|rec.gardens.ecosystems homepage -> FAQ -> weeds|
Physical contact with Poison Ivy should be avoided and if you are going to work with the plant you should wear protective clothing. If you are trying to weed by hand, keep in mind that every last piece of remaining root with a growth bud has the potential to make a new plant. Also, Poison Ivy shouldn't be burned - the toxin can be carried by the soot particles and inhaled. This could cause a strong reaction. Goats will eat Poison Ivy but then they need to be bathed and its back to the issue of avoiding physical contact with the urushiol.
The OCIA's International Certification Standard prohibits the use of all synthetic herbicides on certified land. (See Appendix A). The home remedy herbicides based on salt or acid can do serious harm to the soil organisms and they should be avoided. On a practical basis, spot application of Roundup may make the most sense. It is relatively safe to use but it is certainly not organic.
If you are going to use Roundup, apply the material as a very coarse spray to minimize drift or swab the material directly onto the foliage. Keep it off everything except the foliage and don't soak the soil. Apply when the plant is in the fruit or flowering stage. The plant needs to be active to translocate the material from the foliage to the roots. If the ivy has grown into a large canopy, clip the vines 2-3 feet above the ground, two weeks later spot treat the stubs and two weeks later spot treat again. Read and follow the directions on the label. Keep the material off of everything except the Poison Ivy.
Wear protective clothing and avoid physical contact with the Ivy and with the Roundup as much as possible. Cut up, bag and seal all of the pieces and put it out in the trash. Keep it out of your compost pile. Disinfect your tools, wash or discard the protective clothing. Shower immediately after working with Poison Ivy using lots of soap and water. Keep ahead of Poison Ivy. It's the older plants that are the more difficult.
In addition to wearing protective clothing when working around poison ivy, it might be a good idea to also wear a poison ivy lotion like "Ivy Block". These lotions are applied to the skin prior to exposure and seem to work by providing a barrier to the toxic oils. See the Baylor University Medical Center's report on "Ivy Block".
|Back to Main Menu||Top of Page|