How to Get Rid of Poison Ivy | 6 Effective & Safe Methods


Plants are supposed to be good for us humans. And, while that is true, it also brings a few downsides, especially when it is something as severe as poison ivy. Coming in contact with poison ivy can be extremely toxic for some people, especially those with sensitive skin that have contact dermatitis and other skin conditions.

The majority of the people who come in contact with poison ivy have reported experiencing signs of rashes and itching, something that you aren’t going to enjoy looking forward to. If you think that the plant has some kind of chemical that is causing all the symptoms, you are correct. 

Poison ivy secretes a type of oil called urushiol that has been found to cause irritation and itchiness on the skin, followed by rashes, redness, and inflammation in severe cases. However, you need to understand that not every person that comes in contact with poison ivy develops the symptoms. Some people are resistant to it, which prevents them from experiencing any kinds of symptoms.

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Here, we will discuss how to get rid of poison ivy and other related information that you have been looking for.

How to Recognize Poison Ivy in Your Periphery?

Given how generic poison ivy looks, it isn’t surprising that spotting it amidst all the other types of plants in one’s house can be extremely difficult. If you have a previous history of poison ivy rashes and other symptoms, we’d recommend that you stay alert in the future.

The best way to identify a poison ivy plant is to identify the plant’s shape, anatomy, and structure. The plant comes with three leaflets with sharper leaf edges. So, if you are sitting here confused about the same, we’d recommend that you keep an eye out for the appearance.

Also, poison ivy tends to change its color with the seasons, so you need to be mindful of it. The green color is only prevalent during the summer months, and they change to orange or reddish appearance during the winter or autumn months.

List of Ways to Get Rid of Poison Ivy From Around Your Home

Poison ivy, as beautiful as they look, is dangerous to your health and well-being. So, at this point, it isn’t even a question that you need to take them out of your home’s periphery to reduce risks of health complications, especially dealing with the skin.

Dealing with poison ivy around your home isn’t as complicated as many people make it out to be. All you need to do is ensure that you are doing it the right way and getting the plant from the roots instead of taking it out through the stem. That is where most people make mistakes. 

The majority of the time, while removing poison ivy from your lawn or backyard, you think you have taken out everything from the root. Still, even a small remnant of a root can end up making your successful eradication a total fail. So, be vigilant when you are taking out poison ivy from your backyard. 

Following are some of the effective ways on how to get rid of poison ivy:

1. Using Your Hand

Like any other soft-stemmed plant, one of the easiest ways of getting rid of them is by uprooting them with your hand. However, since poison ivy contains secretions that lead to skin conditions, you must wear protective gear to prevent the risks of rashes or other skin complications.

When pulling out the plant from under the soil, you need to be rigorous to ensure that you get the entire plant out of the soil and not leave a part of the root inside. Poison ivy plants are highly sustainable, which means that they can grow from the smallest remnant of a root underground. So, make sure that you avoid leaving behind any part of the root if you don’t want a return of the plant shortly.

If required, take a digging tool to dig into the soil and check for root growth and undergrowth to ensure that you get rid of everything in the close vicinity, so there are no further risks of regrowth of the plant.

2. Smother The Plants

Another effective way of getting rid of the poison ivy plants is by smothering them from the top with something heavy or large. Using items like a tin sheet or cardboard with some weight will compress down on the plant, making it difficult to grow further. With the pressure, they will also lose the nutrients it needs and will eventually die.

However, if you follow this method, you need to look out for the runner roots once you are done killing the plant. If the runner root underground is still viable, the chances are that all your efforts just went to complete waste because it will eventually regrow once you take off the dead plant.

3. Use a Natural Killing Spray

Coming to the third point, we have a natural spray. This is ideal for homes that have kids and pets around who tend to get into stuff, and you don’t want any kinds of chemicals to affect their health. However, using this kind of natural killing spray is ideal for a short-term period and won’t work when considering a long-term effort.

To create the natural killing spray, you need to mix one cup of salt with a gallon of water and add a few tbsp of dish soap. Once the solution is ready, you need to transfer it to a spray bottle and spray it on every part of the plant, including the roots. The salt helps damage the roots, and the chemicals in the dish soap are effective in wilting the remaining parts of the plant.

However, these kinds of natural killing sprays will work temporarily and won’t show you very desirable results as you need. After spraying them, you will have to go in with some hand-pulling action to ensure that you get rid of the plant from the roots directly.

Besides saltwater solution, even vinegar solution works pretty well in eliminating the growing poison ivy around your home.

4. Use Boiling Water

Boiling Water

Roots, like any other part of the plant, are susceptible to excess heat damage. So, one of the most effective and non-toxic ways to get rid of the excess outgrowth of the plant is by dousing the plant and the roots with piping hot boiling water from the inside out.

However, since it is a non-toxic method, you will have to go in with the hot water a few times before seeing notable results.

5. Herbicides

If nothing else works around, using herbicides is your next best option. However, they are filled with chemicals, which means that you need to keep kids and pets away from the area you are spraying it on. Just make sure that you use fencing or another barbed wire gate around the area to keep them away from accidentally invading the space.

Also, if the infestation is too much and too bad, you can rely on professionals to help you out with the same. They will take care of all the hard work and even ensure extra pulling of the roots if needed.

6. Try Weeding

Much like weeds, even poison ivy plants are nutrient suckers, which means that you can try the weeding process on them too. Instead of just being reliant on the pulling method, try out the different kinds of weeding chemicals available in the market. These attack the weeds from the root directly, which comes in handy in case of poison ivy.

All you have to do is spray the wedding chemical around the roots and leave it for a few hours or overnight and let it react and damage the roots. Once the damage is done, you can come back the next morning and then pull the plants out using your gloved hands.

It doesn’t matter how many different techniques you use to get rid of the poison ivy plants; the roots underneath the soil are very deeply wired, which means that you’d have to keep an eye out on the roots and pull them out one by one with your bare hands if you don’t want to witness a regrowth of the plants.

If you are looking for ways to get rid of poison ivy, we hope this article gives you all the insights you have been looking for. Just ensure that you follow the steps we mentioned and try out the different methods. If things take a turn for the worse, and the spread doesn’t get better eventually, it is always better to consult a professional about the same and get proper treatment around the backyard.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can You Get Rid Of Poison Ivy’s Side Effects Overnight?

While the symptoms will take a bit of time to heal, the application of topical calamine lotion and hydrocortisone has been found beneficial in treating the itchiness and redness and preventing the rashes from spreading.

What Can Dry Up Poison Ivy’s Side Effects On The Skin?

The symptoms can be effectively treated with rubbing alcohol and similar treatment options to get rid of the pain and irritation.

How Long Does It Take For Poison Ivy Rashes To Go Away?

Since the treatment is home-based, the chances are that the same will heal and get better eventually in 2-3 weeks.

By James Edwards

James Edwards is a writer & editor with almost 15 years of experience from Murphys, California. He earned his bachelor’s degree in creative writing from Johns Hopkins University.

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