What kills poison ivy the fastest?

Happy African American mother and daughter planting flowers.

Poison ivy is the dreaded plant that causes many outdoor vacations to turn into itchy problems that you just want to end. But this plant doesn’t just appear in the wild; it can appear anywhere with conditions the plant finds favorable. Yes, it can even grow in your garden or backyard. When you find a poisonous plant growing, you’ll want to contain it and kill it as soon as possible. If not, you might end up in a situation where you’ll need more help and special tools. Let’s figure out what you should and shouldn’t do when handling poison ivy and how to kill it fast.

The wrong ways to kill poison ivy

You’re probably thinking that you’ve handled weeds before and managed to kill them quickly and efficiently, but poison ivy isn’t your typical weed. People develop a rash when touching the plant because it contains an oil known as urushiol, something 80-90% of people are allergic to. Destroying the plant without caution could release the oils and expose you and your surroundings. The oil is very potent, so a tiny bit of it can cause a reaction. Plus, it could remain active on any surface for up to five years, making it very dangerous.

When it comes to killing invasive poison ivy, NEVER do the following:

  • Burn the Plant - This is probably the most dangerous thing you can do. The urushiol will spread through the smoke, making it possible for people to inhale the substance, causing highly dangerous inflammation in the lungs, throat, and nasal passages.
  • Use a weed whacker - When cutting grass with a weed whacker, you typically end up smelling like grass. That smell is the oils of the grass on you, and the same can happen when weed whacking poisonous plants.
  • Cleaning without protection - You might panic at the sight of poison ivy and decide to pull them with what you have on hand. Always handle poison ivy with disposable gloves, long sleeves, and masks at a minimum. Any exposed tools and clothing should be washed separately from your usual clothes. If you don’t, you might spread the oil. We recommend Tecnu Original or Tecnu Detox Wipes to wash tools that may have come in contact with urushiol.

The correct way to kill poison ivy fast

Now that we’ve gotten the things you should never do out of the way, let’s talk about your options on killing the plant as efficiently as possible. The best solution depends significantly on how spread out the plant has grown:

  1. Minimal growth of poison ivy - Identify every part of the plant without touching it. Pour boiling water on the plant. Make sure to cover everything and this will essentially cook the plant and will kill it.
  2. Multiple shrubs of poison ivy – A mild homemade herbicide would be a good option if the growth isn’t too significant to call for the use of toxic chemicals. A mild herbicide is safe for animals and kids, yet dangerous for poison ivy.
  3. Overgrowth of poison ivy - In this situation, you will need to use the big guns. Chemical weed killers kill the poison ivy plant and its roots fast. Chemicals can be an option for the situations above, but it’s often best to reduce the use of harsh weed killers unless it’s essential for the safety of children and animals to get rid of the poison oak and ivy right away.
  4. In any situation where you have time - The most reliable way to kill poison ivy is weeding it with tools and proper protection. It ultimately gets rid of the plant and the roots, making sure it does not regrow. The downside to this is the amount of preparation needed and the caution required during and after weeding. Tecnu Extreme can help you quickly wash away the oils and avoid rashes on the skin caused by these poisonous plants.

Be prepared to face poisonous plants

Poison ivy is one of the most common causes of a good day turning bad for any outdoor activity, and it would be best to be prepared for that eventuality. Keeping a first aid kit with the best materials available is essential. When talking about the best, you’re talking about Tec Labs, the number one producer of innovative outdoor skin solutions.