Poison Ivy is a pesky weed that can be hard to get rid of. There are many ways you can remove this pest, but some methods will work better than others depending on your garden type and size.

Poison ivy not only invades our gardens but also clings onto nearby fence posts or other plants in the wild areas surrounding us. So knowing how to get rid of Poison ivy before it consumes your property is vital.

Why is Poison ivy such a problem?

Poison Ivy is a plant that grows all over the world and contains a potent toxin. The ivy itself doesn’t cause any problems, but if you touch it or breathe in dust from its leaves, you’ll start to feel itchiness and burning.

If you don’t wash your hands right away after touching poison ivy, the oil can spread to other parts of your body and make an uncomfortable rash worse. It’s important not to scratch this rash because scratching will only worsen the infection by introducing bacteria into open wounds.

A person infected by Poison ivy and subsequently suffering from an uncomfortable rash
A person infected by Poison ivy and subsequently suffering from an uncomfortable rash

Factors to consider when getting rid of Poison Ivy?

The first factor and perhaps the most important, in determining the growth stages of the plant will afford you the best opportunity to kill the weed and help prevent new ones from growing. This will take into account the timing of herbicide application.

This is also when you will need the most effective weed killer because its potency is at its highest.

The type of herbicide you use depends on your needs and the severity of the infestation. Two main types of herbicide exist:

  • Thymol
  • Salicylic acid

Many people choose to use a combination of these chemicals. Research has shown that combining them, either by themselves or in conjunction with one another, is the most effective means of preventing vine growth.

The second factor to consider in using the best means for getting rid of poison ivy weed is whether it is resistant to the chemical being used.

So, what is the best way to get rid of Poison ivy?

There are many ways to get rid of poison ivy.

  • Method One is to treat the area with an over-the-counter, topical herbicide that contains glyphosate.
  • Method Two is to use a systemic herbicide such as glyphosate which will not contaminate groundwater or foodstuffs and can be applied in environmentally sensitive areas.
  • Method Three is to burn the plant which works well if you live in an area without fire restrictions and have access to dry weather conditions.

Finally, you could try using a vinegar solution which has been shown in some studies to be just as effective as many chemical treatments for killing poison ivy plants, but less costly and easier on the environment than other methods.

One problem with using natural methods to prevent weed growth is that some plants are more difficult to control than others and the time it takes to implement this form of weed management to effective results will be considerably longer than conventional means.

Old stone wall with Poison ivy growing across it
Old stone wall with Poison ivy growing across it

Best time of the year to get rid of this weed

According to the EPA, the best way to get rid of poison ivy is by using a herbicide. A pre-emergent herbicide can be used in spring or early summer to kill the poison ivy before it takes root.

Poison Ivy is generally most prevalent during the warmer months of summer and fall. However, for extremely effective treatment, the EPA recommends using herbicides when the plant is still dormant in late winter/early spring before it can grow leaves.

Selecting your herbicide

When thinking about using a herbicide against Poison ivy, you have several choices.

You can either several commercial products, which contain several active ingredients including:

  • glyphosate (a herbicide)
  • carbofuran (an insecticide)
  • trifolium (an herbicide)

Glyphosate is most often used to prevent weed seedling growth and has proven to be very effective over the years. However, it is also used to kill weeds when they are still small and infestations are not yet severe.

The commercial products are most effective if used in conjunction with each other. Therefore, one of the keys to preventing or killing poison ivy is to first treat the soil, make sure there are no previous infestations, and then apply the herbicide.

Methods can include sifting the soil for remnants of roots which is slow and time-consuming. Mulching or laying down plastic sheeting to reduce light and water which feed the weeds.

Poison Ivy weed management

Contracting professional help with a weed treatment plan can be one of the most effective means to achieve this.

When it comes to poison ivy, getting rid of it can be a daunting task. The weed is known for its ability to quickly spread and take over an area, making it difficult to remove without the right tools and knowledge. There are a few methods that can be used to eradicate poison ivy, but the most effective approach is often contracting professional help. A qualified weed treatment plan can quickly and easily eliminate the weed from your property, allowing you to enjoy your outdoor space once again.

There are a few basic steps to follow when you seek out professional help for poison ivy management. The first is to ensure the company you choose has the tools and knowledge needed to complete your job as quickly as possible, as well as offering a money-back guarantee.

Make sure the technicians understand how much poison ivy there is on your property and the amount of time it will take to complete. You can even ask them what poison ivy management tools they have available and how often they use them on a job.

