhere, even though we can’t see it most of the time. A type of fungus, mold reproduces by emitting spores into the air. Those spores drift around until they find somewhere they can grow. If inhaled, spores can produce allergic reactions in many people.
Mold tends to be worst in Texas in the summer when it’s hot and humid. Summer isn’t exactly “mold season,” though, since it’s always around.
Tiny bugs live in your home. Did that get your attention? Dust mites measure less than one millimeter, making them invisible to the naked eye. They are arachnids, which means that they are related to spiders and scorpions.
Dust mites feed on dust. The dust in our homes is largely composed of tiny flakes of skin that we constantly shed. When these flakes settle into plush surfaces like carpets and furniture, dust mites feel right at home. They eat tiny pieces of us, and then the material they excrete causes allergic reactions!
What can you do to fight home allergens?
With almost any allergen, the best way to keep it out of your home is with good air filters. Be sure to change the air filters in your HVAC system at least every few months, or more often if possible.
We may track allergens into our homes on our shoes without even realizing it. If you spend a great deal of time in nature, your shoes and other clothing could be gathering large amounts of material that’s waiting to make you sneeze. You might consider leaving those shoes outside and washing those clothes as soon as you can.
Once allergens make it into your home, carpets and other plush surfaces offer them a place to linger. Regular vacuuming can help, along with periodic deep-cleaning. Dust mites, in particular, love homes with no regular cleaning schedules.
Ready to purchase a home?
The Wood Group of Fairway can help you buy a home to serve as a sanctuary from the onslaught of Texas allergens - as long as you follow the tips above!
Get in touch with us to see exactly which mortgage options you qualify for.