H ealth C anada S anté C anada Description The plant produces clusters of cream to yellow- green inconspicuous flowers during the months the skin. If soap is not available, vinegar (2 tablespoons in 1 cup of water) or alcohol (1/2 Any clothing worn while working in or near poison-ivy should be carefully removed, washed of June and July. The berries that appear by cup to 1/2 cup of water) can be substituted. in hot, soapy water, and hung outside to dry for Poison-ivy (Rhus radicans L.) is a climbing September are clustered, globular, waxy, and several days. Remember to wear gloves while Effective plant of the sumac family and can be found in green-to-yellow in colour. The size of the berries It is important to note that these practices may handling objects that may be contaminated. Do every province except Newfoundland. It grows ranges from 3 to 7 mm in diameter. They often not prevent a reaction, but will likely prevent the not wash clothing suspected of contamination on sandy, stony or rocky shores, sprouts in remain on the low, leafless stems of the plant all infection from spreading. with other laundry in order to avoid any further thickets, in clearings and along the borders of winter. contamination. Repeated washing may be Pest Note Pest Note Pest Note Pest Note Pest Note Pest Note Pest Note Pest Note woods. This glossy perennial can spread by seed Control If a reaction does develop, one should seek the necessary. or by producing shoots from its extensive advice of a physician for proper treatment. Skin underground stems (rhizomes). irritation (itching, red inflammation, blistering of Cultivation the skin and, in severe cases, oozing sores) For effective control of poison-ivy, the The sap of the plant contains an oily resin that resulting from exposure to poison-ivy normally reproductive capacities of the plant can be of causes an irritating inflammation of the skin in disappears in a week to 10 days. disrupted by destroying its roots and stems. By most people. All parts of the plant, including the digging out and hand picking the roots and stems, Aerial Vine Trailing Vine roots, contain this poisonous resin. Most people develop symptoms 24 to 48 hours after contact. Similar Plants and working the soil frequently, the ability of the plant to produce shoots will be minimized. Poison- The extent of a reaction depends on the individual’s sensitivity and the amount of sap in Effects of Poison-Ivy Poison-ivy is often mistaken for similar plants Repeated cultivation will eventually eliminate poison-ivy because the plant does not regenerate contact with the skin. such as poison oak and poison sumac. These can easily from plant fragments. Since loose seeds The oily resin can be found in the roots, stems, also cause Rhus-dermatitis. When in doubt, avoid may be difficult to detect, remove any dead plant The compound leaves of poison-ivy consist of leaves and fruit. It causes an irritating touching an unknown plant until it has been material from the ground in case some seeds are three pointed leaflets; the middle leaflet has a inflammation of the skin, called Rhus-dermatitis clearly identified. still attached to the stems. Ivy much longer stalk than the two side ones. The or poison-ivy dermatitis. The inflamed areas leaflet edges can be smooth or toothed but are rarely lobed. The leaves vary greatly in size, frequently develop blisters which are accompanied by intense itchiness. Contact with Control of Poison-Ivy Chemical Control Applying herbicides to control poison-ivy can be from 8 to 55 mm in length. They are reddish any broken part of the plant may cause a effective. One single treatment may be sufficient when they emerge in the spring, turn green reaction in some individuals. The rash spreads by Remember: always wear gloves. but it is possible for regrowth to occur. It may be during the summer, and become various shades exposure to the sap and not from the sores necessary to repeat the treatment as often as of yellow, orange or red in the autumn. themselves. Therefore, an individual has to Protective Clothing regrowth appears. actually come into contact with the sap before When working in or near poison-ivy, always The plant stems are woody and of two kinds. developing an allergic reaction. wear protective clothing to ensure that no area Applying herbicides by spot-treatment will help The most frequent kind grows as a trailing vine, of the skin is exposed to the sap of the plant. to minimize the chances of the product drifting with upright leafy stalks 10 to 80 cm high. The second kind is an aerial vine that may climb from Treatment in Case of Skin Contact Poison-ivy sap can adhere for long periods to onto desirable vegetation. Herbicide spot treatment is also advisable when poison-ivy is a 6 to 10 m high on trees, posts or rough surfaces. clothing, tools, and the hair coats of pets and lawn weed. Areas of skin that are suspected of livestock. Under hot, humid conditions the sap contamination should be carefully washed with becomes inactive in about a week. If conditions soap and cold water. Cold water should be used Available Herbicides are dry, it can retain its harmful effect for a long because hot water tends to open the pores of the Domestic class products available to period. epidermal layer; the heat would increase the homeowners for the control of poison-ivy will April 1997 Types of Leaves chances of the resin being deeply absorbed into Reformatted April 1999 usually contain one, or will consist of a mixture, Remember In Case of Accidental Poisoning of the following active ingredients: amitrole, ä Call a poison control centre immediately and simazine, ammonium sulfamate, glyphosate, seek medical attention. 2,4-D, mecoprop, or dicamba. Before Purchasing a ä Take the pesticide container or label with you Pesticide Product to the emergency facility or physician. Domestic pesticides can usually be purchased ä Identify the pest correctly. ä Follow first aid statements on the label. through garden centres or hardware stores. ä Use physical control methods ä In case of accidental poisoning of and alternatives to pesticides. pets seek veterinary attention Purchase only those products whose labels ä Read the label directions and safety immediately. indicate poison-ivy control. precautions before buying the product. The label must include the name of the pest to be When Disposing of Pesticides Disposal controlled and the treatment location (e.g., indoor, outdoor, garden uses, pet treatment). Do not reuse empty pesticide containers. Wrap and dispose of in household ä Purchase only the quantity of product needed garbage. CAUTION: DO NOT BURN POISON-IVY for the treatment. as this may release the poison in the form of tiny ä Alternatively, you may choose to hire a Unused or partially used pesticide products droplets carried by the ash and dust particles in licensed pest control operator. should be disposed of at provincially or the smoke. A severe reaction may occur if a municipally designated household hazardous sensitive person inhales or is exposed to this When Using a Pesticide waste disposal sites. smoke. ä Carefully read all label instructions and precautions before using pesticides. Use Common Sense Dead poison ivy plants can still cause dermatitis ä Do not drink, eat or smoke while applying ä These are general recommendations. and must be handled with care. Dispose of them pesticides. ä Consult the label for specific instructions. by placing them in a garbage bag. Make sure ä Persons and pets should vacate the area ä When in doubt, contact a professional. that bags containing poison-ivy remains are well during treatment. Cover or remove aquaria. identified and disposed of with the household ä If kitchen area is to be treated, cover or garbage. remove food, dishes and utensils. Pest Management Regulatory Agency 2250 Riverside Drive Another method is to bury the remains deep into the ground. Sufficient depth is important to After Handling a Pesticide Ottawa ON K1A 0K9 ä Always wash your hands thoroughly after ensure there is no regrowth. handling any pesticide product. Pest Management Information Service ä Do not permit persons or pets to contact Telephone: 1-800-267-6315 treated surfaces until residue has dried From outside Canada: (613) 736-3799* completely. ä Provide adequate ventilation of treated areas *Long distance charges apply. after use. Fax: (613) 736-3798 ä Wipe clean all surfaces that comes in direct Internet: www.hc-sc.gc.ca/pmra-arla contact with food, such as counters, tables and stovetops, including indoor and outdoor surfaces. Clusters of Fruits ä Always store pesticides out of reach of children and pets and away from food and beverages.