Poison Ivy, how to control and identify this plant

I have a lot of respect for Poison Ivy. We have both the ground poison ivy and the type that climbs up the trees.

When we fist moved to the property I knew Poison Ivy was here but it didn’t seem to affect me so I didn’t worry about it. But after having several breakouts and watching this invasive plant spread I have a new found respect for this plant and really don’t want it on the property.

Many years ago the farmer’s in this area would clear out the poison ivy patches in late fall early winter when it’s dormant (you still need to use care). When the farms started dying out and the land was not used as much the farmers stopped this fall ritual and the poison ivy is rapidly taking over more areas.

If your not sure what poison ivy looks like check out this site: http://www.keepkidshealthy.com/welcome/commonproblems/poison_ivy_identification.html

If you have ever had a case of this rash causing plant you will want to remove it from your property. A bad case of poison ivy can put you in the hospital.

The safest way to kill poison ivy is with a systemic herbicide that contains triclopyr. It usually takes several days and several applications for the vine to die. Make sure to follow the directions carefully on the package. Apply it only to the poison ivy.

Large poison ivy vines that climb up a tree or building should be cut at the bottom and treated with an herbicide. Wear gloves when cutting the vines and be sure to wash all tools and clothes thoroughly after you are finished. When I work in a bad patch I use old clothes that are ready to be retired and I actually dispose of them afterwards. Boots I wash carefully and set out to dry. The tools I wash then soak in a bleach and water mix.

I normally do not use chemicals but for poison ivy I bend the rules for large patches. For smaller patches I use red cider vinegar. It will kill the plant and not harm other plants and is friendlier to the environment.

Note: Never burn poison ivy. The smoke will carry the toxic fumes and can cause poison ivy to get into your lungs and eyes. I know someone who had this happen and believe me; you do not want to experience this problem.

If you catch poison ivy when it’s a small plant its rather easy to control. Left alone to take over trees and banks it becomes a major problem.

Tags: how to control poison ivy, how to identify poison ivy, invasive plant

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