Poison Ivy around your lawn can be a pain, and can cause discomfort to many of us during the summer months. If you have a lawn care company that cares for you lawn, you might not come into contact with the plant, but here are a few thoughts about poison ivy.
The plant itself is actually native to our state. Poison ivy is a great woodland plant that offers many benefits to natural wildlife. It is also a major nuisance to Ohio homeowners. Poison ivy is often found in woodlands, fence rows, stream banks, and in gardens. The plant releases oils when severed, that can cause blistering, swelling, and an itching rash. The oils of the plant can be spread by direct contact, pets, tools, and even your golf balls! One common myth is that the rash can be spread by oozing from the blisters of the skin. This is in-fact not true, and can only be spread by the oils from the plants.
If contact is made with the plant, cool soapy water can help to remove the oils quickly from the skin. Generally, the longer the oils are on the skin, the deeper and longer the rash will last. Make sure to clean all tools, fabric, and any other items that may have come in contact with the oils so that they do not continue to spread.
The first defense to any weed is to properly identify it. Poison ivy can grow in a few forms including the typical vine, or in a shrub form. The arrangement of the leaves are in 3’s, with the middle leaf being attached by an longer stem, or petiole.
Poison ivy can be removed multiple ways. Hand removal can be a very effective method when all of the roots are removed (Make sure to wear gloves!). For larger plants, having a lawn care company spray them will help you protect your family. Often times, multiple applications are necessary.
Like the old saying, “Leaves of 3, let it be”, keep the poison ivy out of your yard, and enjoy an “itch-free” summer!
Author: Andrew Muntz received his Master’s of Science in Turfgrass science and his Bachelors of Science in Landscape Horticulture at The Ohio State University, Columbus OH.