How to Get Rid of Poison Ivy, Poison Sumac, and Poison Oak?

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how to get rid of poison ivy

While all plants are beautiful to look at, there are a few plants that could be dangerous.

These plants contain poisonous chemicals, which could be harmful when humans come in contact with it. Most common skin problems these plants cause include itching, rashes, and blisters.

We are here to talk about the most common plants that are dangerous for humans to be around. Poison Ivy, Poison Oak, and Poison Sumac are harmful plants, and people who tend to spend a lot of time outdoors in the greens must be cautious to avoid these plants; if not, you could be suffering from skin problems sooner or later.

Not only are these plants dangerous when you come in contact, but when these plants are burnt, they release toxic fumes that would cause severe allergies. Thus, people need to identify these plants and save themselves from big troubles.

Where do you find the poisonous plants in the US?

The poisonous ivy, poisonous oak, and poison sumac can be found across America. Poisonous ivy is mainly found near the rocky mountains, and the poisonous oak is located along the west coast. You will discover poisonous sumac in swampy lakes, especially in the southern regions of the continent. 

What makes these plants poisonous?

It’s the liquid sap that’s present inside the plant that makes it poisonous. The liquid is called urushiol, which reacts with the skin and causes rashes, redness, and itchiness. The severity increases the more you are exposed to these plants.

How to recognize poisonous plants?

how to recognize poisonous plants

All of these poisonous plants usually grow in dense settings like the woods. But there are chances for these plants to be seen in the human habitat, too, when birds and other external aspects transport the seeds.

Some conditions in the human environment could be favorable to these seeds, and they would start growing out. 

You can recognize these plants by their appearances. Both poison ivy and poison oak have stems that have three leaves. So when you see plants with three leaves cluster, avoid it by all means.

This is the easiest and the primary way to recognize the poisonous plants; however, you must be extra careful. You cannot depend on this factor only because sometimes the number of leaves varies from one species to another.

Poison Sumac also differs according to its species. Its leaves are feather-like, and the leaves are clustered in groups of seven or thirteen. 

An easier way to recognize the poisonous plants is to examine each of these plants’ other traits closely.

Poison Ivy

You’ll find a distinct variety of poison ivy. Broadly you’ll find eastern poison ivy and western poison ivy. 

The Eastern type grows in the form of a vine, and these plants are usually lustrous green, and they turn red during the Autumn.

The Western type is in the form of a shrub or a bush and has green clustered leaves of three.

These two types of poison ivy possess green and yellow leaves when it’s seeing and summer. 

Poison Oak

It’s similar to poison ivy and grows as a vine or a shrub. Its leaves are just like what you see on the oak tree. It blooms flowers and berries that are yellow or green.

Poison Sumac

The poison sumac is always found as a shrub or a bush only. It can grow taller to become a sumac tree. There’s a misconception that poisonous sumac could also be seen as a vine, but that not true. 

The leaves are very symmetrical, and they are primarily green until the fall where they tend to turn yellow or red. 

Distinguishing from Sumac to Poisonous Sumac

The only way to find the difference is to look for the type of berries. The non-poisonous sumac bears a red feather-like seed that’s covered with the leaves. The poison sumac has its berries in clusters all over the bush.

Poison sumac is mainly found in swampy areas.

How to be careful with poisonous plants?

how to be careful with poisonous plants

No matter how much you study these plants, you might find it challenging to remember all the poisonous plants’ features and avoid them.

The best way to prevent yourself from getting in contact with dangerous plants is don’t touch the plants out in the wild. And remember to be far from any plant that has three clustered leaves. 

Don’t touch just any plant unless you are aware of them. It’s best if you are extra careful, and we would highly recommend wearing gloves while dealing with outdoor plants that you are not aware of. 

Taking precautions like covering your face and avoid rubbing your eyes will keep you far from harmful skin troubles and allergies.

How to get rid of Poison Ivy, Poison Oak, and Poison Sumac?

If you find out that any of these poisonous plants are growing in your garden, you must get rid of them as soon as possible before they start expanding and growing your problems.

1.Hire experts

If you find out that the poisonous plants have grown abundantly on your properly, it’s best to seek a removal service from the experts. They would charge quite an amount, but at least you can be sure to get rid of the dangerous plants from your property.

When you hire a service to do the removing job, you can be safe from exposure and will be relieved to get your garden clean from the poisonous plants.

2. Let the Goats eat away the poisonous plants 

Fortunately, these plants don’t affect the goats in any way, and the goats love to feed on poison ivy, oak, and sumac. 

If you can’t have your own goats, you can hire them to graze in your garden for a specific time. The goats will feed on the weeds and the poisonous plants keeping your garden clean.

Letting the goats graze on your field often will kill the growth of the plants. 

3. Cutting them off by the roots

If you have to get the work done by yourself, you must be prepared with complete safety.

Cutting the plants from the ground could be a little hazardous. The sap could start leaking if you cut the plant in any part. You must be careful to keep your skin from getting in contact with the dangerous fluid. 

Before getting this job done, equip yourself with all the safety wear.

Goggles and mask to cover your face, gloves, and shoes with fully covered clothes is the best way to dive into this activity.

Since these poisonous plants create a severe reaction to your skin, you must make sure go are covered from head to toe.

Chemical treatments to get rid of the poisonous plants 

There’s are certain chemicals available in the market that will kill these toxic plants.

Bleach and Clorox also work great to get rid of poisonous ivy, oak, and sumac.

You can also go with some DIY mixtures to kill poisonous plants. With vinegar, salt, and dish soap, you can make your own powerful solution. 

Most people have succeeded with the solution, but you will have to spray the mixture several times to kill the plants.

Getting rid of the poisonous plants from your garden could be a challenging task, but there’s always a way to get them out of your way. Whether you choose to hire an expert team or spray a chemical herbicide, you can get rid of them in one way or another.

Remember to stay far away from these plants. In case you get in contact with them, wash it off thoroughly. If the skin problem develops severe problems, seek medical help immediately.

Identifying poisonous plants and staying far from them can help you explore and enjoy your outdoor activities.

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