Did you know that you are at an increased risk of coming into
contact with poison oak or poison ivy during the fall and winter
months? "Why no, Caileen, we didn't. How could that be? I
thought I only had to worry about that in the summer time."
Well, friends, the truth is, autumn leaf pick-up is the perfect
opportunity for these poison
plants to contaminate you with their rash-causing oil, urushiol
(ooo-roo-she-all) as they hide amongst the yard debris you so
desperately desire to rid your yard of.
Unless you enjoy insufferable itching, bumps, and blisters, by
all means just dive right into that big pile of autumn leaves! We
joke, of course. But, little do many know, the dangers of that fun
family activity of jumping in and out of leaf piles can potentially
lead to a miserable rash! Don't count on the fact that you've never
spotted poison oak or poison ivy plants in your yard in the past.
These plants have a way of sneaking their way in, and hiding
amongst plants you recognize as safe and "non-rash-causing." How
does poison oak or poison ivy mysteriously make it's way into your
yard? Birds! They are the #1 culprit; they eat the berries from
these plants in other locations, and drop them into your yard when
they fly over and poo. Gross, but true. I seek to share the
truth my friends, gross or otherwise. Sorry!
IMPORTANT REMINDER: even if the plants have dropped their
leaves, you can still develop a rash if you come into contact with
the stems, vines, even the roots! Protect yourself by wearing
long-sleeves and pants, as well as a thick pair of gloves. You can
also use a cleanser that removes the rash-causing-oil, such as
Tecnu® Original Outdoor Skin Cleanser. This cleanser can be
- On skin to remove urushiol, and to keep the oil from spreading
to other areas of your body.
- To clean your tools (shovels, rakes, lawnmowers, etc.) to
prevent secondary contamination the next time you use them.
- To Give ole' Fido a bath the next time he runs out into a
thick, brushy area and you suspect he's come back with urushiol on
- To clean
clothing and boots!
Be sure to follow all label instructions! To learn more about
our favorite product, Tecnu, click here. Enjoy autumn
and the beauty it brings, but be cautious when clearing your
Live life. Get outdoors!