Poison Ivy in Your Landscape

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- I wish I had a dollar for every time someone wanted to know the way to remove poison ivy from their hedges and shrubs. The answer unfortunately is that there isn't a way to remove this itchy weed with chemicals without killing your shrubs. Only the good old hand weeding method is left.

Remember that all parts of the poison ivy have the oils that cause the typical skin irritation. I've even heard of people after they have dug up poison ivy several years ago get poison ivy on their skin only from handling the dead roots in the ground.

You can get poison ivy from several sources indirectly related to the plant itself. First of all, if you walk through a batch of poison ivy and then touch your shoes or even plant legs, you can easily get it. Another way you can catch the itchings of poison ivy is to come into contact with your pets that also walked through poison ivy. In all cases, you need to be washing your hands immediately after being exposed to the poison ivy oils.

If you want a general guideline, if you are not really allergic to poison ivy you have about 2-3 hours to wash your body parts. If you are really allergic to poison ivy, about 1 hour is your washing time. Just make sure you wash with soap and water thoroughly.

One caution to remember is with burning poison ivy in a brush fire. This is a no-no especially if you breath in the smoke. Yes, the poison ivy oils will also be carried in the smoke and when it gets into your lungs it can cause some serious problems.

My advice is simple and is an old saying, "Leaves of three let it be" or at least take precautions when removing it.

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