Poison ivy and oak can be tricky during the cooler times of year. The leaves change color and start to fall off the stems making it difficult to identify the plants. Unfortunately, the rash-causing oil is in all parts of the plants, including the stems. It may cause a rash without you knowing you touched it. So here are a few tips on how to avoid poison ivy and oak.
- Avoid touching leafless vines. Poison ivy and oak lose their leaves in the fall and winter so you may come in contact with urushiol and not know it.
- When pulling plants out of the ground, wrap plastic bags around them first to give yourself a protective barrier. Throw away the plants inside the plastic bags.
- Wear gloves and long sleeves to help protect yourself from coming in contact with the plants.
- If you think you may have been in contact with plants that might be poison ivy, wash your clothing through 2 cycles. Use a detergent that is tough on grease.
- Remember the "leaves of three" mantra when it comes to poison ivy and oak. During the winter they may range from bright orange to brilliant red before the fall off the stems.
- Wash with Tecnu Original or Tecnu Extreme after working in your yard to remove any plant oil from your skin.