Poison Ivy

Patrick_NYAugust 20, 2014

Hello, My wife just found out that she was highly allergic to poison ivy this past May, and she would really rather not get it again! I don't know if I'm allergic, as I have never gotten it.

When it comes to a Blackberry or a Raspberry, the stems are rather thorny, so we can tell those apart. However, in the link below, I took seven pictures -- I was wondering if somebody might be able to give some of these a quick look, and your best guess as to whether some of these plants are PI or not?

Thank you! :-)

Long Island, NY.

#1 Jagged leaves
#2 Jagged leaves - but smaller (within same general area as 1)

#3 notched leaves

#4 notched leaves - but bigger (on second thought, this is probably not PI. It doesn't have 3 leaves!)

#5 and #6 - within same area

#7 - near the raspberry, but -- doesn't look like a raspberry! -- but it appears skinnier on the bottom.

Link to 'Dropbox Folder' containing images: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/og11jp0raqzneww/AAB7lNvGI7cLEPLkCs7142Y9a#/

Here is a link that might be useful: Dropbox Folder with Images

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Thank you LazyGardens,
It certainly IS tricky to identify this stuff! I am probably just going to use the 'grocery bag' method (use a bag as a glove, pull the weed, fold the bag inside out, toss) and remove each of these seven weeds. I just hope they don't continue to pop up throughout the edges of my gardens any more!

    Bookmark   August 20, 2014 at 5:26PM
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Number 3, 5, 7 are all poison ivy

    Bookmark   August 21, 2014 at 9:24PM
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If you can isolate a few leaves, you can soak them with a systemic weed killer such as "Round Up" It enters the leaves and travels down and kills the roots. Any spray that gets on non-pi leaves may be affected depending on the amount of contact. Spray the underside of the leaves is more affective.

Be totally aware: PI is ALWAYS potent no matter what condition it is in. This includes roots, stems, leaves, and flowers and it can be new growth, old growth, pulled out and dried even. ALWAYS!

Never burn it as the vapors carry the oils and can get into your lungs (Not a pretty picture).

I don't know what "highly allergic means". Does she need to get shots or medical attention? If not, don't over play the problem. I can look at PI from 10 feet away and start to itch.

I did a test. I deliberately rubbed 2 locations on each forearm with it. Each was about 2 sq in. For the first on the left arm, I washed it immediately with warm water and dawn dish soap. The second on the left arm was washed an hour later. Nothing happened for the first spot and a very mild affect happened at the second. I was able to wash off the oils.

The locations on the right arm were left totally untouched and unwashed for over 4 hours. On the first site, I had my heyday itching, rubbing, scratching, breaking the scabs and letting the liquid. BOTH locations showed the exact same recovery of about 1 week. There was no difference between the two.

Scratch all you like. Once the oil has been absorbed, you cannot spread it. What looks like it might be a spread is only a slower reaction to the original attack probably due to a lower dose at another site.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2014 at 5:19PM
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NOT my best friend! - I can identify poison ivy a ZILLION feet away - my dh laughs hysterically because he can roll in the stuff - and if one of our dogs just walks by it and I pet him, I am a bundle of horrible blisters - GRRRRRRRR!!!!! -
So, to answer your questions -

Pictures two and four are NOT poison ivy - Picture 2 looks like horse nettle - pick it out and throw it away before it gets big because it has nettle prickly things that will also itch a while (however there is one tiny poison ivy plant just below the picture as I am now reviewing it). Picture 4 is Norway Maple - junk tree - pretty in the fall, but unnecessary. The REST are most definitely poison ivy - you can tell from the combination of the three leaves and the pink/red stems.

There are three different types of poison ivy I have seen - all the same, but look and 'act' differently - shudder - and we bought a POISON IVY FARM so I know it when I see it - #1 - the type in your pictures - there are vines trailing around all just under the surface of the ground and the dadgum things will pop up ANYWHERE.
#2 - the hairy vine that grows up your tree trunks - if you see a vine and it is hairy - cut the vine - with pruners (and then wash them in Dawn and have GLOVES on when you do it) at the very base of the tree.....wait until the next spring and then pull that nasty disgusting vine off the tree - keep a watch over the bottom of the tree for recurrence - if you keep pulling the 'growing part', eventually it will starve the root.....shudder
#3 - the dreaded and evil POISON IVY TREE - nasty, climbing horrible thing - a vine gets to a nice sunny spot on a privet (horrors) or a fence post and then it branches out - hundreds and hundreds of horizontal thin, fragile branches that will eventually arch upward - just thinking of it makes me want to vomit.

