Do you deal with poison ivy and oak on a regular
basis? Are you tired of having a run in with it every year?
It can be difficult to leave the "leaflets of three" alone when it
has already invaded your yard.
Spring is here and things are beginning to grow. If you know
where the poison ivy and oak plants grow, this is a good time to
try to remove it before it gets too large to handle.
Begin by knowing what the plant
looks like. In the spring, poison oak is a glossy
green with white-green flowers at the point where the leaves attach
to the stem. (These flowers later turn into whitish-green round
fruit in the summer.) Poison ivy leaves are red in the spring with
small greenish flowers attached to the main stem close to where
each leaf joins it. These flowers also turn into whitish
Wear proper gear before touching poison ivy or oak
plants. You will want to use rubber gloves and wear a long
sleeved shirt, long pants tucked into socks and rubber boots or
shoes that can be hosed off later. All of these items can be
treated with Tecnu Original Outdoor Skin Cleanser in order to
remove the plant's urushiol oil from them after you are
finished in the garden.. You may also want to consider wearing
goggles and a breathing mask. It is best to work on removing the
plants on a dry day with no wind.
Urushiol is a toxic, resinous type substance that is found in
all parts of the poison ivy, oak and sumac plants. When urushiol
gets on the skin it binds to the skin within 10-20 minutes. At that
point the urushiol becomes extremely difficult, if not impossible,
to get off the skin with soap and water. The rash from poison ivy,
oak and sumac is the body's natural reaction to the toxin.
To remove the poison ivy and oak plants from your yard:
- Using shears or pruners, cut the plants down to ground level.
You will want to dispose of the plants in plastic garbage bags and
avoid tearing or ripping the vines as this could disperse urushiol
into the air.
- If the plants are small enough and you can get underneath them,
use a shovel to dig them up. You will also want to dispose of them
in a plastic bag.
- Spray remaining roots, stems and stubs with a chemical weed
killer containing glyphosate or triclopyr. Examples include Roundup
or Ortho's Brush-B-Gon. You will want to be careful not to kill the
plants you want to keep with these chemicals.
- Be sure to dispose of poison ivy and oak properly - in heavy,
plastic bags in your trash can. Do not put poison plants in your
compost and never burn poison ivy or oak. Burning
the plants can cause you to inhale the urushiol and have a serious
- When finished removing poison ivy and oak from your yard, be
sure to disinfect your clothing, tools, shoes and skin to remove
any urushiol. We recommend Tecnu Extreme Poison Ivy
Scrub or Tecnu Outdoor Skin Cleanser.