We are funded entirely through private donations. We do not receive any tax dollars from the City of Summit or any other government agency. Please help us continue our vital service.
With spring rains, there's more mold growth inside and outside your home. Flowers, trees, weeds, and grasses also begin to blossom. And spring cleaning will stir up dust mites throughout the house as well.
To tame pollen, wash bedding every week in hot water. Wash your hair and shower before going to bed, since pollen can accumulate in hair.
Wear a mask and gloves when cleaning, vacuuming, or painting to limit dust and chemical exposure. Vacuum twice a week.
Limit throw rugs to reduce dust and mold. If you do have rugs, make sure they are washable.
Keep windows closed to reduce pollen entering the house. Change filters in air conditioning units and vents frequently this time of year.
Talk to your doctor about a seasonal allergy drug that may be appropriate for your symptoms.
The next visit to our area by the periodical cicada (often referred to incorrectly as the “17-year locust”), is expected this spring. The last time we saw an invasion of cicadas was in 1996. The large (1 5/8 inch) slow-moving red-eyed bugs appeared suddenly in late May and were accompanied by an annoying whirring sound all day long. The sidewalks were littered with molted skins and dead insects that crunched underfoot and smelled of decay. Common human reactions to the 1996 invasion included fascinated disbelief, annoyance, disgust and panic.
The cicadas we expect to see come from nymphs that have spent the past ~17 years underground. Once they emerge, the nymphs climb up trees, shed their skins and become flying adults. The males produce their mating song from daybreak through evenings. The insects spend 5-10 days mating, after which the males die, and the females start looking for places to lay their eggs, usually in twigs on trees. The eggs hatch, the nymphs that emerge fall to the ground, burrow into the soil and suck juices from the tree roots. They remain underground slowly maturing until it is time to emerge.
In areas where the number of cicadas is very large, young trees and bushes may be destroyed due to damage that results when the female punctures the twigs to lay her eggs. Mature trees can usually survive the damage. Most flowers, vegetables and herbs are not attractive to cicadas. Songbirds feed the protein-rich, low-fat cicadas to their young. Dogs and cats eat the insects, which in small numbers, don’t harm them. However, a pet that eats a large number of them can end up with a blocked digestive tract or an allergic reaction. Fortunately, these fascinating bugs are harmless to humans.