Poison Ivy 2007


Old 07-07-07, 07:28 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 225
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Poison Ivy 2007

[For those who pull this up on a search for information, I found this thread very helpful:


I have another question: when is the concentration of the oil LOWEST in the plant? In the Spring before it has had a chance to build up oil? In the Fall when it is old and tired? When is the best time to pull it out?

I am recovering from a rather odd case of poison ivy, and intend to never go through this again. Or, maybe, only once more.

My plan is to keep poisoning anything three leafed vine I find out in the brush, and planting some native [or at least non-invasive] groundcover on any currently bare spots, to discourage any new ... what? seeds? fragments of runners? ... from taking hold.

Then I am going to arrange for a prescription of Prednisone to be waiting at the pharmacy, wrap myself up like a mummy on a suitably cool day, and pull every trace of surviving root out of the ground.

So, when is poison ivy WEAKEST?

I have broken down and purchased an herbicide and have started application.

When the time comes, I will wear two layers of clothing, including a Tyvek outer suit, non-latex surgical gloves [double gloved] and heavy plastic bags over my boots, a haircover and surgical mask. I will duct tape the gloves and boot covers to the outer wear.

When done, I will remove and discard the outer layer [double plastic waste bag, removing gloves last]. I will shower immediately with soap intended for toxic oils. I will triple wash all other clothing worn, the first two times with a cleanser designed to remove oils, dishsoap and/or a kitchen grease cleaner.

I will then leave the location, shower, and wash the fresh clothes as described above. Then, if I see even one pustule, I am starting the Prednisone.

Did I forget any other precaution?

[I am assuming the herbicide will not work in a single season, and if I am going to get poison ivy again, I want it to be while I am irradicating it.]
Old 07-07-07, 08:08 PM
hexonx's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: 120 klicks from NYC
Posts: 91
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Thumbs up Ivy Block

Why not use Ivy Block on open areas and forget all that crazy talk.

Rip out the poison Ivy with the roots or it will grow back no matter what you do or spray. Google poison Ivy and you will see that even dried out you can get the oil on you after it has been dead for years or a very long time.

Put mulch down where the Ivy was after you take it out. You should be okay.
Old 07-08-07, 05:14 AM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA - N.E.Tn
Posts: 47,942
Received 383 Votes on 339 Posts
The last time I got poison ivy was in the dead of winter I was cutting firewood and got it on a little strip of exposed skin between my coat and my gloves. I'd consider it toxic at any time. Removing the roots is probably the best way to keep it from coming back.
Old 07-08-07, 06:04 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 225
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
If I can find when the toxin is in highest concentration, I will post back.

No, the toxin does not break down quickly. Never use equipment you've used around toxidendrons [toxicodendrons?] without impermeable gloves, and/or washing the equipment with appropriate cleanser [Technu gets good reviews].

"Why not use Ivy Block on open areas and forget all that crazy talk."

How about because I am a professional, trained in protecting myself from toxic materials and in chemically hazardous environments?

The first rule in dealing with hazardous materials and environments is:

Simple appropriate barriers are the best and safest form of protection. [As we all learned as teen-agers.]
If I could get supplied air, I'd use that instead of a surgical mask.
I wondered if there are respirator filters effective against urushiol? It's a biggest molecule.

[As for Ivy Block, now I will probably use that UNDER the double layer, even though the website says it 'absorbs urushiol'. That sounds like a bad idea; if the lotion 'absorbs' the oil, it will bring it into direct contact with the skin, and keep it there.

Okay, now I get it; according to another website, it doesn't 'absorb' the oil, but ADSORBS it, but I guess most people aren't familiar with the difference.

So Ivy Block is a barrier; I'll use it, too. I'm still using double layers.]
Old 07-08-07, 07:57 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 225
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Toxin concentration.

In parts of the plant: berries most concentrated, then leaves, then roots.

Seasonal: one reference says that toxin strength does not vary; however, that reference also suggests cutting and mowing the stuff, so I don't trust it.

Goats and deer can eat it with impunity.
Old 07-24-07, 11:03 AM
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: USA
Posts: 15,817
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Brush killer is effective for killing poison ivy and other wood stemmed vines.
Old 01-01-11, 05:34 PM
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: US
Posts: 2
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by jhomeowner View Post
Goats and deer can eat it with impunity.
When I was a little kid I was extremely sensitive to poison ivy - so much so that a doctor gave me some sort of 'vaccine'. (After all these years I honestly can't remember if it was by vaccination or pill).

At the time my sister would taunt me by snatching a leaf of the stuff and eating it! Since then she's become at least as sensitive as myself.

Anyhow, I'm posting with what works as a surefire PREVENTION for me and mine. Whenever I'm compelled to go into a nasty thicket with a chain saw or berry bucket or whatever, I take along a large spray bottle of household ammonia. Doesn't seem to matter whether it's clear or cloudy.

Periodically I spray my pants. My shoes. My sleeves. My gloves. And before departing the area, if a helper is available I'll have them thoroughly wet my backside from collar to shoe tops.

If you don't want a nasty case much later, do a bang-up job on the shoes. Especially the laces. Don't forget the soles.

Ditto for the tools. Everything which might even possibly have contacted the poison oil gets well wetted by the spray.

IMO this product destroys/neutralizes the urushiol, for except when I was unaware I was into the stuff I haven't suffered from poison ivy blisters for many years.

Is household ammonia safe to spray - or wipe with a wetted washcloth - on hands, arms, or neck?


That's a call for everybody to decide for themselves. Isopropyl alchol is supposed to have a "neutralizing" ability too, but I've no experience with it. Ditto for the reputed effectiveness of baking soda.

My ammonia treatment is worthless after the stuff gets chemically attatched to my skin. And I personally know of no effective treatment if that happens.

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Your question will be posted in: