What is Poison Ivy? | How to kill Poison Ivy

What is Poison Ivy? | How to kill Poison Ivy

What is Poison Ivy? | How to kill Poison Ivy? Discover more about Poison Ivy, a toxic species of plant that can cause an array of unpleasant and sometimes dangerous reactions. From irritating rashes to severe allergic reactions, Poison Ivy should be avoided at all costs.


The Poison Ivy plant is one of the most feared and misunderstood plants out there. Invasive species, it has plagued yards and gardens across the country for a number of years. When in contact, it can cause an irritating rash, however, it can also be treated with proper care. 

What is Poison Ivy?

Itchy, allergic rashes can be caused by poison ivy when its oils come into contact with the skin when the plant oils are exposed to the skin. The rash is caused by an oil called urushiol, which is found in all parts of the plant, including the leaves, stems, and roots. It usually begins within 12 to 48 hours of contact with the plant and can last for several weeks. Itching, blistering, and redness are some of the symptoms. 

You should wash the affected area of the body as soon as possible with soap and water in order to remove the oil if you think you have come in contact with poison ivy. It is possible to relieve symptoms by using over-the-counter creams or oral antihistamines if you develop a rash. 

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How to Identify Poison Ivy?

Ivy can be identified by the three leaflets found on its leaves. Its leaves are usually green, but they can be red or orange in the fall. The leaves have smooth or slightly toothed edges and usually measure from 2 to 4 inches long. The middle leaflet has a longer stem than the other two leaflets. 

The leaves are usually glossy and can be smooth or hairy. It can be grown as a vine, climbing trees, and fences, or as a low-lying shrub. A poison ivy plant produces white berries that are found in clusters.

How to Kill Poison Ivy?

Poison ivy can be killed in several ways, including those listed below:

1. Use a herbicide

To kill poison ivy, use a herbicide containing glyphosate, such as Roundup. Ensure that you follow the manufacturer’s instructions and take the necessary safety precautions, such as wearing gloves and protective clothing.

2. Pull it by hand

Wearing gloves and protective clothing is recommended, and avoid touching your face or any other part of your body if the poison ivy is easily accessible.

3. Cut it down

It is also possible to cut the poison ivy down to the ground with pruning shears or a machete. However, the poison ivy will grow back if the roots are still in the ground.

4. Smother it

Smothering poison ivy with mulch or a tarp will prevent the plant from getting sunlight. This will eventually result in the plant’s death.

Prevention and Treatment


  • The best way to avoid poison ivy is to learn how to identify it.
  • To protect the skin from contact with the plant, apply a barrier cream or lotion containing bentoquatam.
  • Animals should be kept away from poison ivy since they can also develop a rash when in contact with it.
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  • The affected area should be washed with soap and water as soon as possible if you think you may have come into contact with poison ivy.
  • Calamine lotion, available over-the-counter, can help relieve itching and inflammation.
  • Symptoms can also be relieved with the use of antihistamines, such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl).
  • A doctor may prescribe stronger medications in severe cases, such as corticosteroid creams and oral corticosteroids.
  • To prevent infection, keep the affected area clean and dry.
  • It is important to seek medical attention immediately if the rash is severe or covers a large area of the body or if there is a fever or difficulty breathing associated with the rash.


1. Are there any other plants that look like Poison Ivy that I should watch out for?

The following plants look similar to poison ivy, but they may not cause the same effects. Virginia creeper, for example, is commonly confused with poison ivy due to its similar leaves and proximity to poison ivy’s habitat. Poison oak, which is found throughout the United States, is another look-alike. Poison oak looks very similar to poison ivy. False Nettles are another plant that shares many characteristics with poison ivy. 

2. Are there any over-the-counter medications to treat Poison Ivy?

Poison ivy can be treated over the counter with topical creams and ointments containing mild steroids or antihistamines. These medications provide relief from itching, redness, and swelling. 


Oils from poison ivy can cause an itchy, allergic reaction in people when they come into contact with the skin. The key to protecting the skin from poison ivy is recognizing the plant when it appears on the skin. You should clean the affected area of your skin as quickly as possible with soap and water to remove the oil and seek treatment if necessary if you suspect you have been exposed to poison ivy. 

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