Getting Rid of Poison Ivy Plants

Poison ivy growing up a tree trunk.
Poison ivy can be very prolific in your yard and garden. The oily resin is toxic and can cause a severe rash and even lung problems if you try to burn it. There are safe ways to get rid of this unwanted plant. This is a page to getting rid of poison ivy plants.


This page contains the following solutions.

October 2, 2011

Try Round-up, it's the best for killing poison ivy.

By llpensinger from Ocean City, MD

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17 Questions

Here are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community.

October 19, 2006


I held a wedding reception at our home a few years ago. The guys put mulch around the trees and house. I found out the mulch also had poison ivy in it. Now the trees and yard are covered with the stuff and I'm severely allergic to it. What can I use to kill it off with out hurting the trees and grass?

Hardiness Zone: 5-6

Nellie from Franklin, IN



Unfortunately, I can't think of a product that will selectively kill poison ivy without damaging your trees and grass. Poison ivy is difficult to eradicate, especially if you're severely allergic to it. Still, it's not impossible, but it will take persistence. When working around it, cover yourself from head to toe in heavy clothing. Wear plastic bags over your shoes and change your clothes frequently, scrubbing yourself down with soap and water in-between changes of clothes.


Wear gloves on your hands that you can dispose of after use. Also, as you work with the plants, put one of your gloved hands inside a large trash bag so you can use the bag like an outer glove. As you gather up roots and stems, fold the garbage bag over them to minimize contact with clothing.

Poison ivy can produce an allergic reaction in any season, but the safest time to work on getting rid of it is in the fall or spring when the leaves are gone and the plant is in its dormant stage. Try clipping the vines down to within 1 inch of the ground and never let them grow any higher. The poison ivy will continue to send up shoots, but the over time the plant will become weakened from a lack of above ground foliage. In the spring when the ground has thawed but the plant is still dormant, try pulling or digging out the roots in areas where there are only small patches.


You can mark these areas with stakes now so you can identify their locations in the spring. Where possible, it can also help to cover areas with black plastic sheeting. The plastic should be secured tightly and left for several months; this includes wrapping it around tree trunks covered in the vines.

Don't ever mow the plants, as broken bits of the stems, leaves and roots all contain the noxious oils. Don't burn any of the plants, either. The resulting smoke can cause severe lung damage if inhaled.

Good luck!


By Chris (Guest Post)
September 13, 20060 found this helpful

You could apply a roundup or roundup type product (one with the active ingredient Glyphosate or Glufosinate) to the Poison ivy growing on the tree. Poison Ivy has waxy leaves so you would need to mix a non-ionic surfactant usuall just sold as "spreader sticker" to your mix to get it to stick to the leaves. Make sure you apply when there is no breeze so as to avoid drift onto the grass. As far as in the lawn, you would likely just need to wear long sleeves, gloves and dig it out by the roots and put in a garbage bag, unless it is so intermingled with the lawn, you may just be better off spraying the grass as well as the ivy and just reseed later.


Since roundup and other roundup like products have no residual soil activity you could safely resse shortly after the poison ivy was dead. Cbond156 (at)

September 14, 20060 found this helpful

To help thwart the blowing of your Rounup you can use cardboard. Hold the cardboard between what you are spraying and whatever is behind it. You'll minimize the effects of the Roundup on the other plants.

And as Chris (we got the same name ;)) said above just kill off the grass and re-seed'll be a headache, but it'll save you a bigger one trying to not spray it. Read the instructions on your roundup before using and it'll tell you when you can replant.



If you are daring, and got the time...

* Use roundup, wait a week (to allow the ivy to die off)
* Till the area to break up the roots
*Wait till the ivy comes back
* repeat

This will take several applications, but I've found as the ivy is, well, an ivy, getting to ALL of the roots is nearly impossible. By breaking the soil you are causing the roots to seperate & re-grow. Then by spraying again, you'll find you're getting more of the ivy then just by spraying the leaves.


I'm not allergic to the poison plants so I just dig in with my hands *evil grin* but the better majority of the population is not like you'll have to find someone like me, or do it all the hard way.


* Wear Gloves & wash them throughly as SOON as you are done working
* DO NOT BURN the poison ivy (not even the dead stuff). You'll get the oils in your mouth & lungs and trust me, that AIN'T PURDY!


* If you use an off-brand of roundup, be sure it's active ingredients match (including the amount of them).
* I personally double the mix when killing ivies, it tends to work better (though, that sticky stuff Chris said should likely do the trick)

September 14, 20060 found this helpful

I am also severely allergic to ivy, oak and sumac-- if I get another dose like the last time-- trying to rid my daughter's back yard of oak-- I will be in hospital!! Probably in ICU.
These folks have given you good advice-- I'll add one more-- hire someone to do the application-- don't do it yourself-- with this strong a reaction-- there is no way you cannot get a dose.
I wish you very good luck

June 27, 20190 found this helpful

I heated some old motor oil and poured it over the root. It did not come back. You can also pour some some hot tar over ot and kill it.

