"We're just 'itching' to get rid of your poison ivy"

Poison Ivy Facts

What does poison ivy look like?

Poison Ivy Management

What is Poison Ivy?

It lies waiting, slowly climbing up backyard trees and fence lines shading out the essential sunlight necessary for the survival of all other forms of plant life. It trails over stone walls and masonry, and its roots meander by penetrating deep within the earth's cavity or surface. It widens cracks as it re-emerges and surfaces elsewhere. All of this and more! Poison Ivy sneaks up on you unannounced when it chokes out all of your favorite landscape ornamentals. Poison Ivy is a ubiquitous, resourceful, and tenacious plant. Its vines can travel great distances measuring several hundred feet by trailing above the ground and growing within your shrubbery, and climbing up trees and fences by virtually attaching itself to anything within its reach (by virtue of its rootlet hairs that resemble rusty steel wool).

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Where does Poison Ivy, Poison Oak, & Poison Sumac grow?

his slivering scourge is upon us, grows from Newfoundland to northern Florida, always is ready to greet us at first touch with a blistering persistent 'itchy' scratchy hello, being left behind as its calling card is a persistent itchy oozing rash that can last for up to 3 woebegone, torturous weeks of hell. Poison Ivy, Poison Oak, Poison Sumac is the cockroach of the plant world, able to invade and survive within the most extreme and harshest of all known growing conditions. It thrives in direct sunlight, deep-forested shade, muddied mosquito infested swamps, and sandy salt laden windswept beaches. Wherever you look, it stares back at you, innocently lying in wait, always ready to inflict its poisonous sap upon first moments touch by those poor lesser knowing unsuspecting individual souls who dare to venture forth, either by touching or brushing too close to the plant end up making direct physical contact, and thereby jeopardizing their own physical personal margin of comfort and safety.

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Poison Ivy Plant Description - Growth

Toxicodendron Radicans and Rhus Toxicodendron are known as Poison Ivy and Poison Oak. In actuality, neither one really is ivy or oak, but rather both are related to the Cashew Tree Nut family, which includes mango, cashew nuts, and pistachio nuts. Poison Ivy vines can shoot along the ground, and if left undisturbed or untreated for several years, it may become rather woody. Often its vines exceed the thickness of an adult wrist and measure up to 12 inches or more in diameter (Click For Photo). These vines require the aid of a chain-saw in order to be removed and disposed. Erect vines found growing on trees and buildings can grow heights of 100 feet or more (Click For Photo) by randomly attaching themselves with their rootlet hairs, tracing along cracks and crevices, and scaffolding up, poles, fence lines, and building silhouettes. The vine creates an intricately dense maze consisting of lateral fibrous rootlet hairs (resembling rusty steel wool). The plant's rusty hairs provide it with the innate ability to attach itself to any surface like glue. As a result, the plant virtually clings tightly to any surface found within easy growing reach. This mechanism not only assures the plant's continued success, but it more importantly assures the plant's very own survival by eliminating the chances of survival for many nearby competing plants that are all fighting for the same precious air, water, and sunlight. This plant wins, hands down, at successfully choking out all other plant competition. In certain instances, the Poison Ivy and Poison Oak plant establishes itself by growing within the home garden. It usually gives off a chameleon-like appearance and resembles other attractive and desirable plants that often do not share the same allergy traits. Most often, Poison Ivy is confused (by being misidentified by the untrained eye) with wild strawberry, raspberry, or blackberry, flowering tea rose, acer negundo (a swamp maple tree), fraxinus americana (mountain ash tree seedlings,) acer sacrum (a sugar maple tree that is derived from polly nose seedlings, or the ones you may have placed on your nose as a child to make you look like Pinocchio), astilbe (flowering garden perennial), parthenogenisis (virginian creeper), baltic ivy, boston ivy, bittersweet, and wild grape vine.

