When you get the sniffles during the winter you most likely just have a cold but as the weather gets a bit warmer, there's something else lurking below the surface when the snow starts to melt. Sometimes a warm-up isn't always a good thing. Snow mould happens in Canada when the temperatures start to rise and it can trigger allergies and even asthma.

If you've already experienced a bit of a warm-up where you live and have noticed that you've been more sneezy than usual, you might be able to blame snow mould.

According to The Weather Network, it's a fungus that can damage or kill grass when the snow that's covering it melts.

It starts to infect plants when there is a gradual warming of temperatures or a brief warm spell that melts that white stuff on the ground.

That gives the fungus the moisture it needs to survive and damage the grass.

It can come in patches that are a few centimetres wide and even larger areas as well.

The grass will look matted down or crusty with either a gray colour or a pink colour. 

Along with damaging grass, this fungus can trigger allergies and even asthma attacks in people.

Snow mould isn't too dangerous to humans but the sneezing, stuffiness and asthma issues can get annoying.

"The typical symptoms are generally the sniffling, sneezing, runny nose, itchy eyes, watery eyes," Lilly Byrtus, a regional coordinator for the Allergy/Asthma Information Association, told the CBC. "It's similar symptoms to what we call hay fever when the trees start pollinating."

It can be hard to avoid this nasty fungus and the allergies it brings with it because the spores travel through the atmosphere but avoiding large piles of snow when it starts to warm up can help.

You can try and prevent the fungus from developing if you live somewhere with a lawn by keeping the grass short before it snows and keeping it clear of debris like leaves.

Also, don't let too much snow pile up if you can when you clear the sidewalk or your driveway.

Those piles will take longer to melt and can keep the fungus around for longer.

Thankfully snow mould isn't something you have to think about for too long. Once that warm spring air moves in and conditions get drier, the remaining spores will be killed off.

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