Here is a photo of poison ivy. Keep an eye out for it when you are working in the yard, and especially if you live in a wooded area.
The best prevention is to know what it looks like, and avoid it! Poison ivy can be a very large vine. It grows quickly and seeds are deposited everywhere by birds, and can even show up in your mulch if there was poison ivy present when it was chipped.
- Many people are susceptible to the rashes of poison ivy, oak, and sumac.
- The sap oil, called urushiol, causes the skin rash. (http://www.medicinenet.com/rash/article.htm)
- Poison ivy is not contagious from person to person, unless they carry the oils on their clothing or skin.
- Washing the oily sap from the skin with water and soap immediately can help prevent the rash.
- Avoiding direct contact with the plants can prevent the rash.