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Poison Ivy Leaf Description & Stem - Identification

Often times mature Poison Ivy plants grow upright and resemble a small bushy shrub or tree.(Click For Photo) Its 2" to 6"inch long green leaves are composed of three leaflets that radiate outwards from one central stem. Poison Ivy leaves can be further identified either by their waxy, smooth, and sometimes shiny surfaces or by their two lateral side leaves (which sometimes exhibit semi-lobed and smooth-edged margins). Poison Ivy leaves never have serrate edges, as their leaf margins tend to be continuous, smooth, and free from any teeth. The Poison Ivy vines most often exhibit a cinnamon brown to light mottled gray color and they never ever have thorns, but may exhibit rootlet hairs. (Click For Photo)

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Poison Ivy Autumn Colors and Seeds

In the early to mid-autumn these attractive shiny plants turn brilliant shades of bright orange, deep red, bright pink and intense yellow. (Click For Photos) When mature, Poison Ivy plants (those plants that are three years or older) develop small yellow greenish somewhat fragrant flowers in the spring (May thru June) (Click For Photos) which develop on the topside of the stem just immediately beneath the leafy surface area. The plants exhibit tiny 1/4 inch waxy, white-green berries, which are most often surmounted by sectional lines that divide the seed in half evenly. While the Poison Ivy berries, in reality, are Poison Ivy seeds (Click For Photos) that make their first appearance in late June, they only first become visually obvious in mid to late summer, and are known to remain until early winter. At this time, they are eaten as food by birds, squirrels, and chipmunks. Poison Ivy seeds grow grouped in cluster like panicles, as they grow similarly to grapes, but they never as large. Poison Ivy seeds are about the same size as a tiny sesame seeds, so they are easily transported by wind, rain, and animals, which is the reasoning why this pesky plant is now as prolific as it now becomes ubiquitous.

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Toxicology-Poison Ivy Allergy

The toxicology of these innocent looking plants is extreme. On the contrary to popular opinions, very few people are ever completely immune to Poison Ivy, or Poison Oak. The virulent sap found both on the leafs surface and within the plant is called 'urushiol' pronounced, “ur-oosh-oil”. It is a non-volatile phenolic resin that suffuses itself throughout the entire plant's roots, stems, vines, leaves, flowers, and seeds. It is best known to cause extreme skin reactions in most people who are unfortunate enough to make direct human contact with Poison Ivy. They typically only notice days later they are now being accompanied with a severe burning, itching, and violent outbreak of a Poison Ivy allergy skin rash. This is most-often accompanied by huge, watery blisters. The lesser known amount of urushiol causes a violent reaction that varies from individual to individual, but usually amounts to no greater than what fits on the head of a straight pin, equates to 6 nanograms (a grain of sand). For example, a 1 ounce shot glass when full holds enough irritant to adversely affect a population of 50,000 people (the same amount of people found to fit inside a sold out baseball stadium). Due to the fact that urushiol is non-volatile, it doesn't evaporate; therefore it can exist indefinitely for many years. For years, scientists have theorized that if urushiol was ever discovered inside of the tombs of the great Egyptian Pharaohs, dating back more than 5500 years, it would still remain active today when touched. Poison Ivy and Poison Oak sap is such a potent allergy irritant that even an insect on a leaf can transfer the urushiol over to an unsuspecting human. (Click For Photo). Unfortunately, urushiol is persistent and remains active for many several years, and infects many hands or fingers when placed on a door knob handle or garden tools that were previously touched by contaminated hands. Poison Ivy and Poison Oak is also easily transmitted from your pet's fur. Most pets are immune to Poison Ivy/ Poison Oak, and you and your children always remain at greater risk. You easily can become infected thru transference simply by touching your pet's fur coat.

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What to do once skin contact with Poison Ivy urushiol has been made.

Cleansing yourself of the URUSHIOL Resin Immediately: (Pronounced....Ur oosh i oil) :-)

If physical human contact is directly made with any part of the Poison Ivy/Poison Oak/Poison Sumac plant, it is imperative that you immediately wash those affected body parts for 3 minutes or longer with COLD running water in combination with the use of a strong detergent soap. Under no circumstances should you ever use hot water. Hot water causes the skin's pores to open up wide and allows any undesirable Poison Ivy irritant, to enter into, and be absorbed deeply within, the outer lying layer of skin. Failure to cold-water bathe your affected body parts with a strong detergent soap will likely assure that a rash will soon develop. Poison Ivy allergy symptoms usually appear within first 12-72 hours following with severe itching, burning sensation, and lots of oozing blisters. The time lag between onset of skin contact and the first rash outbreak appearance usually occurs within a few short minutes, or can it be delayed up to 72 hours. This delay is somewhat determined by your composite DNA make up, age, and related blood type chemistry.

