Poison Ivy

shimla(5 Upstate, NY)March 15, 2008

I'm trying to rid poison ivy off of my property which keeps creeping in from the property next door. The neighbor is against chemicals so I was looking for a natural solution. I just want to do a one time treatment if possible and I found a recipe to do this. It's a mixture of salt, vinegar and a liquid detergent which I'm really leaning toward using. Has anyone tried this solution and had good results with it? I found a blurb that said the salt could be toxic. Is that really so? There are some trees in the area that I need to treat. Would the salt kill them?

I've been treating my property with brush killer which I hate. I don't want to have to suit up every year to spray. The spray works great but I have to do it repeatedly because the ivy keeps coming over. The toads live out there and I know I'm killing them :( I tried last year to just paint the plants but it's a never ending battle. I'm never going to be able to plant in the area because of it. As careful as I am, I get the dreaded rash every year. I'm quite often barefooted in the yard and have to be careful where I step. I tried putting in a barrier last year (a fence runs down the line) but it's riddled with tree roots and I can't dig down to bury it. It's a huge line, about 60-75 feet that the ivy pops up from.

Any feedback?

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Shimla, I've had fairly good results with the salt solution - the recipe I got (from my mother) doesn't include vinegar. It's a pound of salt (I use the kosher that comes in the 3 lb. box), a gallon of water, and a little dish soap to make it stick to the PI. You sometimes have to spray the area twice or 3 times to kill off the PI. Considering how tough PI is, yes, I have to believe it's toxic in its own way. I think I'd rather use the salt than some of the heavier duty poisons though. Still, could be I'm just kidding myself on that score.

Probably the most effective - and most dangerous - way to deal with it is to pull it. It's not going to help much if you can't enlist your neighbor into pulling the stuff on his/her property though. I forget which forum I read about this recently on - I want to say New England Gardening Forum, but I'm not sure. You have to wear multiple layers of clothing, which you peel off very carefully. I've always been too chicken to do it, so I use the salt water stuff - still, there's always some around every year.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2008 at 11:03PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
shimla(5 Upstate, NY)

Thank you, drippy. I'm going to give it a try this year and see how well it works. I found two recipes. One said to use 1 cup salt, the other said 2 cups of salt. You're supposed to dissolve the salt into one gallon of vinegar and add 8 drops of liquid detergent. I'm going to try the vinegar and if I have to reapply, I'll just go ahead and use water if that's what you've done in the past with success. Water would be easier, I could just use my sprayer. There is a huge patch of it in the back woods (not my neighbors property) so I can just hammer the area too.

Yes, some do-gooder sent me detailed directions on how to remove it from my neighbors property by pulling it out last year. It's nice in theory but I don't think so! I'd inevitably end up head to toe with rash and for sure I'd miss a root or two lol!

    Bookmark   March 17, 2008 at 7:33PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Over the years I've tried everything and every possible recipe i could find to rid he poison ivy from the yard.
Results with salt, vinegar and detergent where very poor at best. Spraying with clorox bleach worked a bit better but not by much.

When we found our youngest anaphylactic to poison ivy, we had no choice but to pull out the big guns. She almost died twice within 3 weeks from contact with the stuff.

I've only used a pesticide on the poison ivy and it was tough for me to do, but there was no choice. The best one is the roundup specific to poison ivy. Even with this, it takes a year for the stuff to vanish, but it does work.

If your getting this from the neighbors yard as well, roundup might actually do in PI on the neighbors side as well.

You can very carefully spray the roundup on the poison ivy on your side of the fence. You just spray it on the leaves. The poison is absorbed through the leaves and goes to the root this way.

Once we used the roundup around the yard, we've been lucky enough to only have one plant pop up now, over 20 years.


    Bookmark   March 19, 2008 at 1:53AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
shimla(5 Upstate, NY)

How scary, Fran, to have your daughter get so sick from the stuff! What a fright. You were lucky to get it all out so quickly. I haven't tried the roundup brand. The neighbors have kids; you would think they would want to control it. I was spraying my property one year (before the fence went up) and the neighbor came over to express his disapproval. He suggested that I plant jewel weed. A home cure for the rash??? Welcome to my world lol!