Inspection is crucial when it comes to finding out exactly where all of the poison ivy is located. Skilled technicians use heat-sensing equipment that allows them to quickly locate the weed and pinpoint exactly how many plants and weeds there are.

Once you’ve found a company that has the tools and knowledge to help with poison ivy management, it’s time to set up an appointment. You’ll want to take some time before your scheduled appointment to thoroughly clean your property, making sure all other types of weeds are gone so poison ivy isn’t hidden.

During your appointment, technicians will start by covering all of the areas they can access without getting on your property with protective gear. They will then use their thermal-imaging equipment to quickly locate and eradicate any poisonous plants that are hiding out of view. The technicians typically work together in a horizontal line, ensuring each area is covered. Then they will move on to your property, getting rid of the poison ivy by hand or using special tools that get underneath it to remove it completely.

Once the technicians are done with their work, you’ll want to keep an eye on your property for a couple of weeks. Make sure new weeds don’t start growing and that the ones you already have are dying.

How to protect yourself if you touch poison ivy

As with all applications of chemicals and especially herbicides, wear the appropriate clothing and cover as much of your skin as possible.

Use latex or rubber gloves to remove the plant and roots. If you’re getting rid of poison ivy by yourself, be careful, as the sap can rub off on pretty much any surface it comes in contact with. Wipe down your tools with rubbing alcohol or hand sanitiser after use.

If you do touch the poison ivy, take action straight away. Washing skin with soap and water is a good way to make sure that any oil from poison ivy doesn’t spread. Commercial products also exist, such as Ivy Block Oxygenating Barrier Cream, that can help prevent the spread of oil from poison ivy.

Moist heat and wet dressings such as Domeboro solution also work to relieve itching caused by poison ivy. A wet dressing should be applied over blisters and kept moist for at least an hour.

If you find that your skin is becoming irritated it’s important that you take showers instead of baths and try to avoid hot tubs if possible. If you know that you’ve been exposed to poison ivy, it’s important to wear long sleeves and pants when outdoors until the oil has been washed off.

In conclusion

If you want to get rid of poison ivy once and for all, the best method is by using a looped-action weed killer. This type of weedkiller will kill anything in its path without causing damage to other plants or flowers nearby. It may take up to four weeks before everything dies but it’s worth it.

The key with this technique is patience – be sure not to cut corners when applying the herbicide as that can cause more problems than originally intended.

Getting rid of poison ivy is not an easy task. It can be difficult to identify, and the best method will vary depending on your situation. If you are unsure about what approach to take or how to proceed, reach out for help from a local expert who knows these plants inside and out.

Check out our contractor’s section to see who is available in your area – both experienced and qualified – click here.

Gallup Home and Garden Strong Weed Killer Kills All Green Weeds, 1L
  • Foliar applied total herbicide for the control of annual and perennial grass and broad-leaved weeds
  • Quality glyphosate formulation with full amenity approval
  • Some larger or tougher weeds May need the application rate increasing to 5 L/HA or 500 ml per 10 L of water
Elixir Gardens 4 Litre Deep Root Killing Glyphosate Weed Killer | 7.2g/l Herbicide & Weedkiller | Ready to Use Formula Supplied with Spray Head & Hose | 4L Bottle x 1
  • Quickly & effectively clears areas of weeds and unwanted vegetation. Supplied with a handy spray gun and hose attachment for easy application.
  • Ready-to-use 7.2 gram/litre Glyphosate formula. NO DILUTION REQUIRED. Kills & eliminates weeds at the root.
  • One 4 litre bottle treats up to 140 sq. meters.
  • Perfect for a range of hard surfaces such as patios, decking, aggregates and driveways.
  • PLEASE NOTE: Depending on the type of weed and climate, please allow up to 7 days to see the effects of the treatment. Some weeds may take up to 4 weeks for the weedkiller to take effect.

Want to know more about getting rid of poison ivy?

Knotweed Removal aims to provide the most up-to-date information, help and advice for YOU to make informed decisions. If you are unsure or uncertain about how to proceed, please reach out to us and we will gladly come back and advise you as best we can.

Governmental advice can be found here and the UK law covering the removal of Japanese Knotweed as stated under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 can be found here.

The best means to contact us is via our email – hello@knotweedremoval.tips

Do not forget we have a library of blogs covering many areas relevant to Japanese Knotweed, our free downloadable How-to Guides and Product Reviews on the latest methods being employed to eradicate or remove Japanese Knotweed.

Knotweed Removal, UK

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