Any advice for clearing poison ivy?

I get rid of it by cutting it down low and then painting roundup on the stump


Speed, I won’t give you any new advice or remedies except to second all the warnings on burning it. Really bad news!

1 Like

Sounds like bad news if there were a forest fire in that country.

1 Like

Yeah, I keep a bottle of tecnu around. I also keep alcohol swabs. If you notice it’s itching and you think you’ve been exposed to urushiol, cleaning the area with alcohol swabs can prevent problems. It’s important to remember that an area cleaned by alcohol will be more sensitive to new urushiol exposure until a new “grime layer” builds up.

I bought a bottle of the Bayer product today. Do you think I could add glyphosate to the triclopyer to make it ultra potent?

You could, but i wouldn’t bother.

Well I did earlier today. I sprayed 3 gallons of the mixture earlier today. I was had on pants, a long sleeve shirt, boots, a hay and eye protection. Temps today are near record temps around 95. I thought I was going to have heat stroke. What a miserable experience that was. Well see what it looks like in a week.

Don’t be surprised if it looks unchanged in a week. Takes a while and then it defoliates suddenly.

What Smatthew and ltilton said to clear. I would definitely use some sort of brush killer/RoundUp/Tirclopyr type of product to kill it to its roots it possible. Then, Never, ever burn it, or burn the cuttings. The urushiol oil can then be vaporized, and distributed a fair distance in the smoke . My sister in law ended up in the ER and then the ICU from her neighbors 3 houses down burning wood they cleared from the property that had had poison ivy climbing up on the tree (the ivy had been removed prior to burning the wood). Galinas is correct - the oil in the smoke if inhaled can cause such a serious allergic reaction in your lungs, it can be fatal.

I would also strongly recommend using Ivy Block on all your skin prior to suiting up. It works, and works well. True, not everyone reacts to urushiol (about 15% of the population do not react - my hubby is one of those people), but, those non-reactors can become reactors at any time. It isn’t always gradual, either. You can be a non-reactor for years, then next time, have a terrible reaction. Your bunny suit should be disposable. Take it off and pull it inside out, taking care not to brush against your bare skin when you pull your coveralls off. Bag it up and throw it away, along with the disposable gloves. Wear washable tennies, and wash them with double detergent, 2nd rinse, in HOT water. If your tennies have been exposed to the poison ivy, after washing them, re-run the washing machine without anything in it, double detergent, double rinse, on hot to remove any possible residual oil.

Double bag the poison ivy for sure, and let the trash folks know what’s inside. It’s nice that goats can eat it, but the downside is the ivy will just grow back. Kill it to its roots. Then, monitor for volunteer sprouts spread by bird droppings that contain seeds.

For washing exposed skin, here is what we recommended when I launched and ran Nurse On Call, a 24 hour nurse telephone triage program for my local health care system, and what Poison Control and the American Academy of Dermatology recommends: Immediately wash the affected areas with lukewarm, soapy water. If you wash exposed areas within 30 minutes of exposure, the oil will not have had enough time to launch a reaction. Use liquid dish washing soap (we would recommend Dawn, something that will cut the oil.) If you are planning ahead, purchase Tecnu, which is a special poison ivy cleanser designed to completely strip the urushiol oil. We did find, however, that Dawn Dish washing detergent works as well as Tecnu. Cold water will not help to remove the oil, water needs to be at the least, lukewarm. Warmer if you’re not severely reacting and know you just exposed the skin. Wash the affected areas 3 times. Apply OTC hydrocortisone cream 0.5%. Let soak in. Then, apply Caladryl lotion after washing (combination of calamine and Benadryl). You can also take oral anithistamines in conjunction with the previous topical treatments. For particularly bad blistering, apply ice packs after treating with above recommendations.

