Always Watch For Poison Ivy

Reblogger Andrea Bedard
Real Estate Agent with Thompson Company, REALTORS® MD594797

I love to dig in the dirt, plant flowers and maintain my yard. What I definitely do not like is Poison Ivy - what a nasty "little" plant. It grows everywhere, Maryland is no exception. Jay Markanich offers some great advice, what to look for, how to get rid of it and what to do if you did get the rash.

Original content by Jay Markanich 3380-000723

On home inspections I always watch for poison ivy.

And you have to!  When people buy houses sometimes it is growing all over the siding and the sellers don't know!  Someone buying the house can get in there, start ripping out the poison ivy and be rewarded with a huge problem in return!  When I see it I point it out to my clients.

Some people aren't affected by it.  I don't know what percentage that is, but most people are affected.

And there's poison oak and poison sumac* to look out for!

Poison ivy is a true ivy.  It grows everywhere - on trees, on the ground, and on structures.

It has three equal, green leaves, often shiny.  It can be a vine or a shrub.

If you see an ivy with a very thick and  "hairy" root going up the side of the house or a tree, it is poison ivy.

The plant is very aggressive.  It grows by sending out shoots (rhizomes) which can reattach elsewhere on the structure or tree, or grow underground to sprout up elsewhere.

If you see it, try to find the source and spray it there with an herbicide.  Cutting it off does not solve the problem.  You have to kill the roots. 

The source is always in the ground


be careful!  Even when it is dead and dried up it can still be dangerous!

The leaves are covered with an oil that will attach to skin or clothing.  The oil can be spread from person to person, clothing to clothing, or even animal to human!

Once the oil bonds to the molecules of the skin YOU WILL HAVE POISON IVY, if you are susceptible.

If you think you may have touched poison ivy wash immediately.  I have heard using everything from hot to cold water.  But the main thing to wash with is dish washing soap.  That soap is made to cut grease (oil) and will work well to remove the oil from your skin.  Also, wash any clothing that may have touched it.  Even your shoes and shoelaces.

Should you get a rash there is not much you can do.  Scratching it can spread it!  Don't break the little blisters or you WILL spread it!  Poison ivy rashes love your eyes!

Reducing the size of blisters may help with the itching.  Calamine lotion, alcohol, hydro-cortisone creams, cold compresses and even antihistamine pills can help with that.  But expect to have the rash for a while, a couple of weeks or more, especially if you should spread it to other parts of your body.  You might consider covering it to prevent touching it.  My brother got it terribly every year and used to wear rubber gloves to bed!

My recommendation:  knowledge is power.  Familiarize yourself with its appearance!  When seen avoid it!  If you see it growing in your yard it is best to kill it while it is young.  But killing it as soon as you see it is not too soon!

* Poison oak looks just like poison ivy, but has rounder leaves with softer points, and sometimes has small white berries.  It grows everywhere poison ivy grows.  Poison sumac is shrubby with small white berries.  It has small branches with 7-13 thin, sharp leaves, and mostly thrives in swampy or boggy areas.



Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560


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Lisa Von Domek
Lisa Von Domek Team - Dallas, TX
....Experience Isn't Expensive.... It's Priceless!

Hello Andrea,

Great reblog, Jay's posts are always worth a read!

May 24, 2014 11:05 AM #1
Andrea Bedard
Thompson Company, REALTORS® - Silver Spring, MD
M.A.; REALTOR® Silver Spring, MD and beyond

Yes, super informative! I see Poson Ivy too often when showing homes and am always battling some growing in my neighbor's yard.

May 24, 2014 11:30 AM #2
John McCormack, CRS
Albuquerque Homes Realty - Albuquerque, NM
Honesty, Integrity, Results, Experienced. HIRE Me!

Thanks for sharing and Happy Memorial Day Weekend my friend.

May 24, 2014 01:39 PM #3
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Thanks Andrea!  We Scoutmasters know poison ivy, for sure.

Growing up in Kensington and playing in the woods near Rock Creek all the time I know Maryland has poison ivy!

May 25, 2014 03:53 AM #4
Andrea Bedard
Thompson Company, REALTORS® - Silver Spring, MD
M.A.; REALTOR® Silver Spring, MD and beyond

Thank you Jay! You packed a lot of info about Poison Ivy into that post. I just had a buyer ask me a couple of weeks what it looks like...

May 25, 2014 01:39 PM #5
Eric Crane -- Your Full Service, Discount Fee Realtor®
DPR Realty LLC - Gilbert, AZ
Greater Metro Phoenix Arizona

a good re-blog, especially as we head into the Summer.  Didn't know, by the way, that it can still be a problem when dried out

May 25, 2014 02:22 PM #6
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Andrea Bedard

M.A.; REALTOR® Silver Spring, MD and beyond
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