In this post, you will learn how to identify poison ivy in your yard, what happens when you’re exposed, how to treat exposure and how to remove poison ivy from your yard.
Poison ivy grows in most regions of the United States except the Southwest, Hawaii, and Alaska. It grows in woods, fields, along roadsides and riverbeds. It can be a high climbing wood vine, a small low-growing shrub or ground cover.
What to Look for – “Leaves of three let them be”
Poison ivy will usually have three thin, pointy, and shiny leaves, one on each side and one in the center. In the spring poison ivy leaves have a reddish color, are green in the summer and orange, red or bronze in the fall.
Poison Ivy is not actually poisonous but it does secrete a sticky long lasting oil, called urushiol, that causes your skin to break out into an itchy blistering rash. Most people are sensitive to this oil and it can be found year-round in all parts of the plant including the roots.
You can get a rash by touching any part of the poison ivy plant or anything that has come in contact with poison ivy and still has the oily resin on it.
The rash will not appear instantaneously but will peak within a week. The rash can last as long as 3 weeks. It is a myth that the rash is contagious.
Burning poison ivy is never a good idea because it releases a chemical that can irritate your eyes, nose, and or lungs. This irritation can sometimes be severe.
Immediately after you come in contact with poison ivy (within 10-15 minutes) you should wash the exposed areas, including nails, with cool water and soap. Wash contaminated surfaces with rubbing alcohol and clothes and shoes with hot water and soap.
See a doctor if the symptoms are severe or persistent. If you experience difficulty breathing, swelling in the throat, dizziness or weakness call 911.
The best way to prevent poison ivy rashes is to learn how to recognize it and avoid exposure. Wear long pants, sleeves, socks, closed shoes, and a hat when walking in areas with poison ivy.
Never burn poison ivy.
How to Remove Poison Ivy
Pick a day when there is no wind especially if you are using herbicide spray. Use shears or pruners and cut the plant on the stem at ground level. Do not tear or rip the vines as this can release the toxic resin into the air.
If you have many plants spread over a large area, cut as much of the top growth as you can, and then spray the remaining roots, stems and stubs with a chemical weed killer containing glyphosate or triclopyr.
Remember to use extreme care when handling these herbicides, as the spray will kill all other garden plants it touches. Always follow the directions on the label for safest use.
We hope these tips help keep you save from poison ivy this summer!
We can spray and remove poison ivy for you! Call us today at (630) 717-0007 to talk to one of our lawn care consultants about weed removal or request a quote online.
Green T Lawn Care is a family owned company located in Aurora, IL and provides professional lawn care services to the suburban Chicago area. View our service area