Ambrosia a highly allergenic plant: how to fight it?

Ambrosias are plants that should be fought without any scruple because they are responsible for serious allergies. Let’s take stock of the three species of ambrosia concerned by this problem and the possible solutions to get rid of them, but first of all let’s see the different symptoms that people who are confronted with the allergenic pollen of these plants present.

Ambrosia allergy: symptoms

Ambrosia allergy is none other than the body’s immune response to pollen of the plant. As is the case for all of pollinoses, symptoms appear in susceptible people when exposed to allergenic particles. These symptoms, which are particularly marked in the case of a ragweed pollen allergy are the following :

  • Nasal pruritus (itching)
  • Bursts of sneezing,
  • Bilateral conjunctivitis, that is to say at the level of both eyes, which is manifested by local itching, redness, tearing,
  • Aqueous rhinorrhea (the nose runs and then becomes clogged),
  • Itching in the palate.

Associated symptoms are very common, such as:

  • Skin reactions (oedema, hives, redness),
  • More or less fatigue,
  • A dry cough,
  • Difficulty breathing and/or wheezing
  • an asthma attack,
  • Choking.

Five grains of Ambrosia pollen per cubic meter of air are sufficient for the body to trigger an attack in order to eliminate allergenic particles. And the greater the amount of pollen in the air, the more pronounced and brutal the manifestations of the allergy, which can become severe with and lead to complications.

Ambrosia: an allergenic plant to be eliminated as soon as possible

Ambrosia being a very allergenic plant of the family of Asteraceae. Anyone can be sensitive to it, regardless of their physical condition and/or age, and therefore develop very strong reactions when it occurs. bloom and the plant begins to emit its pollen. The best way to fight against this scourge is to immediately eliminate the slightest foot of Ambrosia with smooth ears, Trifid Ambrosia or even Ambrosia with mugwort leaves because, in fact, there are three allergenic species.

Of course, it is imperative to know how to distinguish these plants so as not to risk eradicating other plant species by mistake.

Ambrosia with smooth ears

Ambrosia psilostachya is a perennial species which reaches a maximum of 2 m in height. It has hairy leaves in the shape of a spear of a good dozen centimeters. Its inflorescences in flower heads form tall ears and flourish May to November. She is very allergenic. Fortunately, it is a plant that produces a small quantity of seeds, so that it colonizes its environment little. This Ambrosia grows spontaneously in ditches, on the side of roads or in wasteland, but does not develop well in tilled soils. You can therefore easily contain its expansion and even eradicate it by rigorously maintaining your garden.

Trifid Ambrosia

Trifid Ambrosia (Ambrosia trifida) or giant ragweed does not go unnoticed since it quickly reaches up to 4 meters in height. It grows on uneven ground at the edge of watercourses but is even more present on cultivated plots and surrounding land.

This annual plant is very present in Canada and Russia, but it is beginning to develop in France. Its development begins in the spring. To avoid the risk of being confronted with its pollen, it is essential to pull it out before it flowers, knowing that flowering occurs in August-September. This also prevents it from multiplying by dispersal of its seeds. You should know that this badass readily colonizes poor soils because of its extremely important acclimatization power.

It is not at all easy to eliminate permanently because each foot produces approximately 3,000 seeds of which about 20% will, the following year, generate new plants, and so on… It is therefore a highly invasive plant and competitive for crops but which also poses a health problem because of its highly allergenic pollen.

Mugwort Ambrosia

Mugwort Ambrosia (Ambrosia artemisiifolia) is the most problematic. It grows in orchards, at the edge of waterways, in ditches and wasteland and in all abandoned land, but also in pastures, cultivated fields… It gives many plants tough competition and in crops, it can quickly lead to a loss in yield. In addition, the allergies it causes have serious health implications.

This undesirable can reach 2 meters high and it reproduces with great facility since the same plant has male flowers and female flowers. It is therefore a monoecious plant. Its green flowers bloom from the month of july and the flowering continues until september. It is imperative to uproot the plant before the appearance of its flowers so as not to be confronted with their allergenic pollen.

Fight Ambrosia

It is, of course, first of all necessary to locate the allergenic ragweed, and to contain their expansion by pulling them out before they are in bloom because their proliferation is problematic. This involves correctly identifying the plants so that there is no possible confusion with other species. We could of course rush on herbicides, but these are polluting products.

At their level, individuals have the opportunity to act. Equipped with protective glovesthey must rip off Ambrosia’s feet as soon as they appear so as not to let the flowers develop. Thereby, the spread of pollen by the wind is avoided but also the risks of proliferation of the plant by theswarming of its seeds.

The lawns are mow regularly to limit the risk of seed proliferation. The denser the lawn, the more likely the grasses that make it up are to prevent the germination of ragweed seeds stored in the ground.

It is also advisable to observe its environment as well as the nearby gardens and toencourage neighbors to exterminate also the ambrosias which develop on their ground. It is a matter of civic sense.

Of course, the public authorities, the municipalities and the regions are confronted with the fight against Ambrosia and propose targeted protocols. For example, farmers use different techniques of mechanical weeding of their immense exploited surfaces, in particular when it is not desirable to resort to a chemical herbicide, for example in the cultures of corn, soya and sunflowers… The chambers of agriculture, the agricultural cooperatives and other professional organizations constantly give advice on the fight against Ambrosia.

Clauses are imposed on construction workers and any breach is sanctioned. Companies are also required to clean up their wastelands and are punishable in case of non-compliance with theambrosia prefectural decree in force. Each territory has set up control plants in order to protect itself effectively against the different species of allergenic ragweed.

Do not hesitate to contact the town hall of your municipality to obtain a data sheet of the allergenic ragweeds present in his region and to learn about the most effective means of combating them. In some municipalities, a communal ambrosia referent was designated. Otherwise, it is the mayor that it is necessary to contact in order to report the presence of Ambrosia. A report that can also be made via Internet, on the site of the Participatory Observatory of Species and Nature (OPEN).

The fight against Ambrosia requires tenacityand everyone must make an effort to achieve eradicate it gradually. In addition to the systematic uprooting of ragweed populations (smooth-eared, trifid and sage-leaved), it is strongly recommended to revegetate bare surfaces but also the fallow plots after cleaning them.

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