When you’re out playing in the garden with kids in the summer or taking a walk along a trail in the woods, keep a lookout for a plant with a three-leaf formation on a stem. It’s not as innocent as it looks! It can cause you to break out in a rash if your skin touches it.
Poison ivy can cover the ground in your yard, any of the walls on your home, or wrap itself around a large tree trunk. It’s at its peak in the summers when all of us want to enjoy all sorts of outdoor activities. While we are playing or hiking, we seldom keep an eye on plants that can do more harm than good.
Hence, it’s better to start preparing before summer hits full-on so that you can have many worry-free adventures in your yard and around your home. There are two basic ways of getting rid of poison ivy – through organic or manual handling and by applying herbicides.
There are pros and cons to each method, although if you care about the environment, the organic method should be your choice. Read on to discover the how to get rid of poison ivy, and then you can choose what’s ideal for you!
Different Ways To Get Rid Of Poison Ivy
There are quite a few different ways by which you can get rid of poison ivy. Such methods can be either organic or chemical. The organic way takes more time and involves more hassle than the chemical one. But, it’s more gentle on the environment as it’s free from harmful chemicals.
The following discusses the methods of organic and chemical methods.
A. Organic Poison Ivy Killer method
The organic way of removing poison ivy include manual pulling, hot water treatment, grass seed planting, home remedies, and smothering. Follow on to discover the organic poison ivy method.
1. Manual Pulling
Choose a shirt with full sleeves, a pair of full pants, and thick gloves. After there has been a spell of heavy rains and the ground is soft, you can get to work by pulling out the poison ivy with your hands. This will take a while as you need to ensure no roots are left behind as this will cause the re-growth.
At the earliest signs of regrowth, repeat the step outlined above for a few more times so that the poison ivy will be weakened and won’t make a further appearance.
2. Hot Water Treatment
First, check the infested area to see what other plants are there that you don’t want to kill. You can use this method only if there are no plants around the same area that you want alive.
Now get sufficient water in a pot and boil it. Once it has boiled, transfer it to a kettle so that you can pour easily over the poison ivy.
3. Grass Seed Treatment
This is a method that will take a longer time to yield the results. As grass takes some time to germinate from its seeds, you will have to have patience. But the long-term effect of planting grass seed is a yard free from any poison ivy.
4. Home Remedies
With simple kitchen ingredients, you can make an organic spray for killing poison ivy. Pour some vinegar, dishwashing detergent, salt, and water in a spray bottle, shake thoroughly, and spray on the unwanted weeds. However, this is not completely free of chemicals as detergents and vinegar do have these.
5. Smothering Treatment
If you cut off the oxygen supply, all organisms are bound to die. So, take a piece of heavy cardboard or plastic or rubber and cover the area properly where there is poison ivy. Make sure the roots can't reach out from the sides. Wait for a few days and check for any regrowth.
If you see any roots that have escaped and have given rise to a regrowth, cover these again.
B. Chemical Poison Ivy Killer method
This is a faster and more effective way of getting rid of poison ivy. The extensive benefit of using chemical poison ivy.
By using herbicides containing triclopyr and glyphosate, you can say goodbye to this irritating weed. Make sure to apply this thoroughly on the leaves using a spray bottle.
Pour around the roots also to make sure they are killed from the roots, giving no chance to a regrowth. Repeat the process a few times to weaken the growth and prevent it from coming back.
Tips And Caution When Removing Poison Oak
As the name suggests, since it’s poison oak or poison ivy, you need to exercise caution and follow a few tips to keep yourself and the plants you desire safe while removing the weed. The following is a basic list of tips on removing poison ivy safely.
Organic removal of poison ivy calls for a lot of caution in the way you need to dress. You have to ensure that no part of your skin is exposed. That’s why you should wear full sleeves, full pants with the ends taped around the ankles, and thick gloves.
After you have done manually pulling out the poison ivy, wash your hands thoroughly plus any other body part that may have come in contact with the weed to minimize the chances of getting a rash.
Don’t touch your face while you are pulling out the poison ivy. Also, make sure that after you have pulled out the weed, any tool you might have used, along with your gloves, should not touch exposed skin. The oils in the weed can get easily transferred from the gloves or tools.
If you have used a chemical herbicide to spray on the leaves and roots of the poison ivy, you should wash your clothes as soon as you are done spraying.
You must wash these clothes separately as you would not want any of the harsh chemical from the herbicide or any traces from the poison ivy to transmit to the clothes of other family members.
If you have plants that you want to survive but they are in the vicinity of the poison ivy, you need to go about this removal job carefully. Don’t pour hot water if you are not sure whether it would come in contact with the desired plants and kill them.
When you are spraying a herbicide, it’s better to cut the poison ivy so that you can apply the chemical on the stump and stems only. This way, the herbicide will have a more targeted application and will not harm the surrounding plants.
The Right Weeding Time
If you want to manually pull out the poison ivy, it’s better to wait for the rains as that would soften the ground and make your work easier. But the optimum time to get rid of it is in early Spring when the leaves are just about to open.
Although the ground would be hard in winter, since the poison ivy has no leaves in this season, you could pick this time to pull out the roots, stems, and branches.
Spray herbicides in late spring and early summer when the growth of the poison oak or poison ivy is at its zenith.
Never tear off the vines from the poison ivy as it will release the allergens in the air, causing skin and respiratory reactions. Always use a pruner or shears to do this job of removing branches and vines.
A shovel or trowel makes easier work when you are uprooting from the ground.
Do not try to combine the chemical and the organic methods o removing poison ivy. Pick either one. Do not even mix them in a sequence as that would be hazardous for your skin as it gets exposed to both the chemicals in the herbicide and the oils from the weed.
Uprooting is not the end of the poison ivy removal process. you must safely dispose of the leaves, shoots, and roots. Your compost pile should not be anywhere near the poison ivy parts as it will harm other plants and could kill them.
Do not burn the poison ivy parts as its fumes may trigger allergic reactions. Make sure you have your gloves on when you put them in a plastic bag and keep it in the bin.
You can fully enjoy the warm sunshine and the glorious summer days outdoors when you have considered the how to get rid of poison ivy and taken necessary measures. After all, who wants a painful rash and such allergic reactions when you’re out simply to enjoy the Nature!
Besides saving yourself and your family members from the adverse effects of a brush against the poison ivy, you can also benefit other plants that you want in your yard. Poison ivy can harm the healthy plants when it comes into contact with them.
Therefore, by ensuring you get rid of the poison ivy before it has the chance to take over your building wall or any part of your garden, you are doing yourself and the healthy plants a favor. But don’t forget to dispose of the plant remnants responsibly too to continue a rash-free summer!
Take love from Tools Master 💖.