Attacked by vegetation?


Old 07-24-11, 07:33 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Cecil County, MD
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Attacked by vegetation?

I am the resident manager of a self storage facility. The bottom of the property is pretty overgrown but I need easy access back there to be able to take care of the fence. There is one area that Iíve been trying to tame but every time I go down there with a mower or trimmer and start cutting, some sort of vegetation, I assume, begins to defend itself or something and within 5 minutes, my eyes start to itch, then burn and water. My nose starts running and my throat starts to close up.
One time I tried to ignore it thinking I was imagining things and after 6 minutes I thought maybe I had stayed too long and I wasnít going to make it out because I could not see at all my eyes burned so bad.

Within moments of leaving the area, Iím fine.

I was down there a half hour ago and I can still not use my right eye. It feels like there is sand in it.

I immersed both eyes in a sink full of water and it helped considerably.

So what the hell is going on? I have never heard of any type of vegetation putting up a defense. Am I super allergic to something down there? Am I nuts?

I know this much. I am not going down there attempting to cut anything down. My next visit is going to be with diesel fuel or kerosene and a torch. Then Brush be Gone, then Roundup.
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Old 07-24-11, 07:40 PM
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You are likely allergic to whatever you are throwing up into the air by your trimming efforts.
You probably have had this allergy for some time but the large amount of airborne plant matter/pollen is too much for your defenses.

You could try an over the counter antihistamine to see if it reduces the symptoms.
You also should get some allergy tests to see what you are sensitive to.
Old 07-24-11, 07:58 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Cecil County, MD
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An allergy? Cheesus, is that what people with allergies go through all the time? I have suddenly developed a deep compassion for people with allergies.
One thing I remembered was smelling some sort of ..I don't know...peppery or spicy kind of thing and moments after that things started going downhill pretty quickly.
My right eye has finally recovered, by the way.
Thanks for the fast response.
Old 07-24-11, 09:44 PM
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I do think your plan of killing the brush is just is a good plan.
Old 07-25-11, 06:01 AM
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While it sounds like an allergic reaction, you might be wise to learn what sort of plants and brush you are dealing with. It's possible that you are having a mild reaction to a poison ivy/oak type of vegetation. Try mowing and trimming with a mask and goggles.

I do not recommend burning brush unless you know exactly what it is. I had a friend (city guy) that cleared brush from his yard, piled it up and burned it. He spent a week in a hospital being fed from an IV. He had burned poison ivy and inhaled a lot of the smoke.
Old 07-25-11, 03:54 PM
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I should have said allergy/sensitivity to what you are throwing into the air.
You can not really know which it is without tests.

You could with caution try an antihistamine to see if it reduces your symptoms.
You should find out if it is an allergy because it is possible for it to become a serious health risk.

With no other allergies I have recently developed a slight allergy to insect bites and take an antihistamine when outdoors in bug weather which is six months long!
Old 07-25-11, 09:49 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Cecil County, MD
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I know what some of the plants are but I'm trying to find a pictorial guide to vegetation native to this area. There is a boatload of wine berry (I gorged myself on these for the past few weeks), black raspberry, milkweed, multifloral rose, poison ivy, morning glory, thistles, something I call "wait a minute" (while I dig this thorn out of my arm) and something I suspect might be the culprit. It's a single stemmed, tall plant with the narrow leaves every inch or so on the stem. It comes down easily with the string trimmer but kicks up a lot of dust. I seem to remember seeing a lot of it both times I had this reaction but I can't be certain what it is until I find some sort of guide on vegetation in the area.
I'm not allergic to poison ivy or poison oak. I can handle the stuff with my hands and rarely get even a blister from it but inhaling smoke from burning it might be different so maybe I'll rethink that part of the plan.
I'll go down tomorrow and poke around (quietly) and take a closer look. Hopefully I'll find a guide that will help me identify the bugger.
Having to take medication every time before I go out is just not going to work for me.
Is it really possible for such a severe allergic reaction to come and go that quick? Frankly, the last time it happened I was actually starting to panic a bit wondering if I was going to make it out of there. People who know me know that I have a habit of understating my injuries or illnesses so if I tell them I think I've cut myself, they are starting the car to take me to the hospital or calling 911. So when I say I was in respiratory distress, trust me, I had a serious problem breathing.
I'll do my homework and see if I can ID everything down there and find the problem plant.

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