If your wife is brave and very committed (because she will take a very perverse pleasure in the annual poison ivy hunt), here is the equipment she will need and SHOULD use when combatting its evilness.....and some day I will post the horror story I have written about NASTY EVIL poison ivy (think of Stephen King's most horrific short story and multiply by three):

* Disposable Tyvek suit - buy at box store around $12
* Disposable booties - about $2
* Disposable elbow-length animal OB gloves you can buy at TSC, Rural King or Farm Fleet, etc. - layer 2
* Disposable kitchen gloves - the THICK yellow ones - layer 3
* Disposable thin vinyl, nitril or latex gloves - layer 1
* Disposable plastic goggles
* Disposable spray sock used in painting (like a head covering leaving your face open)
* Disposable rectangular mask that ties in the back
* Three GINORMOUS, ultrathick contractor bags - not those measly weenie lawn/leaf bags
* Something (or someone to hold the bag open - I have one of those tall wheely cart-things with a lid
* Pruners
* Disposable tongs of some kind - blecch
* LOTS of fear and loathing for POISON IVY - horrible horrible horrible

Do not leave ONE INCH of your skin uncovered.

1) - attack the tree-type FIRST - cut each nasty tiny branch, hold only in one tiny place on the branch with the tongs as you cut, and do NOT let it touch your Tyvek suit and place in the contractor bag and WATCH OUT - because there is ALWAYS another one above your head somewhere - you do NOT want to look up and see it hovering over you like a demented vulture waiting for the chance to sweep down and strike.
2) - then see if you can find the nasty vine - cut anything with hair as close to the ground as possible
3) Do NOT NOT NOT put this in the burn pile - ever ever ever - because that poison ivy juice will get into your lungs or your animals' lungs and will cause you an ED visit
4) - THen attack the plants that are just vines - REMOVAL is the key - Roundup works GREAT - but you stil have this dead vine that is COVERED with poison ivy juice - if you can squirt and walk away and not have to deal with it for a YEAR, that's fine- but it will still come back - you HAVE to get rid of the plant - so cut the vine at the lowest point in the summer or fall then wait for Spring to get rid of the vine - you do NOT want to get juice on you! and use another Tyvek suit for that venture and do NOT NOT NOT burn it.
5) Then - and you are taking your life in your own hands on this one - go after those nasty little ones - Roundup probably does work best, but the vine will never really die off - you will have to battle those for years before they finally give up- I paint spray paint by teh ones I squirt with Roundup and then in the fall (or very very early spring before they come up), I wear my 'uniform' and go grubbing around in the soil for those vines and RIP THEM THE HECK OUT OF THERE. Then WATCH and WAIT - because something will try to come up again SOMEWHERE - and that nasty stuff can grow SO quick - two weeks of rain adn you have a poison ivy jungle again -

the hair is standing up on my arms just thinking about it....grrrrrrr

    Bookmark   September 16, 2014 at 12:48PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Conor is exactly right: 3, 5, and 7 are poison ivy.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2014 at 12:55PM
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Oh, yes, and more - once you get it - how to treat it -

1 - wash gently with Dawn all over the surfaces of rubber gloves, pruners, etc.
2 - Take your outside layer of gloves(kitchen yellow gloves) off one by one - being careful to touch only the inside of the glove with your 2nd layer of glovers (the OB/GYN gloves)
3 - take your booties off with the OB/GYN gloves on
3 - Take the OB/GYN gloves off - same way - touch only the inside of the gloves with your '3rd layer of gloves)
4 - Remove your TYVEK (tm) suit, booties, disposables and spray sock being careful to ONLY touch the inside of the suit with that last layer of glovers and do NOT take off inside out. Put immediately in the trash.
5 - Take your clothes OFF right at the washing machine and do NOT take them off inside out so they rub on your skin - nonononononooooooo
6 - Get them in the washing machine RIGHT AWAY
7 - Take the last set of gloves off -
8 - get a clean washcloth an wash your face with Dawn, then wash your hands

IF you get poison ivy, take Benedryl throughout the next 10 days. Don't bother with any of the crap they sell you at the store - calamine lotion, Technu, etc.,.....none of it will do you any good. Surface itching can be controlled with clear ammonia dabbed on the surface (AfterBite is a roll-on product shaped like a pen that works GREAT - it's just ammonia)

The mast cells in your immune system are what makes you break out - they HATE poison ivy oil - and will release chemicals (histamines) that cause the itching and allergy symptoms. Even after like a week, those silly mast cells will go all over your body in your circulatory system and they will randomly spit out a couple of chemicals that will cause you to break in in really oddball places - like one itchy bump here or there - No, you do not have poison ivy there - just a mast cell that has gone berserk - dab some ammonia on it.

It WILL take a FULL 10 days for the poison ivy to go away - there is nothing you can do about it - if you get it in your eyes, mucous membranes, face or privates - start the Benedryl and get thee to a physician straightaway - and the ever-alert mast cells will try to find some justification in continuing to randomy cause itchy bumps here or there for probably another two weeks.

Take it from someone who KNOWS.......really knows.....grrrrrrrr

    Bookmark   September 16, 2014 at 1:01PM
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Thank you all for your incredible input and assistance. Great tips! I have since gotten rid of the offending plants and dug up and removed the soil around them. Strangely, I am finding more PI popping up in somewhat close proximity (8-10 feet away). I hope I can get ahead of these weeds!

Also - fortunately - I have not gotten the rash at all! I guess I'm being careful enough!

Thanks again for your help!

    Bookmark   September 16, 2014 at 1:17PM
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