Poison Ivy.

The backyard of the House of Rock is rife with poison ivy. Finding a small itchy spot of it on my hand on Saturday, I decided to do some investigations so that I could better identify the plant. I was very familiar with the basic three shiny, reddish, leaves poison ivy, but I didn’t know if there were more varieties. I quickly came across poison-ivy.org and found out that, yes, there are many different varieties.

ivy2.PNG
Click to enlarge

We’ve got the ground cover and the climbing variety all over one side of our lawn. Realizing my new predicament was a bit overwhelming. There’s probably enough ivy to fill 3 or 4 trash barrels. I’m not too keen on using herbicides, especially with a new veggie garden down-hill from the infestation, so I’ll probably don a Hazmat suit and try to cut out the pesky plant by hand. Needless to say, it will be an adventure in patience and persistence. If you have any helpful tips on how to remove poison ivy safely and permanently, I’d love to hear them.

22 thoughts on “Poison Ivy.

  • 6/22/2009 at 9:12 am
    Permalink

    My parents have tons of poison ivy on their property. When I was in high school we dealt with a large section of it. Basically the stuff grows really well in the climate around here, it’ll keep coming back, but you can reduce the amount that’s hanging around. When I cleared out the ivy with my parents we pulled all the ivy growth and roots by hand in the spring before the leaves are out (this does not make it any less likely that you will get poison ivy, just makes it a bit easier to deal with). Then in the summer they used copious amounts of round up on new plants popping up for 2-3 years, I know this is not the info you were looking for but it worked for them. Also clearing areas and then making sure to keep them mowed will help, it doesn’t grow into mowed areas much.

    My family tried it’s best to not get poison ivy. We wore long sleeves, long pants, and gloves while doing all the clearing. We removed our clothes and washed them imediatly after work, along with taking hot soapy showers after the ivy clearing work. We still got poison ivy rashes EVERYWHERE. It sucked. If this happens just go to the Dr. they can give you prescription steriods to help with the itchy rash, don’t make yourself suffer.

    Reply
  • 6/22/2009 at 9:25 am
    Permalink

    There is also stuff called Tecnu. It’s something you use to remove poison ivy oils from yourself. Supposedly it works well in bonding to the active ingredient in the ivy (urushiol), rendering it harmless. However, it’s really only usable for the first few hours after you’ve been exposed, but that could work out if after you’ve done the deed, you hose yourself down in this stuff, then take a shower. The product also claims you can rub it on boots, clothes etc. and it won’t evaporate, so it’ll help “deactivate” your belongings. I used it once, but it was days after. It didn’t help much. However, I kept getting secondary exposure from my shoes after a hike, and in that case, it worked like a charm in cleaning them up.

    Reply
  • 6/22/2009 at 9:26 am
    Permalink

    I suggest a flamethrower! I’m sure you can put one together with all those tools you own.

    Reply
  • 6/22/2009 at 9:51 am
    Permalink

    we have it on our property as well MikeD. We did the same thign as Mykal, yanked it up by hand, long sleeves blah blah blah. And ours was in our garden too….but I have found that mowing does keep it under control on the yard. Other than that there is an over the coutner poison ivy kit (shower scrub and spray). It really helps with prevention, removal and containment of any rash that you do incur, without the need to go to the doctor. I should know!

    Reply
  • 6/22/2009 at 10:12 am
    Permalink

    Advice from a real farmer: Cut the vines near the ground with a saw and spray both sides with Round-up and weed wack all of the ground cover then spray with Round-up. It wont take much spraying to kill all of the roots and you will be poison ivy free next spring. By then you can plant some new grass on the ground and make sure to weed wack all your trim every time you mow. You should be able to demolish your small crop of poison ivy, if not, come to my farm and practice on my 30 acres of poison ivy.

    Reply
  • 6/22/2009 at 10:33 am
    Permalink

    Ha! Thirty acres of poison ivy certainly puts my situation into perspective.

    Reply
  • 6/22/2009 at 10:46 am
    Permalink

    Tecnu is a staple amongst orienteers, and many swear by the stuff.