Unfortunately, I think it's going to be a lifetime battle until I can figure out how to barrier it from traveling in from the neighbor's yard every year. Someone had recommended using flashing (it's that shiny aluminum sheeting). I was going to dig it into the other side along the fencing but I couldn't get around the tree roots. My trees are too large to take out and make sun.

I'm disappointed because I had planned on planting a hedge in front of the fence and taking the fence down when the hedge got tall enough. I couldn't imagine what a pain it would be to have to treat around shrubbery every year.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2008 at 1:39AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


It sure was a fright with our daughter.

As for your neighbor's idea about jewel weed, i've heard that it can be used to treat the rash from poison ivy, but it doesn't prevent it, that I know of.

I've never tried to use if for poison ivy rash, and it's not on my list of plants to grow and neither is poison ivy. Leaving growing like that around kids doesn't sound to intelligent to me, whether I have kids or not either.

As for complaining to you about using a spray to get rid of it on your property, well that, in my opinion, is a lot of nerve. It is your property and you weren't spraying it on his. That's a different story.

It sounds like you might have a life time battle because of your neighbor, on the other hand, I still think you have a good shot at curbing it if you use the correct roundup spay on your side of the fence. A good portion of the poison ivy is probably coming from roots on the neighbors side of the fence and the roots are coming underneath it and growing on your side of the fence. If you spray the leaves on your side you might find some of his near the fence will die as well. Roundup works by being absorbed by the leaves and going into the root system.

the one you want to by is called Roundup Poison Ivy & Tough Brush Killer Plus Ready-To-Use. It comes in a large container mixed and ready to spray with a sprayer attached to it that allows you to use the spray nozzle or a stream on it.
I usually have to buy it in the local hardware store as I haven't found it in the big box stores before.

The other thing I like about using roundup is that 30 minutes after application water will not do any harm to the application. Other brands that I've seen to kill poison ivy require 24 hours of no water to work or you need to reaaply the product.

Don't know if the flashing idea would work, but if the roots are coming from the other side of the fence, you will have to dig way down past them and those roots can get you and give you the rash as well.

Good luck and like I said if it was me, I would be spraying the roundup on my side of the fence.


    Bookmark   March 22, 2008 at 11:05PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
shimla(5 Upstate, NY)

I looked up anaphylactic reactions and see that in some people you only have a matter of a few minutes to counteract the reaction when you come encounter with something you're allergic to. It's like a bee sting in some or a peanut reaction. Yikes! I never thought of a reaction like that to anything other than if you ingest it or a sting of some sort. How did you figure out it was the poison ivy, if you don't mind me asking? Does she have to carry around medicine with her for outdoor activities?

I wasn't anywhere near being close to the property line when I was outside spraying the time he came over to comment. As far as the jewel weed, I called him on it when he made the suggestion and he said it didn't stop the poison ivy. So it was either intended as a jab or a helpful hint when I get infected with the rash. I searched it to give him the benefit of the doubt but what I found was they grow happily together.

The more and more I think about it, I know you're right that I should be able to spray my own property. And that makes sense that it will get into the roots and kill back the plants. I was just trying to keep the peace over here the best that I can and come up with some kind of happy medium. I honestly don't want to spend my summer digging a trench in between tree roots to put a barrier in. There's been a history here and it was enough work for me to have to run a fence down through the woods to obtain a little privacy. I'm also going to try the salt mix way in the backwoods to see if I can minimize any of it more naturally.

I left a maintenance strip on the other side of my fence where the infestation is coming from. I'm going to spray from that side to see if I can keep it at bay. I'll suit up and patrol it every weekend if I need to and just spot treat at any sign of green. It seems to pop up anywhere so I don't know how long the roots normally travel. If I can get it under control and spot treat, my toads should be a little safer. If it becomes an issue, the neighbor can figure out a solution that works best for him. They might not even realize it's an ongoing issue for me since they can't see me in the yard anymore.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2008 at 8:52PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hi Shimla,

My B.F.husband is a farmer,she has poison ivy in the ditch in the front of their home,along with a lot of flowers that she can not weed because of the ivy,she uses a product called:'Ivy Block' lotion by Enviro Derm,to be used BEFORE CONTACT.
She uses this when she is spraying round up,it has been a couple of years now,using round up, and it is finally going away.
You might want to check on the round up-there are a couple of different strengths,being a farmer, his is a lot stronger.
Hope this helps you a little.
They can make our life misreable.


