Ways to control that devious poison ivy

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I’ve noticed more poison ivy this year then I recall in previous years. Maybe I am more observant or maybe the farm is just weedier. Either way it makes people nervous.  I am not particularly allergic to this devious vine but Andy, my husband, will blister like being burned by fire whenever he comes into contact with it.
A few years ago, we were trimming sheep hooves (sheep will eat poison ivy with no ill effects) and Andy inadvertently kneeled in some manure as we set to the task. He ended up getting a poison ivy rash on his knee. We surmised that the ewe must have been chomping on poison ivy and it came out the other end.
Another friend of ours had a terrible poison ivy reaction after getting a load of wood chips dumped to use as mulch. The plant evidently was put through the chipper along with the wood and as he spread the mulch and wiped the sweat from his brow he spread the oil all about and ended up at the immediate care center.
I had a couple of fierce cases of poison ivy when I was little (you know the kind where your mother turns you pink because she has smothered you in Calamine lotion).
Apparently, it is not uncommon for people to cycle through allergic-not allergic a few times in their lifetime. I was moving some fence last week (in sandals) and walked through a bunch of it with no resulting rash but just because nothing happened last week doesn’t necessarily mean that I am immune forever. Point: always respect the vine.
Poison ivy is a perennial plant that causes over two million skin irritation cases in the U.S each year. The plant contains an oil called urushiol that most humans are allergic to. All parts of the plant contain the oil; therefore, all parts of the plant are potential irritants: leaf, stem and roots. Because it is the oil that causes the irritation or blistering you do not necessarily have to come into contact with the plant. The oil can easily be transferred by clothing, pets, and tools or from another person onto your person. Even burning poison ivy is dangerous because the oil fumes in the smoke can be inhaled.
Typically, you find poison ivy along roadsides and fence roads but it is not exclusively a rural weed. Flowerbeds and home landscapes are not immune to this irritating vine. You will see it either as a woody vine climbing a tree or trailing the ground; or as a small 5-10 inch woody clump. It’s devious because of the various shapes it takes on. The leaves, while always three-leaflet leaves, may appear hairy or smooth, glossy or dull, and pointed or round at the margins. Some even have drupes, or little berries, in the winter that the birds enjoy and thus help spread the plant around.
You can use a broad-leaf weed control or total kill like glyphosate while it is actively growing to try and knock it back. Cutting it back regularly to starve out the root system will also work if you are persistent and the plant is young. If you chose to remove it by hand- which is reasonable with small specimens- be sure to wear protective gear and preferable gloves that you can throw away after the job is complete. Wash up with an alkaline soap (or Technu) to remove any residual oil that you may have come into contact with, too. I did do this last week just to be on the safe side.
Poison ivy is hard to control so your best bet is to pull, mow or spray as soon as you see seedling. If you know where your trouble spots are scout for the plant in the spring so you can begin control measures while the plant is immature.