How Do I Get Rid of Poison Ivy Fast?

The old saying “leaves of three, leave them be” is often used to help identify poison ivy and save people from coming in contact with the toxic plant. While most animals are not impacted by the effects of poison ivy, the human skin reacts to contact with the plant with a red, itchy rash and blistering or in extreme cases, anaphylaxis.

This catchy phrase is helpful when people find themselves in unfamiliar turf. However, when poison ivy grows in your yard, children may accidentally come into contact with it and routine activities become challenging when people are required to avoid the invasive and problematic plant.

There are ways to reasonably deal with poison ivy at your home, but it requires a level of diligence even following treatment from exposure. Even in the event the plants are removed, it is possible to overlook the roots which may result in the return of the undesired plant. Below are some of the most effective methods for successfully eradicating the plant. When working around poison ivy, it is important to cover your skin by wearing long sleeve shirts, pants and gloves. It only takes brief contact with the oils from the plant to experience the painful effects.

The most effective method for removal is pulling poison ivy by hand. Be sure to protect your hands and always wear gloves. One challenge with this method is the requirement to have direct contact with the plant. Extreme caution should be taken prior to disturbing the plant or the root system. Some digging may be required in order to completely remove larger roots.

You can also smother the plants using a large piece of thick cardboard, plastic or rubber and placing it on top of the area which contains poison ivy. While this method can be effective in killing the plant, use caution and look out for the roots which may reach outside the edge of the covered area.

A natural spray can also be used to kill the plant. Use one cup of dissolved salt and one tablespoon of dish soap in a gallon of water for a solution which you can spray directly on the poison ivy. While this method may temporarily kill the poison ivy, ongoing treatments will likely be required in order to prevent the poison ivy from returning. You can also spray distilled white vinegar on the plant, however this treatment option also requires multiple treatments for complete removal. Use caution with this strategy as the nearby plants may be damaged from exposure to the solution.

Another method is to douse the plan with boiling water. Pour the boiling water over the roots to kill the invasive plant. One note, it may take multiple applications to complete destroy all the roots.

Herbicides can also be effective affective method for removing poison ivy. You may need to use an increased concentration of the herbicide solution and should consult with the manufacturer. While a commercial herbicide will effectively destroy poison ivy, natural treatment options are preferred. Be sure to read all instructions and use caution with the chemicals. Children and pets should not be allowed on or around the treated areas.

Whichever method you choose to take in removing the poison ivy, be sure to contain any plant remnants in a sealed bag and properly dispose of the waste. Burning poison ivy can be quite dangerous and result in a severe eye reaction and potential respiratory damage. Composting the waste can also result in accidental growth or future contact with the plant.

After any potential contact with poison ivy, all skin, clothing, equipment and tools should be thoroughly washed with soap and cool water. The oily allergen found in the plant, urushiol, can continue to be active for years. Unintentional contact with materials can result in the same painful rashes. A degreaser, alcohol or vinegar should be used to effectively remove the sticky and problematic oils.

Will Poison Ivy Go Away On its Own?