- Special Sections
- Public Notices
Poison ivy is an unwanted weed that shows up in residential home and commercial landscape projects. To sensitive individuals, the effect of poison ivy can be an interference with daily contracting activities. Some people are more sensitive than others to the effects of poison ivy; however, sensitivity can change from time to time so that someone who was not affected by it at one time can get a reaction at another time.
The entire plant is poisonous, because all parts contain the irritating oil urushiol. Urushiol (pronounced, ‘you roos’sheol’) is an odorless, slightly yellow oil found in the leaves, stems and roots. This oil is very potent. Even dead plants may cause allergic reactions for a couple of years. If burned, the oils in the smoke can also cause severe allergic reactions. The oil penetrates the skin in about 10 minutes of contact. Allergic reactions may take up to two weeks for symptoms to appear and skin to plant contact is not necessary for a reaction to occur.
The plants are most dangerous in spring and summer when oil content is highest. The oil can remain active for months on objects. It can be picked up on tools, clothing and the fur of pets: therefore, anything that may be carrying the oil should be carefully washed. Washing the skin with running water is recommended. Washing with soaps that contain oils, such as complexion soaps, can actually spread the irritating oil and make the rash more widespread. There is a specially prepared cleansing agent on the market called TECMI that removes the rash causing oil, if applied within four to eight hours of contact.
CONTROLLING POISON IVY
Poison ivy grows fairly quickly and propagates itself by underground rhizomes and seeds. The seeds are quickly spread by birds and other animals that eat the small fruits. For light infestations, digging and hand pulling of small plants is effective. Spot spraying the foliage with a non selective herbicide containing glyphosate (Round Up, Kleen Up) or a poison ivy killer may be necessary.
When working around poison ivy, always wear long sleeved shirts, long plants, and protective gloves (disposal plastic gloves are ideal). Heavy growths of poison ivy should never be removed by hand because of the obvious hazard. Control with chemicals is most effective during active growth especially in early mid summer. The chemicals are most efficiently absorbed and translocated through the plant at these times.
Pests of the New Spring
•Azalea Lace Bug
Apply Merit—Systemic action best when applied in February. Merit has 13 weeks residual activity.
Just starting to hatch silk strains; wind disbursed; one generation; apply BT or Sevin. For later stages use Tempo or Talstar.
•Boxwood Leaf Minors
Small orange fly; apply Merit now.
•Crape Myrtle Aphids
Apply Merit as a soil treatment; to kill aphid eggs, mix orthene 3 tablespoons in water and paint on stems; Horticultural oil will help get rid of the sooty molds.
Problem with only damaged wood; cankers; apply astro or lindane.
Have lots of parasites and predators; each type of holly has its own different leaf miner.
Apply Merit in May when females are laying eggs.
•Two Lined Spittlebugs
Inject toxins in holly leaves causing them to turn yellow and drop off prematurely; apply Orthene.
•White Peach Scale
Apply horticultural oils.
Apply Astro; best product for Borer control; make a thorough spray application.
Apply horticultural oils for all of these mites.
•Juniper Tip Dwarf Mite
•Spruce Spider Mite
•Southern Red Mite