Poison Ivy leaves.

Urushiol oil remains active for several years, so handling even dead leaves or vines can cause a reaction.

From changing leaves to the cooling temperatures, autumn is perfect time enjoy the gorgeous show that nature is putting on outside. But beware what you touch as you take advantage of the last few hours of evening sunlight – fall brings an increased exposure to poison ivy along with the leaf piles and stunning colors.

Poison ivy tops the list of plants to avoid because it contains urushiol, an oily resin that binds to the skin on contact and may result in a hypersensitivity reaction characterized by itching, burning skin eruptions. This rash-causing poison ivy sap is a clear liquid found in the plant’s leaves and the roots, which many people develop an allergy to over time. Urushiol oil remains active for several years, so handling even dead leaves or vines can cause a reaction. The oil can also be transferred from the plant to clothes, garden tools, and even pets.

How to Prevent It

Avoiding contact with the plant is, of course, the best prevention. If you spot poison ivy in your yard, consult with a professional landscaper for removal. Never try to remove poison ivy yourself – the root system of the plant is difficult to remove, and “weed whacking” the plant will simply spray the poison ivy—and hence the oil—right at you.

In most places poison ivy grows, you will also find a plant called jewelweed growing close by—especially in moist, shady areas. Jewelweed has been used for centuries to treat poison ivy rashes, as it seems to be a natural remedy. When you are in the field and may have been exposed to poison ivy, pick jewelweed, slice the stem, and rub its juice on your skin to ease irritation and help prevent a breakout.

Ready for the Landscaping professionals to lend you a hand?

If you think you’re ready to start getting your yard back to all of its verdant glory then you can contact Rhine Landscaping by giving us a call at 410-442-2445. We’ve got the knowledge your lawn needs to get it ready for summer. You can also contact us on our website. We can help you plan, plant, and create the yard of your dreams. You can also check out our blogs to stay on top of landscaping trends and tips.

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