    Reply
  • 6/22/2009 at 10:46 am
    Permalink

    Find someone who is immune to the poison ivy and con them into helping you. Kathy and Laura were both immune to poison ivy. I’d be glad to give you their numbers and you could request their help :-)

    Reply
  • 6/22/2009 at 11:31 am
    Permalink

    Over time you build up a sensitivity with more exposure. I use to consider myself “immune” until I hung sheets to dry on a line in the back yard of the House of Rock over said poison ivy, then slept in it for a week.

    Immunity = VERY False.

    Reply
  • 6/22/2009 at 11:34 am
    Permalink

    I should mention, it was NOT intentional that I hung the sheets over ivy (wasn’t trying to prove anything), and the only way I realized we had poison ivy back there was due to the full body rash on the side of my body I sleep on.

    Reply
  • 6/22/2009 at 11:47 am
    Permalink

    I also love flame throwers, but seriously, don’t burn it!!! Inhaling it is way bad too.

    Reply
  • 6/22/2009 at 12:43 pm
    Permalink

    Ivy-Block and then Fals-Naphtha Soap. The soap works well for prevention if used quickly after exposure, and once the rash breaks out I have not found anything better in reducing the itch and drying the rash. This coming from a guy who used a chain saw on the climbing stuff on a tree, without a shirt. Whoops. I also don’t think I recommend the weed whacker, as that may have the same effect as the chain saw in throwing the poison all over you. I think the soap may have even worked better than the steriods they gave me.

    Reply
  • 6/22/2009 at 3:31 pm
    Permalink

    http://www.care2.com/greenliving/vinegar-for-poison-ivy.html#

    “For some reason, Spanish and Angora goat breeds absolutely love
    poison ivy. Make sure you get those particular breeds; most
    others don’t like poison ivy for their main meal.”

    That website also lists a “home recipe” for poison ivy killer.
    Other sites list some more, all similar:

    1) Mix three parts vinegar with one part dishwashing soap in a pump spray bottle. Spray a narrow stream and douse the plants leaves and crown. Don’t get carried away with this treatment, repeated applications will acidify the soil so that nothing will grow in it. If this happens, you can apply calcitic lime to neutralize the vinegar.

    2) Mix 1 oz gin, 1 oz apple cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon baby shampoo, 1 quart water, and pour into a pump spray bottle. Spray on a hot sunny day, wetting all leaves and dousing the plant. Repeat if weed is not dead the following day.

    3) Mix 1 quart water with 2 tablespoons rubbing alcohol. Put in a pump spray bottle and spray leaves thoroughly but lightly.

    I think I like the first one…

    Reply
  • 6/22/2009 at 9:18 pm
    Permalink

    A co-worker of mine has gotten very bad rashes after yearly clearings of his property. Bad enough to go to the doctor to get a steroid prescription. His advice is 1) wear something that you’ll just throw away afterwards. 2) Clean off with rubbing alcohol (a whole bottle!) before taking a cold shower. A hot shower will open up your pores and let the urushiol stuff in.

    Reply
  • 6/23/2009 at 7:01 am
    Permalink

    Hey, try using salt or road sand w/ salt in it. It shouldn’t leach far enough down to get to the garden, and it kills weeds wo being a herbicide. (Well, that may be an oximoron or something). Also, you can build resistance to poison ivy; my dad is impervious to it because he played in it so much in small doses when he was young. It doesn’t seem to bother me much either, though I still don’t touch it w/o gloves.

    Reply
  • 6/23/2009 at 7:07 am
    Permalink

    Dial antibacterial soap works fine too, as long as it’s right after the exposure.

    Reply
  • 6/25/2009 at 6:27 pm
    Permalink

    deer dig poison Ivy, go borrow one! I m not joking

    Reply
  • 5/25/2012 at 12:01 pm
    Permalink

    Urushiol oil is one of very few things that can be transferred from the lungs to the blood stream. I cut the thick vines several years back, and I inhaled copious amounts of the urushiol. I had to be hospitalized due to the extensive rash on my body. I had it on the inside of my eyelids, as well as in my sinuses, and in my esophagus, and larynx. be very, very careful cutting on poison ivy. I will never, never cut poison ivy again. although I did not know that was what i was cutting.

    Reply

Leave a Reply to Patrick Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *