• 48°

Poison ivy has many ways to make you itch

SALISBURY — Those who work outdoors are constantly concerned about skin rashes from poison ivy. In severe cases, the rash (dermatitis) can even send some people to the hospital.
Identification and control of poison ivy is one step in prevention of dermatitis.
Poison ivy is usually found as undergrowth in woods, fence rows, recently cleared lots or growing as a vine on trees. The vine often grows as a low shrub in the absence of trees or other support objects.
The stems of poison ivy are smooth with a light brown to gray color. The leaves are very ornate and shiny with broad serrated margins. The leaves are trifoliate, or in groups of three. The plant produces gray-white berries 1/4-inch in diameter. These berries are actually a favorite food of birds and a major source of its distribution.
The poisonous substance in the leaves and stems is called hydro-urushiol. The poisonous substance is also found in the roots, bark and berries of the plant. The oily substance does not dissolve in water and is not volatile, so it easily adheres to a number of objects, including pets, clothing, garden tools, golf clubs, guns or fishing rods.
Smoke from burning stems or leaves is another contact source. Splashing sap from stems and twigs when cutting trees is often a source in the winter months while cutting firewood. Physical contact is necessary to obtain the poisonous oil and cause a skin rash. The susceptibility of dermatitis depends upon the individual. Minute amounts of the oil can cause a rash. Rubbing an itching rash will not spread the rash to other parts or to another person. The rash occurs only if you spread the oil urushiol on your hands, etc. It generally takes seven-10 days for those exposed for the first time to have a rash.
Those working outdoors in areas prone to have poison ivy should take a warm, soapy shower immediately when they come indoors. It’s also important to wipe down pruning tools or other cutting instruments to avoid exposure to the oil.
The best time to control poison ivy is just before and after bloom in the summer. Brush killers or herbicides that contain dicamba or trichlopyr are effective controls for poison ivy. Glyphosate formulations (Roundup) are also labeled for controlling the weed. Repeated applications may be necessary for complete control.
Go to http://lee.ces.ncsu.edu/2012/06/poison-ivy-and-brush-control-around-the-home-grounds/ for more information on how to control poison ivy.

Darrell Blackwelder is the county Extension director with horticulture responsibilities with the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service in Rowan County. Learn more about Cooperative Extension events and activities by calling 704-216-8970, Facebook or online at www.rowanextension.com

Comments

Comments closed.

Education

RSS budgeting for tens of millions in federal COVID-19 relief funding

East Spencer

‘Back in full swing’ for the spring: East Spencer community gathers for food, fun and fellowship at Spring Fest

Local

Rowan native Lingle among those honored with NC Military Veterans Hall of Fame induction

Business

Former pro baseball player, Tar Heel standout Russ Adams finds new career with Trident Insured

Education

Profoundly gifted: Salisbury boy finishing high school, associates degree at 12

Local

Cheerwine Festival will stick to Main Street, stay away from new park in September

Lifestyle

Celebrating Rowan County’s early cabinetmakers

Education

Service Above Self announces youth challenge winners

Business

Economic Development Commission creates search tool for people seeking Rowan County jobs

Columns

Amy-Lynn Albertson: Arts and Ag Farm Tour set for June 5

High School

High school baseball: Mustangs top Falcons on strength of hurlers

Business

Biz Roundup: Application process now open for Rowan Chamber’s 29th Leadership Rowan class

Sports

Keith Mitchell leads McIlroy, Woodland by 2 at Quail Hollow

Nation/World

States scale back vaccine orders as interest in shots wanes

Nation/World

Major US pipeline halts operations after ransomware attack

News

NC budget dance slowed as GOP leaders differ on bottom line

News

Judge limits footage that family can see of deputy shooting

Coronavirus

People receiving first dose of COVID-19 vaccine grows by less than 1%

Education

Rowan-Salisbury Schools brings Skills Rowan competition back to its roots

Business

Weak jobs report spurs questions about big fed spending

News

Judge limits footage that family can see of deputy shooting in Elizabeth City

Sports

Woodland, two others share lead; Mickelson plays much worse but will still be around for weekend at Quail Hollow

Business

Former NHL player to open mobster themed bar in Raleigh

Nation/World

California population declines for first time