Poison Ivy: Separating Myth From Fact
Most of us learn from a young age about the dangers of touching poison ivy, as it can quickly quarantine you with bottle of pink calamine lotion to ease the discomfort from the itchy rash it causes. Think your exempt from the poison ivy rash? It’s not likely. According to the American Skin Association, about 85 percent of the population is allergic to poison ivy, poison sumac or poison oak. Unfortunately, there are several myths and folklore surrounding poison ivy. To ensure you stay protected from the disruptive poison ivy rash, we’ve busted the following common myths:
Myth 1: You can identify poison ivy by seeing a group of three green leaves.
Fact: While the mantra “leaves of three, let it be” is the most widely used method of identifying poison ivy, this is not a foolproof test. The shape, color and number of leaves can be different depending on the species, the environment and the season of the year.
Myth 2: Your skin must come into direct contact with the plant itself in order to develop a rash.
Fact: It is not the plant itself that causes an allergic reaction. Instead, it is the plant’s oil, urushiol. Unfortunately, the oil can linger on any surface for up to five years! Therefore, even a gardening tool or dead poison ivy leaf can still have active urushiol oil and cause a rash. Once urushiol oil comes in contact with you, it takes a mere 20 minutes to bind to the skin.
Myth 3: You can’t get poison ivy from your dog.
Animals may not react to poison ivy like we do, but they can spread it to humans. If you pet your dog after he has brushed up against this toxic weed in the woods, your hands may encounter the contagious oil. The same goes for clothing, shoes, etc.
At Pannone’s Lawn Pros & Landscaping, we are happy to help you identify and safely eliminate poison ivy plants from your property. Our trusted team offers a complete menu of landscaping services so that you can enjoy looking at your backyard as well as using it!
Posted on behalf of Brad Pannone
Pannone’s Lawn Pros & Landscaping