Reminder To Self: Dead Poison Ivy Is Still Poisonous

catbird(z7 AL)February 3, 2013

Midwinter . . . poison ivy?? Yep. Got it.

I couldn't figure out what was making my hands itch and racked my brain (such as it is) about everything I'd had my hands in recently. About the time the first blisters appeared it occurred to me that the day before the itching started I'd been pulling up some dead plants in the back of a bed where I had sprayed Roundup on some poison ivy last summer. I knew that even dead poison ivy stalks, roots, and leaves can cause a reaction. I just wasn't thinking about what those stalks were.

We get lots of PI seedlings because we live near a wooded area where it grows and the birds are very generous about sharing the seeds with us. I can easily pull up smaller ones with the plastic-bag-over-the-hand trick, but usually spray larger ones. Now to come up with a better way to identify and dispose of the bodies.

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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Oooh so sorry!!!!! Awful stuff.

To ID later... Spray paint pink after the herbicide dries? Take pics? Put a little sign for yourself back there, to remind? Have someone else do it? Pull sprouts more often?

Not everything in nature makes sense, but this cruel trick of still poisonous dead leaves and vines is especially perplexing to me.

The only acceptable disposal for me, this yard, is plastic bag sent to landfill. We recycle and compost, but that's not an option for something that has the potential to make me so sick for an unknown amount of time past its' death.

Do not burn, urishiol can become airborne this way.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 12:55PM
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catbird(z7 AL)

I pull up thousands of PI seedlings every year, but there are always a few that hide in the middle of something else or are in an area I just don't get to. May have to try your suggestion and carry a can of spray paint with me when I spray Roundup. Problem with that is I often don't realize I'll be finding PI till I'm out there. Then I don't get around to getting anything to mark it with. Oh, well. . . .

You're right about burning the stuff. Even a really hot, humid day can vaporize the urishiol. My brother inhaled some years ago and wound up in the hospital with PI in his lungs. Not a good situation.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 3:14PM
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Additional Reminder to Self: Burning poison ivy in clearing brush, etc. is also a bad idea because breathing the smoke can cause poison ivy in the lungs. Happened to someone I know. She lived through it---but only just.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 4:26PM
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So sorry, catbird. I'm catching up, so you're probably healed by now, but I've been caught by this mistake once myself when we first moved to the country. Didn't know what I had grabbed and let fall across my arm. Fortunately I don't have as bad a reaction as DH does. He 'forgets' he has made contact and it's on his gloves, the tractor steering wheel, etc. And then he's got it on his arms and ankles. There's some good stuff you can get from the dermatologist or a doc, I think it's called Clobetisol, but my spelling may be off, that really is a wonder drug. It's a gel and really helps heal.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2013 at 1:42PM
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