Poison Ivy

This post is kind of a public service story.  With summer coming down on us and the youngsters playing hide and seek, etc. you may see some nasty rashes on arms, legs, and faces.  It could be Poison Ivy.  I’m highly allergic to the nasty stuff but I’ve never seen real good info or pictures about it.

We have a lot of Virginia Creeper in our yard and it’s commonly mistaken for Poison Ivy but it’s not the same thing.  Poison Ivy contains a very toxic resin in every part of the plant that causes the itching and blisters.  It’s called Uroshiol.

I get a gardening newsletter in my inbox from Mike McGroarty that has very useful information for gardeners.  Today, he’s talking about Poison Ivy and he even put a video on his site to show us how to tell the difference between Poison Ivy and Virginia Creeper.  He’s also got a home made remedy to get rid of it.  I’m going to post the links so you can take a look for yourself.

One thing he points out is that you should NEVER burn Poison Ivy.  Please remember that.  I had a friend years ago who burned a pile of it in her back yard and it almost killed her.  It got into her lungs.  It’s very dangerous to inhale the smoke from burning Poison Ivy.

Another important thing to remember is that you should NEVER, EVER, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES eat the berries.  They’re white so don’t really look like other berries except if the other berries are in early development.  Our dear Dad accidentally ate some one time because the vine had gotten mixed into his grape arbor.  He was pretty darned sick.  So don’t do that!

Here are the links as promised to pages on Mike’s site.




There’s lots of great stuff to read on Mike’s site so take a look around.


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  1. Veronica Catrombon

     /  June 17, 2014

    For all you gardeners that love to work without gloves or long sleeves: I got a load of mulch from a local farmer, spread it around in my gardens, and the next day my arms, hands, ankles and face were covered in poison ivy blisters–steroid shot and pills for me. Now, I use bagged mulch, and wear gloves, long sleeves and a painter’s respirator mask just in case. Be careful out there!

  2. Thank you

    • You’re welcome. We don’t have much Poison Ivy or Oak but I did see some Poison Oak when I was cutting grass by The Barn the other day.

  3. Dana Pellerin

     /  June 18, 2014

    thanks for the info.

  4. Cat

     /  June 19, 2014

    Don’t forget about poison oak and poison sumac.
    As a child poison ivy never bothered me, even after I rubbed it over my face and neck. Poison oak did create a reaction, but not nearly as much as poison ivy bothered my good friend. However, if my friend washed right away, just using the regular bar soap we used at the sink, really helped her. The juice from the leaves is oily and you need soap to break that oil up.
    In the fall, poison ivy will turn red or golden just like the leaves of a tree.
    I learned something from Mike’s video tho, I didn’t know what Virginia creeper was before now. I’ve seen it and I’ve heard the name but didn’t connect the two.
    As an adult I will get a blister or 2 after handing poison ivy, generally between my fingers. Although it doesn’t show up for 5-7 days, long enough that I’ve forgotten were I got it. It’s annoying but I usually forget to treat it with anything.
    My little brother was susceptible to PI, his usually showed up a day or two later. Too late to use the soap method to wash it off. For him bathing with a homemade soap greatly eased the discomfort and shortened the length of infection.
    Good luck all, stay safe from poisonous plants this summer and fall.

    • I haven’t seen a lot of those on our place but we do have lots of Virginia Creeper. It even makes me break out.
      Mango’s are related to Sumac so be sure to peel them before eating…in other words, don’t slice them and bite the flesh from the skin of the mango. I wound up in the ER once after doing that.

  5. Thanks for the info and links. Vince and Chad are extremely allergic to it so that leaves me to be the one to get rid of anything we find. Lucky for Vince (and me), I don’t think it grows here.

    • You’re lucky that you don’t have it. It’s really nasty stuff to deal with. I’m going to mix up some of Mike’s recipe and use it on lots of things we don’t want around here.


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