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Poison Ivy-It’s out to get you (and me)!

- May 9, 2014 by Guest Bloggers (View all posts by Guest)

Like many homeowners, I recently inspected my property to see what survived the winter.  I figured I could enjoy one of the few spring-like days we’ve seen recently and ventured outside to do some yard work.  Unfortunately, all of the plants were severely damaged by the harsh winter weather.  It was a disaster!

Encouraged by the warm sun and the fact that spring was just around the corner, I started clearing out the damaged plants and trying to decide what could be saved.  Something had to survive, right?

Survive… Ha!  Turns out poison ivy was the toughest plant in the yard.  It is next to impossible to get rid of.  And little did I know that I had come in contact with it.  The rash developed within 8 hours of exposure.  It was neatly displayed across my face where I had wiped away sweat with my glove.

Is this plant ever not a threat?  NOPE!  Not even during the winter.

I, unfortunately, learned this the hard way.  Although this plant may appear dead, the toxic oils are still present in all parts of the plant.  Coming in contact with what may appear to be dead poison ivy can still have an itchy consequence.

So here are a few things to keep in mind while landscaping:

  • Leaves of three let it be!  Poison ivy is never dormant.
  • Never burn poison ivy as it can cause serious lung problems.
  • Protect yourself by wearing long sleeves, gloves and long pants.

Lesson learned:  Expect the unexpected, and wear a headband to catch the sweat!


“Poison Ivy, Oak or Sumac Topic Overview.”  Webmd.com.  Healthwise, Inc., 30 August 2011.  Web.  30 April 2014.  http://www.webmd.com/allergies/tc/poison-ivy-oak-or-sumac-topic-overview

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