Help Getting Rid of Poison Ivy and Poison Oak


Q: I can get rid of the trouble if I get in contact with it. Scrub with a rich lather of homemade lye soap and I can handle the stuff with my bear hands but how do I eradicate it all together?


Thanks in advance.

A: Wright6421,

There are a few strategies for getting rid of Poison Ivy completely, namely hand-pulling (wear gloves, long-sleeves and long pants) or digging out the roots (get the entire root or risk re-sprouting).

The chemical irritant in Poison Ivy and Poison Oak that causes a skin reaction is present in all parts of the plant (even the roots!), so be careful to avoid all direct contact. This is true even after killing them and for years afterward, so be careful when removing dead roots and stems. And don't burn the stems, as inhaling the fumes can pose serious health risks.

You can also try cutting stems to the ground and spraying the stubs with glyphosate (Roundup brand) or triclopyr (Ortho's Brush-B-Gone Poison Ivy, Poison Oak & Brush Killer). If you have ornamentals growing among your Poison Ivy and Poison Oak, paint the herbicides on the leaves instead of spraying. It may take one or more attempts of any combination of these strategies to eliminate the plants for good.


More Answers:
Help Getting Rid of Poison Ivy and Poison Oak 06/08/2004

Or check with your local extension office, they are affiliated with your state college(s). Most states have one in every county.

If you are going to pull it out by the roots, wet the ground first to soften it and remember, you are working with vines. Wear protective clothing: long pants, long sleeved shirt and gloves. Use duct tape to tape your pant legs closed and tape the gloves to your sleeves. If you use an herbicide, use it in the spring while the plants are actively growing.

By Patticat
Help Getting Rid of Poison Ivy and Poison Oak 06/08/2004
Check with a local garden shop. There is a product on the market which you spray on and it will kill the plants. I can't remember the name offhand.
By Toni K. (Guest Post)
Help Getting Rid of Poison Ivy and Poison Oak 06/08/2004
Another hint - poisen ivy will not harm you if you wash with just plain soap and water within 15 minutes of being in contact with the plants!
By Toni K. (Guest Post)
Help Getting Rid of Poison Ivy and Poison Oak 06/14/2004
Goats & Deer love the stuff, however getting rid of goats and deer sometimes pose more difficult problems. I spray it with strong Vinegar which kills anything it touches and is very cheap and safe for humans. ALSO, apply vinegar to any mosquito or deer fly bites for instant relief. It's always in my backpack.
By Dr. Jose (Guest Post)
Help Getting Rid of Poison Ivy and Poison Oak 07/14/2004
When getting in contact with poison ivy or poison oak, use calamine lotion. This stops the itching. It comes in both pink lotion or clear.

If you're wanting to know how to get rid of the plants, just pour kerosene on it, this will kill the plants.

By badwater


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