Myth of Spreading by Scratching:

Contrary to popular opinion, scratching Poison Ivy blisters or Poison Ivy rash will not spread the known toxin, urushiol (this is assuming you already have showered or vigorously washed all affected body parts at least once). The irritant, urushiol, is not found or located within these blisters or the oozing lymph liquid. However, it is important, for your own health reasons, that you do not scratch, break, or rupture these blisters. They can easily rupture, and once they do, harmful bacteria may enter into the skin's outer surface through the open wound. This harmful bacterial infection can enter your blood stream, causing a post-secondary infection, which may result in the formation of abscesses, enlarged or swollen glands, sore joints, running a fever and even worse - death may result. Any of these post- secondary infections ordinarily require additional medical treatment or care by a trained professional. Just recently, we learned of an extreme case of a Poison Ivy allergy rash: a landscape grounds crew member first contacted the Poison Ivy plant while cutting grass, and he discovered too late that he was allergic, developed an itchy rash, huge blisters, and a fever. Soon afterwards this individual's open poison ivy rash blisters became infected by a drug-resistant strain of staph infection, and eventually this unwitting individual ended up dying as a result. When in doubt, leaves of three... let them be.


PoisonIvyRemoval.com provides service to the following areas:




All North Shore and South Shore areas, including: Atlantic Beach, Albertson, Bayville, Bellmore, Bethpage, Brookville, Cedarhurst, East Norwich, Farmingdale, Freeport, Point Lookout, Oceanside, Valley Stream, Lynbrook, East Meadow, Floral Park, Garden City, Greenvale, Great Neck, Hempstead, Hicksville, Jericho, Levittown, Lawrence, Massapequa, Manhasset, Munsey Park, Mattinecock, Mill Neck, Merrick, Old Westbury, Oyster Bay, New Hyde Park, Seaford, Searingtown, Syosset, Plainview, Port Washington, Sands Point, Syosset, Roslyn, Roslyn Heights, Roslyn Estates, Roslyn Harbor, Flower Hill, Mineola, Wantagh, Westbury, Woodbury


All North and South shores areas, including: Amityville, Commack, Cold Spring Harbor, Huntington, Melville, Northport, Commack, Smithtown, Islip, Head of Harbor, Islip, Islandia, Holtsville, Nesconset, Centereach, Medford, St. James, Setauket, Selden, Stony Brook, Wading River,


All of Long Island’s South Fork, including: Manorville, Remsenburg, Westhampton, Quogue, Hampton Bays, Southampton, Water Mill, Bridgehampton, Wainscott, East Hampton, Amagansett, Montauk All of Long Island's North Fork, including: Riverhead, Flanders, Aquebogue, Mattituck, Peconic, Marion, Southold, Laurel, and Greenport


Larchmont, New Rochelle, White Plains, Scarsdale, Ardsely, Tuckahoe, Mamaroneck, Bedford, Croton on the Hudson, Briarcliff Manor, Chappaqua, Thornwood, New Salem, etc.


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We service ALL of Northern New Jersey and Central New Jersey starting from Point Pleasant Beach exit 98 GSP, heading due northward up the Jersey shore on over to NYS line; as far west as Mercer County - Princeton, Hunterdon County and surrounding areas northwards to Middlesex County, Passaic County, Hudson County, Bergen County, continuing northwards up to NYS line. Areas including: Morristown, Chester, Morris Plains, Bedminster, Chatham, Bloomfield, Bloomingdale, Mahwah, Wyckoff, Glenwood, Allendale, Ring Wood, Spring Lake, Franklin Lakes, Pompton Plains, Wayne, Scotch Plains, Oradell, Marlboro, North Brunswick, Bound Brook, Totowa, Edison, Bridgewater, etc.


Lower half of Fairfield County from the Metro NYS line following along the coast / US Route 95 corridor including: Darien, Stamford, Strattford, Norwalk, Rowayton. Etc.


Including: New Hope, Lambertville, and surrounding areas within 25 miles of New Hope. Please contact us today for your Poison Ivy Removal consultation

Please contact us today for your Poison Ivy Removal consultation.

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