How To Get Rid of Poison Ivy (The Right Way)

Posted on August 11, 2021 at 10:00 AM by Tom Swegle

image showing poison ivy rash

How To Get Rid of Poison Ivy

If you have poison ivy plants on your property, it can be tricky (and dangerous) to remove them. Luckily, Outdoor Joe the Poison Ivy Pro has some dos and don'ts for safely removing poison ivy for good!

Do: Dress for Success

Since every part of the plant is poisonous, cover more than just your hands. Gloves are a great start, but long-sleeved shirts and long pants will help ensure you don't accidentally brush against the plant. Getting a nasty poison ivy rash is never fun, so it's better to be slightly sweaty than extremely itchy! Even dressed in the ideal clothing, wind can sometimes blow the plants' toxins onto exposed areas, like your face. Take Outdoor Joe's® before getting rid of poison ivy so you can remove the plant, worry-free! 

Do: Remove it By the Roots 

Poison ivy plants have a resilient and complex roots system. If you don't get out all the roots, the plant will continue to grow. First, use a pruning tool or shears to remove the top part of the plant to make sure it doesn't come into contact with your skin while you're removing the roots. Use a sharp trowel or shovel to remove the roots 5-8 inches below the plant. Be thorough! Make sure to get every part of the root!

Don't: Use a Herbicide 

An herbicide may seem like a quicker, easier option for getting rid of poison ivy plants, but it's not the ideal method. An herbicide will kill the leaves and stems but leaves behind the healthy roots deep in the soil. This means that sooner or later, that plant you sprayed will pop right back up. Spraying the roots is not a good idea either, as it introduces heavy chemicals deep into the soil, impacting the soil's health. This can lead to unhealthy soil, harming other plants nearby, and hindering the ability of any plants to grow in that spot again. Herbicides will also kill other surrounding plants it touches, ruining your garden, landscaping, or other harmless plants.

Do: Bag It

Once you're done digging the plant up by its roots, throw everything into a bag, tie it up, and take it right to the trash. Leaving the plant lying around or putting it in your compost will likely end up spreading the poison ivy to a new spot. Burning the plant would destroy it, but could also lead to you inhaling toxins, resulting in a serious allergic reaction. 

Don't: Use a Mower or Weedwacker

Another quick and easy option for getting rid of poison ivy is simply mowing over it or hitting it with the weedwhacker. This strategy presents two serious problems. First, mowing over or weed whacking a poison ivy plant spreads every part of the plant further across your property. Instead of getting rid of poison ivy for good, the problem will only get bigger. This method also presents a serious safety risk. Similar to burning the plant, these tactics spew toxic particles into the air and can cause serious, even fatal, damage. 

Do: Wash up After

Wash your tools, while still wearing gloves, in rubbing alcohol or vinegar to remove any urushiol on them. Carefully remove your clothes and throw them in the laundry separate from your other clothing. Take an extra soapy shower and thoroughly scrub your skin to avoid any skin irritation. If you do feel an irritated area, use Zanfel Poison Ivy, Oak & Sumac Wash® to remove the urushoil from your skin!

Handle Poison Ivy Like a Pro

Keep your family and pets safe from poison ivy by rooting out the problem. Make sure to take Outdoor Joe's® so you can stay protected from poison ivy. If you forgot to take it, use Zanfel poison ivy treatment for maximum poison ivy rash relief!