Clear that poison ivy from your yard

Are you hesitant in having friends over for an outside barbecue because you have poison ivy, oak or sumac in your yard?  Removing it would be best to avoid itchy reactions from your guests and allow you to have that gathering without worry!

Now is the best time to remove that poison ivy, oak or sumac.  June through August is the flowering season.  While you can remove the plants any time of year, it is best to do it during the flowering season.  Here are some steps to help make it easier.

  • If you are doing the job yourself, be sure you wear all the right protective clothing.  Long pants, full coverage shoes, socks, long pants, long sleeve shirt, breathing mask and goggles are recommended by the US Food and Drug Administration.
  • Cut plants down and remove their roots as thoroughly as possible.  Treat the areas with proper herbicides to finish the job.  Don’t be discouraged if the plants come back the first time.  In some cases it takes more than one try to completely eradicate the plants.
  • When you are finished, place all the plants and roots in plastic bags for disposal. DO NOT burn the poison plants as burning will release urushiol oil which is the substance that causes allergic reactions into the air.
  • Wash your clothes separately from other clothes.  Also wash the garden tools you used to remove the plants.  Wash your skin with cool water to remove any oil that may have gotten on you.
  • If you do have a rash, give your doctor a call to find out how to treat it.  If you experience any trouble breathing or can not control your itch, go to the emergency room.
  • If your guests do experience an allergic reaction, don’t worry.  Your homeowner’s policy will have you covered for medical expenses under the liability section.

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