Pollen attack: The end is near

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God please make the pollen go away

I can barely see my computer screen as I type this. My eyes are that watery. It’s pollen season in Charlotte, and it is THE WORST.

IT’S EVERYWHERE!

In between sneezes, we here at C5 called up Larry Mellichamp, a botanist and director emeritus of the UNC Charlotte Botanical Gardens to find out when we might get a break.

The good news?

“We probably have passed the peak, literally, in terms of volume of pollen,” he says. “The worst is over.”

Everything else is bad news

There are still tons of types of trees still to bloom. Red oak, white oak, hickory, black walnut…. you get the picture. Mellichamp says to prepare for a pollen inundation all the way through May 10. Warm, dry days are bad. Cool, wet days are a little better.

(Sorta related fun fact: Those caterpillar-looking things that are covering your car are called catkins.)

What can you do?

Here’s what pollen expert Mellichamp suggests:

1) Don’t open your windows. That’s how the pollen INVADES

2) Wear a surgical mask over your mouth and nose when you go outside. Sure it looks funny but so do red eyes and runny nose.

3) Brush off your clothes before you go back in the house. Have a buddy get your back

4) Invest in an air purifier. Put it by your bed.

5) Run the AC when you’re going in and out of the house. The air filter can capture some of the bad stuff.

Photo by Todd Sumlin/Charlotte Observer

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