How to eliminate poison ivy
The people behind my house have poison ivy on their property. It reached my 6 foot picket fence and climbed to my property. We are very allergic. There is something I can do to kill what’s on my fence and property? – Pat Burke, Medford
Poison ivy (Toxicodendron radicans) is a nasty grapevine containing urushiole, which causes itchy, blistered dermatitis in those unlucky enough to cause itchy, blistered dermatitis. The urushiole remains a threat year-round, even to dormant plants that have lost their leaves, and can be transmitted to humans through gardening tools, clothing, and pets. Even dead vines in good faith contain the poison. However, it’s good to know that no matter how ugly and contagious it looks, if you touch someone else’s rash, you won’t be able to tell. The plant grows on a vine just below the surface of the soil and can climb up to 30 feet over trees and walls and along fences, establishing itself above aerial roots.
>> Photos: Poison Ivy in every season
The first step in avoiding the plant is to be able to properly identify it. Take a look at the photos on this page. Notice that the leaves are made up of three leaflets per piece (hence the childhood rhyme: “Leaves of three, leave it”). Even so, identification can be a challenge for the uninitiated. Although the leaves always consist of three leaflets, their shapes can vary and their edges can be smooth, lobed, or serrated.
If you are sure that you are dealing with poison ivy, then you will need to contact your neighbor to have it removed, as pulling up the part of the plant that has invaded your property is only a short-term solution to it is only one It’s time to get it back on your side of the fence.
The most effective means of removing poison ivy is to uproot it in March after the winter’s freeze-thaw cycles have softened the soil. Since you are allergic, you should not take this into your own hands. You should also take care to avoid contact with tools or clothing that will be used while working. Long sleeves, pants and gloves should be worn and all clothing should then be carefully removed so that they do not come into contact with the skin. The clothes should be placed directly in the washing machine and the handler should shower immediately. I recommend washing with Tecnu soap to remove traces of the resins.
Proper disposal is critical. Poison ivy should never be burned as the smoke would contain toxins which, if inhaled, would cause a poison ivy rash in your lungs. It’s not nice. Wrap the ivy tightly and discard it with the trash.
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Nonselective herbicides containing triclopyr or glyphosate can be used to kill the plant when it begins to grow in spring. However, be aware that it will kill every other plant in the area as well, including grass. Generally, the sprays are applied to leaves that will wither within a day, turn brown within three days, and should die within a few weeks. However, repeated applications are often required. Always read and follow the directions on the label carefully.
If you have a lot of poison ivy, you should seek help from a poison ivy removal expert to protect yourself and ensure its complete eradication.