Be Prepared for Early Arrival of Poison Ivy and Oak

By Lisa  |  Wednesday, May 16, 2012  |  , , ,  |  Leave comment
poison ivy on tree, poison ivy and oak
Poison ivy vine growing on a pine tree

If you are someone who pays attention to the national weather, or even just the weather in your own backyard, you may have noticed it's just been weird this year. Spring tried to come early, and then winter showed up again; it seems that Mother Nature is a bit confused.

The result of the early spring / late winter scenario is that plants have bloomed early this year, including poison ivy and oak plants.

So what does this mean to you? If you love the outdoors, just know poison ivy and oak are already out there growing hearty and waiting for you. Here are a few tips to get ahead of it:

If you have poison ivy or oak growing in your backyard from year to year, this is a good time to eradicate it. When pulling out the plants be sure to wear protection on your hands. If you are using gloves, you can wipe them down with Tecnu Original afterwards to remove the plant's rash-causing oil, urushiol. Another tip is to place a plastic bag over the plant and then pull it out of the ground. Some weed killing sprays may also work; your local garden center should know which ones.

As you begin to venture into the outdoors, know what poison ivy and oak look like so you can identify it and steer clear. The plants will be green this time of year and most likely without berries so look for the telltale leaflets of three. Poison ivy and oak may grow as a bush or a climbing vine.

Keep Tecnu Original in your car or backpack to use when you are out and about without a water source. If you find yourself in contact with poison ivy or oak, you can use Tecnu Original as a waterless cleanser.  Wipe it on your exposed skin for two minutes and wipe off with a cloth, or use a tissue, napkin or paper towel if you don't have a cloth traveling with you.

If you have a pet outdoors with you, be aware where they are running. Urushiol can stay on their fur and contaminate you when you come in contact with them later. (We hear so many stories of this happening with dogs.) If you do see your furry friend enjoying a patch of poison ivy or oak, you can wipe him/her down with Tecnu Original and follow with a pet bath.

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