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'Tis The Season For Poison Ivy To Start

'Tis the season for poison ivy to start.

And you have to look for it!  It is easier to remove when it's small.

Poison ivy and poison oak are very common in this area. 

They are similar in that they have three equal-sized, and shiny, green leaves.

The shine on the leaves comes from an oil that when touched, and allowed to stay, can bond with the skin and cause a very itchy rash.  And the rash can spread!  About 85% of people are allergic to poison ivy, oak, and sumac.  And 10%-15% are severely allergic!

And this plant is a true ivy.  It grows rapidly, and, being a rhizome plant, can spread underground from place to place.  Rhizome plants have subterranean shoots which grow, popping up with leafy plants that shoot elsewhere to grow larger and spread still.  Rhizome plants are also called creeping rootstalks and creeping rootstocks.

And poison ivy will grow up the sides of houses, under siding, and can even spread into the inside of a house.  I have seen poison ivy happily growing along the ceiling of unfinished basement spaces!

If you ever see the "hairy" root that grows up the sides of trees or houses, then you know THAT is poison ivy!  Once that root has taken hold of anything it is extremely difficult to remove!  And all aspects of the plant have the oily substance that if touched can cause the skin rash, including branches and roots.

My recommendation:  spring is the time to look for small poison ivy plants.  That is when they are easiest to kill off, and hopefully before the rhizome shoots begin to spread.  Once it has taken hold it is much more difficult to eliminate.  If you think you have touched poison ivy, immediately wash the area with dish detergent (which is formulated to break down oils and grease), and COLD water.  Hot water will make the oil spread.  If you get it on your clothing, wash it immediately by itself.  If your dog or cat touches poison ivy and you pet the animal, the oil can spread from the fur to you again, so eliminating it before it grows is best practice!

 

 

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560

www.jaymarinspect.com


Comment balloon 25 commentsJay Markanich • April 23 2017 09:54AM

Comments

Hi Jay... it seems to me that when I was a child, poison ivy was everywhere. I don't tend to see it much any more. Maybe it's the difference between where I grew up and where I live now.

Posted by Nina Hollander, Your Charlotte/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Area Realtor (RE/MAX Executive | Charlotte, NC) 5 months ago

Jay, I just caught a small case of poison ivy.  Going away but amddening when you have it

Posted by William Feela, Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No. (WHISPERING PINES REALTY) 5 months ago

Good morning Jay. Great tips to rid yourself of poison ivy before you endure the pain! Enjoy your day!

Posted by Wayne Martin, Real Estate Broker (Wayne M Martin) 5 months ago

Perhaps a concerted effort to get rid of it, Nina?  There are sprays that kill only poison ivy and nothing else.

William - once you have it there is nothing you can do to get rid of it.  The cremes and such are merely to make one more comfortable, but the rash stays until the bonded oil is done.

And that is the idea, Wayne!  Proactive, not reactive.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) 5 months ago

I have carefully taken out some of the vines from around the yard, looking like I was ready for winter in July.  Not even throwing it into the brush pile, but immediately into the garbage tote so it can be burned.

Posted by Ed Silva, Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally (RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754 ) 5 months ago

If you burn poison ivy, be careful not to breath the smoke, Ed!  Including the vines.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) 5 months ago

OK, as soon as I saw what the post was about I couldn't get The Coasters and the song Poison Ivy out of my head.

Posted by Joe Pryor, REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties (The Virtual Real Estate Team) 5 months ago

It gets worse if you watch a Batman vs. Poison Ivy cartoon, Joe.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) 5 months ago

I was a poison ivy magnet when I was a kid.  For years my mother would take me to the doctor's office for a series of shots since I was so allergic.  As an adult, I still get it but only minor cases.  I'm not sure whether it is because I am so aware and stay away from it or the shots worked! 

Posted by Stephen Weakley (Nationwide Mortgage Services) 5 months ago

The shots were likely just steroid shots, Stephen, as I know of nothing to "eliminate" the rash or allergy.  But we change over time in our allergies.

My brother got it annually not even touching the stuff.  The doctor said he had it "in his blood..."!   He had to sleep at night with rubber gloves to keep from spreading it!  Today he has no such problems!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) 5 months ago

Good morning, Jay Markanich ... I had that once when God was a child.... not a happy moment....

Posted by Barbara Todaro, "Franklin MA Homes" (RE/MAX Executive Realty ) 4 months ago

Barbara - for years my brother got it, the doctor saying it was in his blood.  He had to wear rubber gloves to bed!

To those very allergic it is nasty stuff.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) 4 months ago

Good morning again Jay. I am itchy just reading this. Good advice here. Have a good day.

Posted by Sheila Anderson, The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133 (Referral Group Incorporated) 4 months ago

I have a poison ivy post every other year or so, Sheila.  Intended to remind and instruct!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) 4 months ago

I've never had poison ivy and I hope it stays that way!

Posted by Sharon Tara, New Hampshire Home Stager (Sharon Tara Transformations) 4 months ago

You may be one of those who are not allergic, Sharon!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) 4 months ago

So glad we don't have poison ivy in Hawaii - it would love it here.

Posted by Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089, Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info (Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers) 4 months ago

I bet it would, Georgie!  Being a true ivy for sure it would flourish.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) 4 months ago

Perfect timing! I get into poison ivy every year and live with miserable consequences. 

Posted by Patricia Feager, Selling Homes Changing Lives (DFW FINE PROPERTIES) 4 months ago

It's spring, Patricia, and time for this post!  Sorry to hear of your allergy though!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) 4 months ago

Great post and good advice, thanks for the reminder. Saw this on Roy Kelley repost and will repost myself. 

Posted by Nick & Trudy Vandekar, 610-203-4543, Tredyffrin Easttown Realtors, Philly Main Line (Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400) 4 months ago

Hi Jay,
Great Spring reminder!  Thanks for the post.  I'm one of the severely allergic.  

Posted by Carol Williams, "Customized Mentoring & Marketing Services" (U.S.: I specialize in helping agents who have been in the business 2 years or less create a thriving business.) 4 months ago

And thank you for that, N&T!

That's too bad, Carol.  Poison ivy can be a severe problem for some.  It's best to be able to identify it before the problem!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) 4 months ago

Jay hello.

Thank you for the useful information.

Posted by Shahar Hillel, Mortgage Consultant, Loan Officer. (Augusta Financial Inc.) 4 months ago

You're welcome, Shahar.  I'm here very often!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) 4 months ago

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