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Ragweed season starting to pick up across Canada

Farah Dhalla, reporter
June 14, 2012 — For many Canadians, pollen allergies kick into high gear during the spring and summer months. As the temperature rises, the pollen count tends to increase as well.

Ragweed often mistaken for goldenrod, which is an insect pollen
Ragweed often mistaken for goldenrod, which is an insect pollen

Most regions in Canada experience active ragweed pollen between mid July and early October. Each plant produces copious amounts of pollen and when the wind picks up, those grains can travel over 600 km.

Ragweed sufferer Brian Keith Ellis says, a runny nose and itchy throat usually get the best of him at this time of year.

“I've had allergies all my life.”

He depends on allergy shots and medication to get through ragweed season.

“My mom, when I was younger, she always told me 'Brian you'll grow out of it,' but 26 years later here we are and I haven't grown out of it yet.”

Do you suffer from seasonal allergies?
Do you suffer from seasonal allergies?

Ragweed can be found everywhere including on sidewalks, fences and even roadways.

A Quebec based company, GDG Environment, has developed an environmentally friendly spray to help tackle the pesky pollen.

“GDG was involved in the registration of a relatively new product called Ragweed Off and it's a saline solution that affects ragweed,” explains Angela Richard with GDG Environment.

“A few hours after application on the plant, there's a general wilting of the foliage and after a few days, the plant will completely dry out.”

Here are some things that doctors recommend to keep you from sneezing:

  • Close your car and house windows when the air-conditioning is on.
  • Over the counter antihistamines work to relieve nasal and eye allergies.
  • Allergy injections can help pollen, grass and ragweed sufferers.
  • Take a visit to an allergist to determine what's giving you itchy, watery eyes.

Be sure to check the Pollen Report for a closer look at the seasonal allergy trend.

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