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Dealing with Poison Ivy

By critterologist
March 27, 2012

If there's poison ivy anywhere in your yard, wear gloves and CHANGE THEM every time you weed or dig out there. Dirty gloves go straight into the washer!

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Name: Mary
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fiwit
Mar 27, 2012 6:40 AM CST
When I've been playing in the poison ivy, I come inside by way of the laundry room, put everything I'm wearing (including my hat) in the washer and then run for the shower. I bought jewel-weed soap at a local outdoor store (soap was made in NC or TN, I think), and I scrub all over with it. My sunglasses come into the shower with me and get cleaned, too.

I still remember a bad case of PI I had in 1982, and am paranoid of ever getting it that bad again.

My brother swears by Tech-Nu, but to be really effective, you have to put it on FIRST, so it forms a barrier between your skin and the PI oil. I'm way too spontaneous for that. Hilarious!
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Name: Jean
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rocklady
Mar 27, 2012 7:29 AM CST
Great tip Jill. I hate the stuff with a passion, since I had a terrible case of it as a child.
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Name: Critter (Jill)
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critterologist
Mar 27, 2012 7:38 AM CST
Yep... clothing gets turned inside-out as I remove it, so accidental contact is minimized. I've been using the tec-nu scrub (on hands & arms, or even whole body if I've really been "out there," and that seems to be working well also. I'm horribly allergic and get systemic responses that have to be controlled with steroids.. and now with the lymphedema (= increased risk of infection) in one arm, I'm even more paranoid about prevention.
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bitbit
Mar 27, 2012 12:55 PM CST
Do you do anything special to the laundry, or is a normal wash cycle enough to remove the oils?
Name: Melissa E. Keyes
St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands
Zone 11+
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coconut
Mar 27, 2012 1:02 PM CST
I got yelled at something fierce when I told a group how I made myself not allergic. They said I'd make people die and sue me. But I didn't catch poison ivy/oak after I read in a Euell Gibbons' book how to eat (!!) the tiny first leaves, so red and shiny, in the spring. One a day for a week. Like, really tiny, 1/4 an inch. I balled them inside a bit of Wonderbread, like a pill. gulp. Never had a problem with the stuff again.

This is NOT medical advice!!!! Do not do this unless you're fearless and will not sue me, either!!! Maybe I'm a fool for even mentioning this!

Vaccine is old germs, no?

Owell.
Name: Marilyn
Northern KY (Zone 6a)
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Marilyn
Mar 27, 2012 1:20 PM CST
I usually use disposable latex gloves when pulling very small PI, but haven't had to pull PI larger than that, since it's not on our property bigger than that, so far.

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Name: Critter (Jill)
MD (Zone 6b)
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critterologist
Mar 27, 2012 9:21 PM CST
Bit, although I do use the "steam" cycle in our new washer, we just used the regular wash cycle before... I think I'd recommend warm water rather than cold, maybe even hot if your clothing can handle it... pretty sure mom just washed in warm, cold water rinse, normal detergent with maybe just a splash extra for good measure.

Melissa, that's not nuts. For years, I was virtually immune thanks to a series of allergy "desensitization" shots. They sure worked for me, guess they didn't work for enough people though or there were other issues... they stopped making the booster shots (basically poison ivy serum), and eventually my sensitivity returned. Boo hisss. I never had the nerve to inject or ingest anything on my own!
I'm learning to dance in the rain. Thank you, Sally & Chris.
Baltimore County, MD (Zone 7a)
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bitbit
Mar 28, 2012 10:32 AM CST
Thanks Jill! I was worried it would spread onto the other clothes or the washer itself, but I do tend to overthink things Whistling

I've never been sensitive to poison ivy myself, but my husband is. I always worry that the dog will bring oil home on his fur because he just loves brushing against all the weeds in our neighborhood marsh, which is full of the stuff. I don't suppose I can put the dog in the laundry, though Hilarious!
Name: Kate
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LabourofLove
Mar 28, 2012 12:58 PM CST
I've gotten poison ivy more than once by petting animals that have run around in it. Gotten to the point where I have to get steroid shots to control it.
Kate Kennedy Butler
Glover, Vermont

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Polymerous
Jun 4, 2014 2:48 PM CST
I wear disposable vinyl gloves for gardening. Poison oak is not so much of an issue for me (it is in one hard-to-access part of the garden and I let my occasional garden helpers take care of it), but other plants are. Euphorbia and oleanders are problematic when pruning (due to the sap), and it seems that I (and my sister) are among the few who are sensitive to freshly cut daylily foliage. (One nurse who saw my arms after a dig-and-divide session (before I figured out that I was sensitive) said that it looked like poison oak - but that was in a different garden where there *was* no poison oak.)

If you inadvertently get the oils of poison ivy/oak on your skin - or, for that matter, the sap of euphorbia (this may also work for oleander and daylily sap but I haven't tested those), use those poison ivy wipes. (If there is frank sap on your skin, first use a paper towel to blot up what you can, and then use the poison ivy wipe - it really helps.) I now keep a box in the house all of the time, because at least once a year I am going to get sap of one thing or another on me.

http://www.amazon.com/Cortex-Ivy-Cleansing-Wipes-box/dp/B00B...
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Name: Critter (Jill)
MD (Zone 6b)
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critterologist
Jun 5, 2014 2:14 PM CST
A tip I recently learned... Round Up Poison Ivy & Brush Killer has 2 active ingredients, 1 of which is the same as in regular Round Up (I don't have the labels in front of me, so you'll have to look up the actual names). You can get the OTHER ingredient separately (may have to look at Southern States, Tractor Supply, etc)... it will kill the poison ivy WITHOUT killing your grasses & perennials.

For those with birds who have thoughtlessly seeded poison ivy throughout their lawn or garden beds, this could be extremely useful.
I'm learning to dance in the rain. Thank you, Sally & Chris.
Name: Melissa E. Keyes
St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands
Zone 11+
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coconut
Jun 6, 2014 12:30 PM CST
Round Up can cause kidney failure, very bad stuff! https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=roundup+kidney+failure

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