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Poison Ivy!

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by White Gardens, Mar 5, 2011.

  1. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,776

    Well, got the go-ahead to do a yard/lawn cleanup on an older property located in town.

    Talked to the neighbor and he told me the previous owner (who didn't do much) dealt with poison IVY on the property over the years. (Couple of years ago I helped to spray and eliminate some of it.)

    I talked to the executor of the estate, and the lawyer in charge wants the yard cleaned out. They are willing to pay for what ever it takes to get the yard cleaned out and up to par so they can sell the property in the next couple of months with full disclosure. This also includes any doctors bills that I might incur if I end up getting an infection.

    The back-yard is the issue. It's overgrown with lots of small volunteer trees, english ivy and Vinca. Ultimately I'm going to need to cut everything out in order to be able to identify any new Poison ivy growth in the spring and do a complete vegetation kill as soon as the weather warms up a bit more.

    Now my question (for you folks playing at home :laugh:), is what suggestions you might have for PPE equipment while I work on this project. I'm thinking a good rain-suit, good gloves, and over-shoes that will be discarded after the job is done. Also a respirator is a possibility for any inhalation hazards that I might incur.

    Any other suggestions on protection? Just knowing that the estate is willing to pay for any doctors bills is good to know.

    And as to the process, I would like to get the back-yard cleaned up and re-seed with grass seed so the next owner can easily keep up on any new poison IVY germination due to any dormant seed in the ground. Personally I would like to skip the grass seed and put a heavy dose of Pre-Emergent to kill any potential seed in the soil.

    Any thoughts and suggestions appreciated. Thanks
  2. shovelracer

    shovelracer LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,008

    Use hazmat style gear if you are severely allergic. Gloves respirator, full body suit. I preffer to not use eye protection as I find my reactions worse when the oil gets trapped inside or my eyes sweat. I do not see the need for complete veg kill unless you are trying to grow grass. Biggest culprit is going to be tree vines. The best way to keep yourself clean is automotive degreaser soap. I preffer the white Gojo. It will remove the urushiol oil and greatly reduce your reaction.
  3. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,717

    Don't try it if you are severely allergic to poison ivy. I am thinking it would be safer before the new foliage comes out. Of course it would help to be able to identify poison ivy shoots that have no leaves yet. Cover up and cut out the PI vines going up the trees, small trees and brush. Mow the remainder if you can. Mow high. using old blades. Then go lower. Don't burn--smoke is dangerous. Don't chip as dust is dangerous. Later when the poison ivy sprouts (it may no be as bad as you think), spot spray the individual sprouts. Repeat in two weeks. Triclopyr is a good choice for this job.

    But if it is heavy shade--not likely you can get grass to grow. I would not worry about seed, poison ivy sprouts mostly from creeping roots (rhizomes). You can be sure new sprouts will arise and a pre-emergent will not help since it is from roots, not seeds. But poison ivy cannot withstand mowing--it needs to be about 8 inches high, or to climb a tree. Remove a few trees so you have enough sun to grow grass--problem solved.
  4. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,776

    Total Wash.....

    I originally started to spot spray and came to the conclusion that the entire back yard of English Ivy and vinca was riddled with PI.

    Needless to say I mixed my RU at the max rate and had to do a blanket application.
  5. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    Just remember, that dead plants carry the poison in their dead bodies, even into he following year... It is an oil according to the Drs., and a good wash when you are done with Fels-Naptha soap is supposed to break up thoses oils best...
    So be careful when you go back in... :)
  6. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,776


    Right now the estate will cover any medical expenses and equipment I might need to eradicate the PI. This includes and PPE's that I might use an throw away after entering the area.

    So far so good. I did have my spray PPE's that I've used there and have handled and re-used, but haven't contracted anything.

    There is a question of weather or not it is actually PI or PO. (Poison Oak) It's a leaf of three, small vine, bright orange/red and also a serrated leaf. Most PI I've noticed has a smoothed edged leaf, but, I've seen some diagrams with a serrated leaf.

    Regardless, the neighbor keeps contracting PI or PO when he is in the vicinity of the property. I think some of it has partially crept into his little garden area. I've sprayed that area also.

    When the house sells, the current owner wants to put a $1000 contingency credit/payment to keep addressing the issue after the sale.
  7. rlitman

    rlitman LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,745

    I've heard to use rubbing alcohol first. Apparently it's good at washing a lot of the oil off.
    Also, when you do use soap, use a lot. If you use too little, it can just spread the oil around and make things worse.
    There's a product called ivy-block. You might want to look into it.

    If you do end up with an oozing rash, Burow's solution can get it to dry up, or you can get steroid creams from your doctor.

    Oh, and don't laugh. Preparation H.
    Seriously. The cortisone will help with the reaction to the ivy, and it has stuff to ease the itching too. Just, you know, start with a clean tube. :)
  8. mdlwn1

    mdlwn1 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,443

    Usually takes 4-6 hours to bond with the protiens in your skin. I'm around 6 but highly allergic. I've seen a mexican get a swolen face in 20 minutes..had to go the emergency room....as long as you wash completely with a good soap you should be fine..lol...you WILL get it somewhere though. Just be very careful not to get it in any cuts or wounds...systemic PI is something you never want to know.
  9. Snyder's Lawn Inc

    Snyder's Lawn Inc LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,530

    Dawn dishsoap works well take a shower with it and wash all clothes in it

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