Red poison ivy in the fall
Leafless poison ivy vine
Fall is here and the leaves are turning pretty shades of red and
orange. Soon they will begin falling off of the trees... and poison
One of the myths about poison ivy, oak and sumac is that the
rash is caused by only the plant leaves. However, all parts of the
plant, including the stems and roots, contain urushiol. Urushiol is
the plant's oil that bonds to your skin causing the miserable
During the fall, poison ivy and oak can turn from its bright
green color to yellow/orange and bright red. The plant can look
quite beautiful this time of year.
After the leaves turn red, they will fall off the vines. Without
its "leaflets of three" identifying poison ivy and oak can become
So here are some tips to stay poison ivy and oak rash-free in
- If you have seen the poison plants in an area in the past, they
are most likely still there. It is best to error on the side of
caution. Especially since poison ivy and oak plants are very hearty
and difficult to get rid of.
- Wear gloves to protect your hands when handling any outdoor
plants, especially if you have seen poison ivy or oak in that area
- After being in contact with outdoor plants, clean your skin
with a cleanser like Tecnu to remove any rash-causing oil that may be
on your skin. You can also use Tecnu to clean any clothing, tools
or equipment that may have the poison plant oil on them.
- If your pet runs through an unfamiliar area outdoors, give them
a bath to remove any irritants that may be on their fur.
- If you are camping or hiking in an unfamiliar area, ask if
poison ivy or oak is common there.
- Don't touch leafless vines that are wrapped around trees.
It is common for poison ivy to grow around a tree.