Poison ivy is found throughout southern Canada and most of
the United States except Alaska and Hawaii. It is readily
found along road sides, fences, railroads, and streams.
But it can also be found in your own back yard. It is
planted there in bird droppings from the birds who eat the
berries of the plant.
So how does one get rid of the rash producing plant? Here
are some tips:
* Poison Ivy control is most effective May through July
while the plants are flowering.
* Pulling out the plant with rubber gloves is temporarily
effective but the plants roots will regrow.
* Never burn it as the smoke from the burning plant can
cause very serious respiratory and eye problems.
* Mowing the plant will eventually kill it but be sure to
use a mower with a collection bag and don't touch the
remains when emptying it. This method will take several
years to completely eradicate the plant from your yard.
* Don't use a weed-eater as that will only spread the
broken pieces of the plant everywhere. Dried poison ivy is
just as poisonous as fresh. It is said that even 100 year
old leaves can still cause a reaction.
* Suffocation with black plastic has been known to work.
This too takes time.
* An organic method consists of spraying the plant with
salt water. A ratio of one cup salt to a gallon of water
with a few drops of liquid soap added to help the mixture
adhere to the plant.
* Broadleaf herbicides work but will kill any neighboring
plants. Usually poison ivy is intertwined among plants that
you want to keep, including trees. Using selective
herbicides like Roundup can be applied to the plant stems as
they are cut off to prevent resprouting.
No matter what control method you use, be careful to avoid
exposing your skin to the plant. Wear gloves, long pants,
socks and shoes, and a long-sleeved shirt.
For more information about ridding your yard and garden of
this pesky plant:
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