Poison Ivy Identification

“Is this poison ivy?” -Question by Summer of Indianapolis, Indiana

ANSWER: Yes! Leaves of three, let it be! And, it looks like the vine is creeping though your fence from your neighbor’s yard! Remove the poison ivy (Toxicodendron radicans) and any seedlings as soon as possible!

The best way to remove poison ivy is to put on long sleeves and disposable gloves, then grab a large trash bag and cover the whole plant. Loosen the roots with a spade, and pull the whole plant within the bag. Then tie and toss it.

The leaf toxin that causes itchy rash is a stable oil, so wash your hands and clothes in heavy dish soap and detergent after handling. Clean any tools used to remove it with rubbing alcohol, detergent, and lots of water. Never try to compost or burn poison ivy. It’s toxic oils are so stable, they enter the air through smoke and can even stay soil borne.

To get more tips for handling and protecting yourself from poison ivy, click here to read the Center for Disease Control’s Fast Facts on Poison Ivy!