Poison ivy can be a big hindrance for outdoor summertime fun in your neighborhood. Almost everyone has a reaction to it, some people are extremely allergic to the vine, and it can blend in with other plants your yard. Make sure you, your family, and your neighborhood are free of poison ivy. Here is some helpful information on poison ivy that you might surprise you:
Where does it grow?
It can grow everywhere, but it likes the edges of open spaces, like the edge of your lawn or the edge of a parking lot.
Can I burn it?
NO. Burning poison ivy might feel really cathartic, but the smoke will cause reactions on your skin and, in extreme cases, in your lungs.
Why does poison ivy cause itchy rashes?
Poison ivy is covered with urushiol oil. This oil is also found on poison oak and poison sumac. Every part of the ivy, both the leaves and the stem, are covered in urushiol oil. Urushiol oil is a nasty organic chemical that bonds to cell membranes in your body. The urushiol oil breaks down into a slew of different molecules which get passed through your bloodstream, latching onto other cells around your body. When these derivatives of the urushiol oil bond to your cell membranes, they trigger an immune system response which means your immune system treats certain cells in your body as intruders and they attack them which causes rashes and blisters.
How can I treat the rash?
Once you have come in contact with poison ivy, wash the affected area with soap and warm water. Taking anti-histamines and using hydrocortisone cream will help with the pain and discomfort of rashes and blisters. Severe reactions require a doctor’s visit.
How do I get rid of it?
You can either try to get rid of it on your own or you can hire someone to take care of it (talk to your association management group). If you decide to attack the ivy on your own, wear long sleeves, gloves, pants, and a hat. Either pull it out at the root or clip it, but don’t use a weed whacker on it, that will just spread the urushiol oil everywhere. Also remember to be careful taking off your gardening clothes and wash them immediately to wash off the urushiol oil.
Remember to tell your association management group or company about any poison ivy you find in your yard or neighborhood so they can hire professionals to take care of it. Poison ivy can grow quickly and spread its seeds over a great distance, making it a dangerous nuisance to everyone in your neighborhood, so deal with it immediately and spend the rest of the summer worry-free and relaxed.