    Bookmark   March 25, 2008 at 11:59PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
shimla(5 Upstate, NY)

I'm back online and I emailed you, Carol! I think the trick to having neighbors is not knowing they are there lol! The neighbors on my other side are wonderful; we respect each other's privacy. They even went the extra mile when we replaced the fencing between us and put the nice side in our direction even though I said not to because he was doing the work. Things turn out so much nicer when you're willing to work together. I'm looking forward to having a nice, tall natural hedge in years to come on the other side!

    Bookmark   March 30, 2008 at 9:49AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Maybe you could spray your neighbor?? Just kidding!! I know what you mean though sometimes they can be a royal pain! Do you know of anyone who isn't bothered by poison ivy? It doesn't seem to bother my mother and I have picked some for a friend of mine to plant in her yard, HER neighbor was crawling around spying on them!!(he's a few bricks short of a full load) I wish I lived closer I would come and help!
At the farm store they sell long gloves that go up to your armpits, might be useful?? I'm sorry I didn't have more info, I think the underground barrier is your best bet. Or maybe just some black plastic so nothing can come up..

    Bookmark   May 5, 2008 at 8:55AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
not_a_contessa(z5b S Central PA mtns.)

I take it the neighbor doesn't get poison ivy. I do. One year I got it in January, all over my face, from pulling dormant vines down off some trees in the pasture. Another time when I got it so bad I couldn't go to work.

A doctor once told me I could get shots every year, starting in late winter. I never have gone that route, as life had taken me to other places where poison ivy was not a problem. Then I started camping, and our site had lots of it growing. I used roundup to get rid of it.

If I were you I would do whatever it takes. One of the rights of property ownership is the right of "quiet enjoyment". If the neighbor is unhappy when you spray, perhaps he would like to pay for the cost of your medical treatment...everytime you get poison ivy from his damned plants!

    Bookmark   May 5, 2008 at 7:19PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
newbie_in_nj(6b E/Central NJ)

I've tried the Round-Up for 4 years and the stuff keeps popping up all over. That doesn't stop me from spraying again but it's certainly persistent.

Some of the Poison Sumac "vines" look like hairy trees and have wrapped themselves around good trees all the way up over 60 feet in some places. I start out cutting the little "trees" at ground level even though little saplings pop up and have to be quashed continuously.

Since my father is also deathly allergic he's stayed away from them for years. Now that I spend so much time here I'm on a mission to get rid of poison ivy and sumac all over his yard...as well as the dreaded invasive vines which are also the size of trees at their base camps deep in the huge clumps.

When I see a few little patches while checking things out around the yard I tell myself I'll just go after a little.

Once I get the saw and any other sharp gardening object in my hot little hands I just can't stop hacking, sawing and ripping out vines of any sort from around trees that have been strangled or ripping out vines that criss-cross the entire property from woods to front curb.

Today I was freeing some 50 year old Mock Orange that's finally bloomed at the woods edge that I've been working to keep vine free for a few years. Smelled glorious. Decided to get the pruners and just take a few strangling vines away from them. Like an idiot I stand there and untwine the vines so the Mock Orange can reconstitute itself a little each year. Yes, I could just cut it at ground level but that's not good enough for me...I just know there are undergound runners that need to be pulled up as far as I can get them and then hacked. I know I'll just have to come back when it withers and untangle it anyway.

This afternoon I'm still hacking away after 3 hours and I grab another vine, hack to ground level, pull it up and IT'S POISON IVY.

Well my left arm was blistering by the time I got inside but those gorgeous Mock Orange are a bit freer. There are considerable unsightly holes in the places where I hacked away at invasive vines until the Mock Oranges fill out (hope) but I'll have to think of something fast growing that won't invade the Mock Orange to cover up the holes. Looks like hell after I come out of the vined jungle but can't stop myself.

I've resisted going in there and taking the entire vine complex out because that's my birdies daytime roosting home. I even found 2 nests in there this year. Can't leave my little guys without their safety cover. That's where they sit waiting to be fed...LOL.

