What's the best way to get rid of poison ivy? Unfortunately, it's popping up even where we planted grass. We live in a very wooded area which we cleared out. I hope to find a natural, no herbicide way, to get rid of the poison ivy. Thanks for any help.
I've scanned the old responses, and I'm curious to see what new ones come in. We have some poison ivy that has come back for a few years now. About three years ago I didn't know what it was (early spring clean up), and I ended up with horrible rashes on both forearms. I had it for about a month when I happened to be at the doctor's office for something else, and he said he thought it was poison ivy. Nice to know.
My husband and I are discussing hiring someone to get rid of it for us. *I* don't want to risk getting it on me again. I've read that the roots can cause the rash (and the plants spread by runners), and that the oil on old, dead foliage will cause the rash.
If you are in a rural area, you might want to consider goats. I understand they will eat poison ivy. If you think it could be feasible for you, try reasearching goats!
If you do get poison ivy, apply tea tree oil (found in the over the counter pharmacy section or in health food stores). It reduces the itch and also has antibiotic properties to reduce the chance of infection.
If you have to hand-pull the stuff, there are products available at the pharmacy that you can apply to your skin before working around poison ivy that will supposedly block the oils from bonding with your skin. I'd use that, then dress to cover as much skin as possible, including gloves. Loosen plants with long-handled garden tools. Take a stash of grocery store plastic shopping bags, stick your hand in one, and fold it back up your arm. Grab the plant, and fold the bag down over it. Stick in trash. Repeat as needed.
When finished, remove all clothing, toss in washer (shoes too), and shower ASAP in lukewarm water. Lots of water is more important than soap! You may find special washes at the pharmacy, but if you were careful with the plastic bags, you hopefully won't need them.
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