Anyone who has touched poison ivy can attest to how nasty it is. A light brushing against any part of a poison ivy plant to release an oily resin called urushiol that can cause terrible skin rashes.
Removing it from your yard should be at the top of your gardening duties. Here are the basics steps to remove poison ivy and prevent it from returning.
1. Identify Poison Ivy
Poison ivy can vary in appearance, but the old saying "Leaves of three, leave them be" holds true. Other plants such as boxelders and raspberries also have leaves that grow in threes, but if you're not sure, avoid plants that look like this.
The leaves can also be shiny or dull and the edges of the leaves may be smooth or toothed. Every part of poison ivy can be harmful, from the leaves to the branches and base. The CDC has a great to identifying poison ivy, as well as poison oak and poison sumac.
2. Protect Yourself
Before removing poison ivy, you must cover your hands, arms, legs, and feet, with sturdy clothing. are better than cloth, as the plants oil won't permeate through the glove. Wear a long sleeve shirt and consider taping the end of the glove around your arm, so no skin is exposed. Any clothes that come into with poison ivy should be washed separately and immediately after removing the plant, because the oils can easily transfer to hampers, other clothes, or your skin.
If poison ivy does come into with your skin, you have a few minutes to wash your skin before the oil begins to burn, which can alleviate or lessen the effects of a rash. Once a skin rash has developed, the advises you to apply and for the first few days to alleviate pain. An can also be used to calm the effects of poison ivy and help with sleeping.
3. Cut the Base
Use a or to cut the plant at the base and remove it. Any tools should be washed immediately after use. Carefully dispose of the entire plant in a proper yard waste bin. Avoid cutting the plant into smaller pieces which can spread urushiol oil, and never dispose of poison ivy by burning it. The fumes are extremely toxic and can actually kill you. Dead poison ivy leaves and branches are still harmful, so don't leave any of it laying around.
4. Apply Herbicide
Apply to the remaining stump, and continue to do so according to the recommended instructions. It may take multiple doses to completely kill the poison ivy and destroy the root system.