Creeping Poison Ivy

Avoiding Poison Ivy And Plumbing Tips

The Handyguys discuss another challenge for home improvement, poison ivy. How to get rid of it and how to keep from getting the rash. We end the show with a follow-up to a brief plumbing question from last week.

Poison Ivy

Identifying it

Creeping Poison IvyBrian was always taught “3 leaves and shiny” but that is not always the case. The leaves are different colors in different seasons. It can be a vine, a bush, a weed. It can even look like a leafy tree if it has completely covered and killed off a tree. In this post, there are a few pictures compliments of . They have a great poster or card deck you can purchase that shows you what to look out for. Handyguy Brian has the poster on order.

Poison Ivy in a field More Poison Ivy More poison ivy
Getting rid of it

You have two choices to get rid of poison ivy, poison oak or poison sumac. You can use an herbicide like Roundup or products made specifically for Poison Ivy. Roundup will kill everything it comes in contact with. If you don’t have too much to get rid of, and you aren’t overly sensitive, then Handyguy Brian suggests mechanical removal. That’s right, pull it up, you MUST get the roots and all or it may grow back. If you go this route, make sure all exposed skin is covered and then follow the guidance regarding prevention of rash below.

Prevention of the rash

TecnuIf you have been exposed to the oils that cause the rash (called urushiol), you need to remove it. Remove it from EVERYTHING that came in contact with it. That includes skin, clothes (or discard them), tools and pets. The best way to remove the oil that Handyguy Brian has found is with a product called Tecnu. You can get it through The Handyguys Store, at drug stores or at some camping supply stores. Usually they sell it in 4oz or 8oz bottles. Those little bottles don’t go very far if you are washing clothes, tools and pets. The Target Pharmacy has ordered larger bottles for Brian in the past. The Handyguys Store carries Tecnu in 32oz jumbo size containers.


We wrap up the show discussing if propane is the right choice for soldering copper pipes or if MAP gas is a better choice.