Watch for dogs or cats walking trough infested areas, as they can bring in urushiol oil on their coats, and spread it to other areas of the house that your skin may come into contact with. If you think your dog has gotten the urushiol oil on its coat, wash the dog with Dawn dish washing soap well. Then, wash yourself with the same. Wash all tools with degreasing detergent.

Patty S. (RN)


I don’t know if this has been said already but your body develops a reaction to the urushiol. The more exposure the sooner it will develop a reaction. If you don’t react to it now, keep coming in to contact with it and you will

I say this because I’ve heard plenty of people say they aren’t allergic to it, so they just ignore it. I just roll my eyes

I also am cursed with poison ivy, am very allergic, and live in an area where it’s all over. Many people do nothing, it’s by the roadsides everywhere, and birds spread it through the seed. So, I can never hope to eliminate it entirely.

Here’s what I do: once a year in around late May, after a heavy rainfall, I suit up in old sneakers reserved for the purpose, a full outfit I will wash directly after, and three pairs of gloves. I also have a trowel dedicated to this purpose which lives in a labeled box all year with the shoes. I suit up, then go out with a large trash bag and pull the stuff for as long as I can stand it – usually around 4 hours. I make sure to get all the roots if at all possible. I try not to pull the Virginia creeper since it competes with the PI. When I’m done my spouse comes to help me put the contaminated trash bag into another one, which gets tied up and taken to the dump. I strip my clothing carefully and throw it directly into the washing machine, and put the shoes and the trowel back into the box for next year. Then I take a long cool shower, soaping up three times.

I’ve done this every year for about 10 years now, and it keeps the ivy in check, though by no means eradicates it. My aim is to keep the part of the property we walk on (about 3 acres of trees and grass, with wooded edges) clear of it. It’s my very least favorite task of the year, but by now I can say we don’t have a ton of it the way we used to.


What you say might be true but my own personal experience has been when I was younger I was extremely sensitive to it ( think hospitalization sensitive) and now I no longer have to be as careful with exposer to it. I don’t know if it works both ways but in my case it seems that way.

1 Like

The reaction people have to poison ivy is strictly immune system reaction. The oil itself has no negative affect on the body if you take off the immune system response. But immune system somehow decides it is very bad intruder. Young people have stronger immune system, probably because of that reaction is so bad for kids and young people. Also, each exposure teaches strong immune system to recognize the oil faster and react stronger, until immune system starts to decline with age or health issues. People with compromised immune system, like who is treated with immune suppressants for autoimmune diseases may not have the reaction at all…

1 Like

Thanks for the explanation galinas !

I always keep a couple tubes of “Triamcinolone Acetonide Cream, .1%” around. Works wonders on poison ivy/oak. Usually prevents blistering. And if you get a bad case of poison ivy, go to the ER or your doctor to get a shot.

My routine: Once a month or so, I walk around the property with my backpack sprayer filled with Triclopyr and a blue marking agent. Out here in the west, I have poison oak. I spray everything with “leaves of three”. The blue marking agent really helps ensure you get good coverage - plus it makes sure you don’t ignore leaks. I make sure I put my dog in the truck otherwise he ends up blue-speckled.

1 Like

Blue marking agent? Never knew that existed. You have a link to the product you use?

Not the exact product i use… but here’s one:
Or an amazon option:


People in my family typically develop the allergy in their 60’s and don’t have it until then. We are part Cherokee.

Clark, Native Americans can be allergic (at any time, young or old) to poison ivy/poison sumac. This is an interesting, but invalid myth that seems to roll around from time to time :slight_smile: that Native Americans are immune to the effects of poison ivy/poison sumac/poison oak. There can be a genetic predilection to be a non-reactor (or severe reactor), but there does not appear to be any one race or culture that is immune (even if for a time) to its effects. My husband is still a non-reactor. His sister is a severe reactor. Sounds like your family seems to have a tendency to develop sensitivity later in life.

Patty S.

1 Like

We thought how long would an Indian last in the woods that got poison ivy? We assumed that’s where our resistance came from.