Nothing to sneeze at: DC tops list of worst cities for grass allergies

As thousands in the nation’s capital deal with the sniffles and watery eyes that come with the height of allergy season, a new ranking shows D.C.’s grass allergy problem is nothing to sneeze at.

It turns out, there’s no worse city in the U.S. than the District when it comes to grass allergies, according to the lawn care company Lawn Love’s “2024 Worst Cities for Grass Allergies This Summer.”

The ranking comes in the middle of Allergy and Asthma Awareness Month, and is based on grass pollen forecasts, allergen intensity and lawn mowing frequency, among eight total metrics.

Lawn Love chose the nation’s capital for the dubious honor out of 380 of the biggest U.S. cities. Other local cities also rank among the worst for grass allergy sufferers: Reston, Virginia, ranks No. 7, and Towson, Maryland, ranks No. 30.

In the D.C. area, grass pollen becomes prominent during late spring and early summer, typically from May to July.

According to the U.S. Army Centralized Allergen Extract Laboratory, located in Silver Spring, Maryland, Thursday’s reading for grass pollen was high, clocking in at 26.52 grains per cubic meter.

On the other end of the spectrum, the best cities for grass allergies are Ashland, Kentucky, at No. 3, Paradise, Nevada, at No. 2, and Fort Myers, Florida, comes in as the most comfortable city in the country for people with grass allergies.

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Neal Augenstein

Neal Augenstein has been a general assignment reporter with WTOP since 1997. He says he looks forward to coming to work every day, even though that means waking up at 3:30 a.m.

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