Poison Ivy

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by clydesdale, Jul 14, 2005.

  1. clydesdale

    clydesdale LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 403

    I just picked up an account that has been cut only once this year. It is completely overgrown and apparently there are spots of poison ivy. What can I do to (1) prevent from getting covered in ivy and (2) kill the ivy either before or after cutting?

    Thank you
  2. ProLawns

    ProLawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 476

    Wear long pants if you mow it, also if you spray it first but if you spray only certain areas of the yard you will have dead spots everywhere. This may not look to attractive.
  3. AboveTheCut

    AboveTheCut LawnSite Member
    Messages: 137

    a guy wanted a dead tree taken out that was surrounded and covered by poison ivy. i told him that I hated to turn down work but with that much poison ivy, by the time i got finished paying the doctor and for the prescriptions that I would end up paying to take his tree out. This was a two part estimate. I ended up getting the other part and he decided to wait until winter when its not as overgrown. Bye the way, he told me that he was impressed that I returned his call quickly and that I showed up when I said I would.
  4. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,112

    Well you need to kill it when it has green growth on it to spray the leaves thats how most poison ivy killers work.You will have to spray,wait,spray any green that is still alive,them mow.But my advice,don't take the job.You will have tokeep spraying for several years before it's gone.And everytime you do your gonna get exposed.

    A bad case of poison ivy or poison Oak can put you right out of commision for the rest of your jobs and is not worth the risk in my opinion.
  5. Lake Claire Lawn Ranger

    Lake Claire Lawn Ranger LawnSite Member
    Messages: 242

    I'm just a greenhorn scrub as far as some of you are concerned but I'm going to put in my two cents on this one.

    I wouldn't cut poison ivy with my mower! Every little piece of vegetation has the poison and would now be scattered all under your deck and on the ground where you will be walking and picking it up on your shoes. The oil will also be on your blade. Now when you handle you shoes or your blade or scrape your deck you'll be getting the poison on you. It won't become safe to handle after it dries. The poison is effective a year or more latter.

    The way I handle poison ivy is to wear disposable latex gloves and carefully pull it up putting it in a trash bag. Once the gloves have touched the ivy, they don't touch anything other than the inside of the bag. When I finish pulling ivy, I peel off the gloves and drop them in the bag and seal it up. It's a tedious process but it works. Be sure not to let the vines touch you at any point.

    When I spray new growth from roots that I was unable to pull out, I use Ortho's Brush-B-Gone so it doesn't harm the grass. It doesn't know the difference between Poison Ivy and English Ivy or any other woody plant though. So you still have to be careful when applying.

    Poison Ivy is some really nasty stuff. Whatever you do, be careful with it.
    And good luck :)

    KERRTURF LawnSite Member
    Messages: 129

    A couple of weeks ago, I was brush-hogging my pasture when the weeds wrapped around the drive shaft so bad that I had to stop and cut them off with a knife. When I cut them off, I didn't realize that I had taken out some poison ivy vines. By the time the driveshaft beat the snot out of the vines, and I cut them off, I was covered in the sap from the vine. I usually don't get it too bad, but this time I got nailed. I sought advice from a biology professor that I know, and he recommended a product called Tecnu Scrub. I had blisters between my fingers, on the palms of my left hand, on my arms, and on my face. After two days of using Tecnu Scrub, all signs of the rash was gone. Nothing else I did helped. Bleach, alcohol, calamine, and everything else I could think of didn't do it.
    I now keep a tube in the truck, in the office, and at home.
  7. Lake Claire Lawn Ranger

    Lake Claire Lawn Ranger LawnSite Member
    Messages: 242

    KERRTURF, Thanks for the tip on the Tecnu.
    As careful as I am, on occasion I still get a spot or two.
  8. Steppenwolf

    Steppenwolf LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 403

    You can also use a hair dryer on the rash, hurts a bit but stops the itch for hours.This was recommened by a doctor and it does work. It is not a cure but it sure does help.
  9. 1MajorTom

    1MajorTom Former Moderator
    Messages: 6,073

    I totally agree with you. Matt got poison ivy BAD this season, he was SO mad at himself, he said, "I don't care if the job was for 2 grand for 2 hours worth of work, if I see poison and I have to trim it, I'm turning down the job."
    Once you get poison ivy so bad, you'll realize no amount of money is worth it.
  10. greywynd

    greywynd LawnSite Member
    Messages: 132

    A lot of people (myself included) also seem to lose resistance to it after having it a time or two. Once you've had it, especially several times, there seems to be a better chance of getting it. (And the effects seem worse.)

    I've also heard of people getting it through the smoke when it was burnt while clearing brush. You can even get the rash developing in your mouth, throat and lungs.

Share This Page