Allergies to poison ivy can be very serious. I would have been a wreck if I had a young one with such a bad reaction.
Do the epi-pens work as used for serious reactions to bee stings? Sure hope so.

I bought the lotion you put on before working outside for my father that's supposed to create a barrier on your skin and I even use it when "planning" to work out there. It's those times when I think I'm just going to do "a little" which turns into hours once I get into that "save the natives...kill the invasives" mode that gets me into trouble.

None of my father's neighbors venture out into their own yards to do gardening or property maintenance. It's become one of those "hire others for the yard work" kind of places. There isn't a flower to be seen since deer and rabbits eat almost anything. My father asked if "we" could put a Morning Glory vine by the mailbox as he's seen them around and likes the look. I warned him it's a notorious reseeder but he's not worried about next year...LOL. Since neighbor's lawn services just weed whack anything growing over 3 inches and blow it away they probably won't notice the seedlings that could pop up in their yards. I'm giving Dad his blue Morning Glory in any event and hope it doesn't reseed all over the new bed I'm planting in that area. I don't know what I'm going to to with 15-20 feet of vine around one little mailbox but I'll deal with that when the time comes if I'm lucky enough to get it to sprout and flower. If it reseeds it'll just be one more thing I get to yank out to free my floral friends.

I can't take all this monochromatic manicured lawn and boxwood. They need some flowers and color in this neighborhood!

    Bookmark   May 6, 2008 at 2:56AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

hi shimla, i read your posts, and i don't have a remedie for ya BUT when i got poison ivy (it was really bad on my face) anywho i did put vinegar on a pad and dabbed it on my face, but that was AFTER it started seeping :'(( so then it was so bad that i soaked it and put medical tape on it and left it there and it went away in two days, but the seeping stopped the next day. if ya dab it, it stings like heck. this stuff works like ya would not believe, better than the other stuff we tried last year. and it was everything.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2008 at 8:57PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
shimla(5 Upstate, NY)

I've started spraying the area with the round up but it's looking like the area is going to need some more treatments. I bought the round up specifically for poison ivy. It comes in an easy to spritz bottle, all ready mixed so that's a plus.

I wish I knew someone that could pull it for me, brandy! I wasn't allergic to it when I was younger. I couldn't imagine having it all over my face, not a contessa. I'm always so afraid I'll get it in my eyes unknowingly.

I haven't had a chance to try the salt mix yet with all the WS pots I have to keep up with. I'm going to keep at it until it's gone!

    Bookmark   May 20, 2008 at 10:33PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
agirlsgirl(6 SW-PA)

Just read this for the first time. Is there anything your local Health Department could do? I would call them and see if there is anything they could do,like maybe insist that your neighbor take care of it!

    Bookmark   September 4, 2008 at 12:02PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
shimla(5 Upstate, NY)

I was really trying to get the problem resolved as peacefully as possible. As it turns out the whole season was a real washout because it rained so much this year. I barely had any garden time. I never had a chance to try the salt mixture. I sprayed the area periodically with the round-up when we had dry time scheduled and actually, I really notice a difference! Almost all of the ivy is completely off my property; there is just a couple of trouble vines that seem to keep sprouting up. I can walk along the path on the other side of the fence now, not an ounce of vegetation! The round-up even killed back the ivy about a foot or two past my property so it seems like this was a great solution for all of us and my little toads, too!

    Bookmark   September 12, 2008 at 8:31PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I say screw the poison ivy and your neighbor. Spray poison and get rid of the stuff! I've had it half a dozen times over the past year and I certainly wouldn't subject myself to the possibility of getting it again just because my neighbor didn't like chemicals and was too lazy to rid it from his property.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2008 at 4:08PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Can I really, really wintersow tomatoes?
I wintersowed in my old garden for several years and...
Milk Cartons (not plastic jugs)
Can I use milk cartons for winter sowing or is the...
I may have overdone things a bit...
So... I split out my 1 gallon pot of Di Ciccio broccoli...
Winter Sowing Dahlia Seeds?
Does anyone WS Dahlia seeds? How do they work out for...
Matthew Condon - Indiana.Matt - IN, Zone 5/6
Where did everyone go?
I know lots of folks are on the FB WS group but where...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™