As we come into the Fall, one of the seasonal threats that rears its ugly head is Poison Ivy. As anyone who has touched one of these vines will tell you, the resulting rash is more than merely itchy. It’s genuinely painful. So the moral of this story is not to touch it. Unfortunately, no matter how careful you are, it can always appear in your yard, no matter how careful you think you are. The reason is the birds that eat the seeds and then use your yard as a latrine, passing the seeds with plenty of natural fertilizer to give it a good start in life. As an aside, we should be clear Poison Ivy is actually problem all the year round and not simply during the Fall. The problem lies in the natural oil which is a consistent part of the plant at all stages of its growth cycle. Ironically, it should be easiest to see the offending plant during the Fall because it should be looking colorful and standing tall. Later, as we get closer to winter, it will drop most of the leaves and die back.
Try to prevent contact with Poison Ivy or cure the rash with Prednisone
So you should make a sweep of all your land and, if you see one of these plants, you need to remove it before one of the family touches it. Remember that if you have a cat or dog, it may pick up the oil on its fur and bring it into the house for you to enjoy. Being practical, safe removal needs great care – put some Prednisone close to hand just in case of accidents. The simplest approach is to use the plastic bags you get from the grocery store. Put two over your hand and pull them up to your elbow. Now you can pull out the plant. But take care not to break the stems as this can spray the oil. Once the plant is out of the ground, take a third bag and, with your other hand protected, pull the other two bags over the Poison Ivy and tie them off. If you should get any oil on yourself, Prednisone is the answer.