April 3, 20230 found this helpful

add dish wash detergent to the roundup mix to make it stick to the leaves. Roundup has never failed for me. If it is too close to a valued plant I would could it close to the ground and use a small paint brush to paint the mix on the stem.

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May 13, 2010

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.


May 13, 20100 found this helpful

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.

May 13, 20100 found this helpful

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!

May 18, 20100 found this helpful

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.

May 19, 20100 found this helpful

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.

August 30, 20160 found this helpful

1 gallon of vinegar, 1 cup of Salt 6 squirting of dishsoap, apply with sprayer the poison ivy will turn brown and die!

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June 23, 2019

How can I kill poison ivy?


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June 24, 20190 found this helpful

Dissolve one cup salt in a gallon of water and add a tablespoon of dish soap . Spray this on the ivy. It must be repeated to keep the ivy under control, and it is all-natural.


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June 26, 20190 found this helpful

Poison Ivy can be dangerous in an area where people - especially children - are apt to walk or congregate at any time.
It is a perennial plant and will regrow from the roots every year so an area has to be rechecked often to be sure all of the plant has been killed.
It can also be dangerous to just dump in a pile or burn so be sure to place all parts in a garbage bag and close tightly before hauling away.

There are several recommended 'natural' ways to kill poison ivy but chemicals are often recommended because they usually work faster and generally will kill more roots. You can use your own discretion as to what method you decide to use. Your decision may be based on where this bush is located and how large an area it covers.

Some excepts from 'experts' in information about this weed:

"Poison ivy is a perennial plant that grows back from the roots and often spreads by means of underground runners. Removing poison ivy completel if it is a vigorous stand--may take three or four tries."

"Make a mixture of 1 cup of salt, 1 gallon of vinegar and 8 drops of liquid dish soap. Combine the salt and vinegar in a pan and heat to dissolve the salt. Allow it to cool, then add the liquid detergent and put the mixture in a spray bottle. You can spray the poison ivy or pour it directly on the plant. This will kill all vegetation, so be sure to only apply it to the poison ivy."

I would suggest you read information on several sites as each one has different suggestions and vital information about this poisonous weed.


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June 26, 20190 found this helpful

cybergrannie gave the best insights on dealing with this scourge. If I may add a safety first thing for you....if you are at all sensitive to it, maybe find someone else to do the dirty work in this process. I have had two family members and a close friend end up in either the ER or the urgent care while trying to kill off poison ivy. All 3 are highly allergic and all three looked like they were going into a hazmat situation and yet they still had issues. Never burn it either...the fumes can cause terrible respiratory issues for those who are sensitive and even those who may not get skin issues, can have bad internal reactions.

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May 13, 2015

I have some areas of my garden and yard that are infested with poison ivy. Any suggestions on how to safely get rid of it?


May 22, 20150 found this helpful

Whatever you do, do not burn it. Do you live in the country? If you do ask to borrow someones goat [not a joke]. Golf courses bring goats onto the course to eat the grass and the poison ivy. The goats like poison ivy and it does not make them sick either!

April 15, 20160 found this helpful

Honestly I've found that you have to suit up use protective clothing and let no part of the plant touch your skin, to get rid of it is truly affective to pull up the weeds gently , as you do not want the oils to be air born, get the root and all, it is best to do this after a good rain as the ground is soft, put the plant in a large plastic bag, try not to leave any vines in the ground, if the vine is growing up a tree ot pole, or house, take sheers and cut the vine down from the ground, the vine will die out , yet it is still contaminated so be sure and protect your skin, it makes it easier to pull the vine when it dies, I have moved and this home has ivy everywhere, as the privious owner didnt do anything to the yard, so i'l suit up and my husband helps me tape my gloves and pants to me so as not to leave any gaps, i them wear a large apron and eye wear, i avoid wiping my sweat as my clothes are covered in oils, it takes a little patienents, youll want to remove everything you wore and wash up with a antibactirial soap, as long as the oils dont get on you it works, after you remove the ivy and roots, cover the area with news paper and plastic or something to kill the sunlight, and the ivy should not grow back, i know it's alot, but i've had sucess, and i keep my budget , some pestisides take weeks to kill the plant and you have to remove it anyway

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June 29, 2009

How can I kill Poison Ivy?

Hardiness Zone: 5a

By Mary from Kalamazoo, MI


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June 29, 20090 found this helpful

Call a gardening center and do your own search on Google.

June 29, 20090 found this helpful

You could buy chemcials at a garden store or big box store. You could also dig up the plants. What ever method you use wear gloves and do not burn the poison ivy. Onct the leaves are broken they emit the chemical that will cause a rash. Burning the leaves put this chemical in the air that can be ingested into your air ways.Some options to consider to get rid of poison ivy include.
Call a professional landscaper to remove the poison ivy plants, especially if you have a lot of poison ivy in your yard.

Spray the poison ivy plants with an herbicide, such as Roundup or Ortho Poison Ivy Killer, keeping in mind that they can also kill surrounding plants too.

Manually remove the poison ivy plants, including the roots.

