As the weather warms up and we plan to spend more time outside, it’s important to know what plants can be harmful. Although it’s associated with the woods, poison ivy can show up in your yard, in the same shady locations where groundcovers grow.
Recognize poison ivy by its “leaves of three.” The plant has a woody stem and leaflets of three (usually green) leaves. It can take on different shades and looks depending on how it adapts to where it grows. It can have notched, rounded or pointed leaves, so anytime you see a plant with groups of three leaves each, take care to protect yourself.
Wear long sleeves, long pants and gloves when you prepare to remove poison ivy from your yard. You can pull it out by hand or use an herbicide to kill the plant.
If your skin is exposed to poison ivy, an itchy rash is likely. Depending on your body’s allergic reaction to the plant, the rash can blister or spread. Sometimes the rash can last as long as two weeks.If you make contact, rinse your skin immediately with cold water to wash away the oil. Also wash any clothing exposed to poison ivy using hot water and detergent. The oils from a poison ivy plant are very stable, so if not washed away they could stick around forever.