Helpful tips to keep snow mould allergies at bay this spring

Snow mould season is back in Saskatchewan.

University of Saskatchewan professor shares advice for those dealing with symptoms

Once the snow leaves, a webbing of snow mould can show up on lawns. (CBC)

As winter turns to spring in the Prairies, an unpleasant surprise can lurk beneath the snow.

John Gordon, an allergy and immunology expert at the University of Saskatchewan, says snow moulds thrive in temperatures of between 0 C and 5 C.

"They love moist conditions," Gordon told CBC Radio's The Morning Edition. "The sun warms the ground just underneath the snow enough that the mould can grow and thrive there."

Gordon explained that once the snow cover has melted away, the mould becomes exposed. He said activities such as raking the lawn or kids playing in the grass cause the spores to rise up and disturb those with allergies.

Some of the symptoms include watery or itchy nose, eyes and sore throat.

Here are a few tips Gordon suggested to keep breathing easily this spring:

  • Make sure leaves are off lawns before the snowfall to reduce prevalence of snow mould.
  • Cut lawns short to prevent the mould from finding a place to grow.
  • Disperse melting snow so that it turns to water quickly, giving the mould less room to spread.
  • Antihistamines should do the trick for people experiencing allergies.