How to Get Rid of Poison Ivy

posted by Party Marty Mitchell -

As you enjoy the summertime weather, beware of the poison ivy. If you've experienced a reaction to poison ivy, you know how difficult it is to deal with so here's some helpful tips for you.  The old saying "Leaves of three, Let it be!" is a helpful reminder for identifying poison ivy and oak in some cases, but not poison sumac which usually has clusters of 7 to 13 leaves. 

How to get rid of poison ivy,

Poison ivy causes a nasty rash when an oily resin called urushiol that gets secreted from any part of the plant gets on your skin. Popular Mechanics says this is the best way to get it out of your yard --and keep it from coming back:

1. Find the poison ivy. The old saying "Leaves of three, leave them be" holds true. Every part of poison ivy can be harmful, from the leaves to the branches and base. The CDC has a great guide to identifying poison ivy, as well as poison oak and poison sumac.

2. Protect yourself. Before removing poison ivy, you must cover your hands, arms, legs, and feet, with sturdy clothing. Nitrile work gloves are better than cloth because the plants oil won't permeate through the glove. Wear a long sleeve shirt and consider taping the end of the glove around your arm, so no skin is exposed. Any clothes that come into contact with poison ivy should be washed separately and immediately after removing the plant, The oils that cause the rash can easily transfer to hampers, other clothes, or your skin.

3. Cut the base: Use a pruning saw or reciprocating saw to cut the plant at the base and remove it. Any tools should be washed immediately after use. Carefully dispose of the entire plant in a proper yard waste bin. Avoid cutting the plant into smaller pieces --that can spread oil. And never burn poison ivy... the fumes are extremely toxic and can actually kill you. Dead poison ivy leaves and branches are still harmful, so don't leave any of it laying around.

4. Apply an herbicide. Apply herbicide to the remaining stump, and continue to do so according to the recommended instructions. It may take multiple doses to completely kill the poison ivy and destroy the root system.

If poison ivy does come into contact with your skin: You have a few minutes to wash your skin before the oil begins to burn, which can alleviate or lessen the effects of a rash. Once a skin rash has developed, apply cortizone cream and calamine lotion for the first few days to alleviate pain. An oral antihistamine can also be used to calm the effects of poison ivy and help with sleeping.

Source: from Popular Mechanics

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