Repeat spraying or manually removing the poison ivy plants as they grow back.
If removing the poison ivy plants on your own, be sure to wear protection and keep in mind that Urushiol can remain on your clothing and gloves, etc., causing a rash if you later touch them.
Also, be sure to properly dispose of the poison ivy plants, since even a dead poison ivy plant can trigger a reaction, and never burn a poison ivy plant, as that can trigger a deadly reaction to anyone who is exposed to the smoke.

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August 17, 2015

Will the homemade weed killer work on poison ivy? We have just a few spots around our garden bed and were wondering if it will kill the ivy?


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August 17, 20150 found this helpful

Poison Ivy (NA-East Coast) and Poison Oak (NA-West Coast) are plants anathema to most people and are the bane of many gardeners, farmers, explorers, etc. An easy online search for "get rid of poison ivy and poison oak" will provide many ideas for controlling the weed (it is impossible to completely kill off as it is often spread by birds). You can try a search yourself or this helpful site to start:

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August 13, 2012

Does anyone know how to totally kill poison ivy, oak, etc. without herbicides? I have pulled it over and over and ended up in the ER. I cannot use the herbicides due to my liver, but must get rid of these plants.

By Tina B.


August 20, 20120 found this helpful

I'm very allergic and have also had problems in the past. A garden friend taught me to take a plastic grocery bag, and pull the plant out using the bag as a glove. I then turn the bag inside out with the poison ivy, root and all, inside. Tie it shut and put it in the trash. It works best when the plant is still fairly small but you could just use a bigger bag if it's larger.

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June 14, 2012

I have some poison ivy growing around my grapevines. I need to kill it, but am afraid to use anything that might leach into my grapes. Does anyone have a solution? Right now, I'm pretty much covered with the rash around my neck, face and arms.

By Lorraine from Bristol, CT


August 7, 20130 found this helpful

Right now the only true way to get rid of poison ivy is to remove the plant by hand. I buy large thick yellow kitchen gloves, wear long sleeves and long pants and dig them out. There is a product you can buy in any lawn and garden, big box or drug store. It is called Technu, it is made of mineral spirits and you wash your clothes and tools off after you have pulled up the Ivy.

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June 14, 2013

How do you kill poison ivy?


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April 18, 2007


We have a hay field of about 6 acres. It has become overrun with poison ivy. Any ideas of how to eliminate it without destroying the hay?

Hardiness Zone: 6b

Woofey from Southern, MA



The best way to eradicate poison ivy from such a big area is probably by repeated mowing or grazing the areas heavily for several years (sheep and goats apparently show no ill effects when eating it). Repeatedly taking poison ivy down to soil level will eventually cause the roots to die out. Unfortunately, this does nothing to spare your hay. Even when using chemicals like Brush-B-Gone, which is non-selective and also very toxic, poison ivy is difficult to get rid of in small areas. The size of your field makes eliminating it all the more challenging. Some sources recommend repeated mowing followed by plowing it under to control it in large agricultural areas. Not knowing your situation (whether you need to use the hay for your own livestock or you sell it to others as a cash crop, etc.), I don't know if this is even an option for you. You could try checking with your county extension agency or the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources Their sites may also offer you links to helpful information.

Good luck!
Ellen Brown

More Answers:

Getting Rid of Poison Ivy

There is a product called Zanfel that you can get at Rite Aid and Walgreens pharmacies. It's expensive. Rite Aid also has a generic. It removes the oil that causes the itching and outbreak from your skin. I have tried everything. This product works. Period. Try it. (08/24/2006)

By Rich Binell

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May 13, 2010

How do I kill poison ivy? It has grown excessively this spring. Thanks.

Hardiness Zone: 7b

By marie from NJ


July 14, 2009

How do you get rid of poison ivy plants?

Hardiness Zone: 7a

By marie from NJ


Getting Rid of Poison Ivy

The best way I found to get rid of poison ivy short of using roundup is by pulling it out by hand. Just be careful and make sure you wear protective clothing as the oils from the ivy can certainly come in contact with your skin and face and make it very uncomfortable for you. Always wash with soapy water after coming in contact with the poison ivy. (05/15/2009)

By Kathy

Getting Rid of Poison Ivy

There is a product made especially for poison ivy. The plant is very hardy and most weed killers won't do the job for good. Since it is such a nasty plant to deal with I have used this herbicide which I usually don't like to do. (05/15/2009)

By merlene smith


June 29, 2009

I found a very inexpensive way to kill poison ivy in my yard. Spray the area with a mixture of 2 gallons soapy water and 3 lbs. of salt. The already mixed solutions at the garden store are very costly. It only takes a few minutes to mix up your own.

By Bobbie


Killing Poison Ivy

I'll give the vinegar a shot. (05/31/2005)

By Steve


May 12, 2009

I have so much poison ivy growing all throughout my trees and bushes. I tried to get rid of them by pouring vinegar but it didn't work. I have a dog so I don't want to use any harmful chemicals. Does anyone have any ideas on how I can get rid of them?


February 9, 2006

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?

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