Leaves of three, let it be
Time to call Poison Ivy Gone
Things you may not know about poison ivy – but should
Urushiol (u-ROO-she-ol), the culprit in poison ivy, is found in leaves, stems and roots of the plant.
Three out of four people who come in contact with urushiol will develop a rash, an allergic dermatitis.
The first contact with urushiol often does not cause a reaction. However, the immune system goes on the defense and the next contact will result in an allergic reaction.
Skin must come in direct contact with the oil to be affected but it can be spread by contaminated hands, clothing, tools, sporting equipment, etc. The contamination can last for five years. The blister fluid does not spread the rash.
Symptoms, 12-48 hours after exposure: redness, itching, swelling, streaky or patchy rash, red bumps, blisters, sometimes oozing. Typically lasts 5-12 days, 30 days or longer in severe cases.
Medical attention is needed if there is a rash on face, lips, eyes or genitals, severe swelling, difficulty in breathing or a widespread reaction.
Never burn poison ivy. While the oil cannot be inhaled from the plant, burning results in toxic smoke that can cause a serious reaction in the lungs, nasal passages and throat.
Urushiol oil remains in the stems of poison ivy for years after the plant dies.
To prevent infection after contact, shower in cool water as soon as possible. Wash toys and tools in soap and cold water.
BY GINNY RAUE
OAKLAND — You went to sleep fine last night but woke up this morning with blisters and itching skin. Sure, you were weeding yesterday but you had on your garden gloves. So how did you get poison ivy?
According to George Louvis, the marketing director for Poison Ivy Gone, your cloth gloves act like a sponge, absorbing the urushiol oil in poison ivy, increasing the amount of oil that comes in contact with your skin and making your allergic reaction even worse.
Poison Ivy Gone
Oakland, New Jersey
Free estimates available
Business hours: Mon.-Fri. 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Closed Sat. and Sun.
Based in Oakland, Poison Ivy Gone has over 28 years of experience in professionally removing poison ivy in Northern New Jersey but they have also worked in Orange and Rockland counties, Pennsylvania and South Jersey. They service residential and commercial properties as well as others sites, such as country clubs, playgrounds and schools. They are Service Award winners on Angie’s List.
“She comes on like a rose, but everybody knows, she’ll get you in Dutch….”
Louvis reports that poison ivy starts to grow in the spring and he said this year’s weather conditions created the perfect storm.
“It’s a weed, so there’s not much that stops its growth. It’s a vicious and invasive plant and it doesn’t take a lot for it to take over,” he said.
Poison ivy can grow anywhere but usually pops up around the borders of your property or near the house. It roots well in mulch, flower beds and woods, where there is little activity, and tends to shoot off in many directions.
“It’s very aggressive and it spreads in two ways; along the ground, where it gets longer and bigger and then every so often it shoots vertical. That’s when it reproduces and drops seeds. When it starts climbing it’s getting ready to have babies,” he said.
Your dog can take a walk on the wild side in poison ivy and suffer no ill effects, but once you pet your furry friend, who carries the oil on his coat, you’re in trouble. Backyard birds are also culprits in the itchy world of poison ivy. They ingest the berries of the plant and as they do a fly-over they pass the seeds, perfectly encased in their own little sack of fertilizer. No harm intended, but now you are in deep doo-doo and have a good chance of becoming a host property for poison ivy.
“You can look but you’d better not touch….”
Attempting to eliminate poison ivy with a lawn mower or weed whacker only succeeds in spreading the oil on the grass, in the bushes, on your shoes and pant legs. Your tools are also contaminated for the next five years unless they are properly cleaned. And it gets worse.
“When your kids play in the yard the oil is all over the lawn,” Louvis said.
“She’s pretty as a daisy, but look out man, she’s crazy….”
Poison ivy is easiest to identify from April to October. It goes dormant after the fall, but doesn’t die and you can still get a rash in the dead of winter. While the leaves remain is the best time to call Poison Ivy Gone.
“It’s never a do-it-yourself job. Our guys recognize it, figure out where it’s coming from, remove it completely and show you how to keep it from coming back,” Louvis said.
Poison Ivy Gone’s preferred method is to remove it by hand, just beneath ground level, or in the case of significant infestation, by machine.
Sometimes customers prefer the use of an herbicide to protect certain plants from harm. In that case, Poison Ivy Gone technicians use a paint brush to apply the herbicide to the poison ivy leaves, killing off the noxious plant only.
“They are skilled and careful and we are licensed to use herbicides,” Louvis said.
“You’re gonna need an ocean of calamine lotion….”
Poison Ivy Gone technicians know how to protect themselves so they’re not scratching like a hound the minute they mess around with poison ivy.
“The guys are basically in haz-mat suits. They take an oral product and use a cream on their skin. The suits are destroyed afterwards; you can’t re-use anything in this business,” Louvis said.
Poison Ivy Gone removes the poison ivy from the ground then carts it away from your property to a secure location.
And then the Poison Ivy is Gone.
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