Poison Ivy Control

Poison Ivy Control

Sgt. Poopers provides weekly poison ivy control to kill poison ivy without herbicides.


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Poison Ivy Introduction

Kill Poison Ivy without Herbicides

Sgt. Poopers can stop poison ivy from growing in your yard, meaning we can kill the plant — without herbicides — efficiently, economically and safely. Prices for Sgt. Poopers poison ivy control service start at just $1.95 per week!

Poison ivy is native to North Texas. It's very hardy and will keep coming back. So we have a solution: we come back too, even more frequently — like clockwork. Our business model puts us in your yard every week. So we are uniquely streamlined for the role we play in conservation. The fact is, poison ivy grows mostly in human-disturbed areas like in the edges of yards or woods. We correct the problem.

Image of poison ivy on fenceTo do so, we don't need toxic herbicides like Roundup which is now under fire as an admitted lethal human carcinogen. At this writing Monsanto is now the target of more than 13,400 Roundup lawsuits, including one in which the plaintiff received a jury award of $78.5 million in compensatory and punitive damages. At Sgt. Poopers, we simply don't do toxic. The solution we spray on poison ivy is 100% safe for humans, pets, and insects.

  • We inspect each week when we clean
  • We spray any living poison ivy
  • Catch fresh shoots before they grow
  • Weekly treatment kills roots underground
  • No toxic chemicals
  • No synthetic pesticides

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The Secret Way Poison Ivy Spreads

 If you've ever seen Disney's 1940 film Fantasia, you may remember how the Sorcerer's Apprentice tried to stop the enchanted broom by chopping it up. Instead each fragment grew into another broom. Poison ivy is like that!

Poison ivy originally grows from seeds spread by birds who've eat the white berries in other places. (Poison ivy is only allergic to humans and primates.) Once it takes root, it sends out runners or underground roots that grow horizontally to produce a new plant a short distance away.

Now here's the problem: if you cut off the plant at ground level, the living root swells into a nodule or rhizome below the surface of the soil. This small potato-like appendage launches its damage-control strategy by sending a taproot straight down vertically while also sending out four to five new root runners in various directions horizontally. So after you think you've killed it here, it's turns into Whack-A-Mole and pops up over there.

So a poison-ivy secret is that cutting the plant at the base actually strengthens the root system, causes it to spread everywhere, and makes the plant much harder to kill thanks to deep tap roots!

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Poison Ivy Control Protocol

Sgt. Poopers® Chartered Conservationist badgeIf you want to wipe out poison ivy you have to bring your A game!

It's easy to spot poison ivy. What you can't spot is the extensive root system below ground with its runners, nodules, and taproots.

Even if you dig it all up, small pieces left underground will come back. So the process takes several years, and then has to be monitored against  birds depositing fresh seeds.

The key to our protocol is weekly re-application of our treatment throughout the growing season, spring, summer and fall. We  can completely eradicate living poison ivy from your property without using any toxic chemicals. Since our business model is built on regular weekly and even daily visits, Sgt. Poopers can monitor and control poison ivy very efficiently which also means at low cost, just $4.95 per week not including winter. Each week, we inspect to find any new shoots, wet them with our non-toxic salt-based solution. The upper part of the plant will die quickly, and with our weekly re-application game plan, the lack of living parts above ground will eventually starve the roots.

Since poison ivy is deciduous, its leaves fall off in the winter. So during December, January, and February our protocol is on hold.

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Poison Ivy Toxicity

Sgt. Poopers Conservation ArrowheadThere are a number of strong reasons people don't go exploring in the Dallas area woods, and the biggest reason is poison ivy.

All parts of the poison ivy plant except its pollen contain a toxic substance called, urushiol (oo-ROO-shee-awl). Once this oily compound gets onto your skin, even in the most minuscule amounts, it can cause a severe allergic reaction (rash) unless it is washed off. The best way to remove urushiol from your skin is by using cold water, Dawn and a washcloth. Get the rag soapy and really scrub your hands, arms — anything that may have come in contact with poison ivy. But you have to be fast. If you wait too long before washing it off, the urushiol will soak into your skin and at that point it cannot be fully removed. Discard the washcloth afterwards in a plastic trash bag where no one will touch it.

If you are unlucky enough to have gotten urushiol in your eyes (by rubbing them with contaminated hands or clothing) or on your private parts you'd best go see a doctor.

Poison ivy doesn't affect dogs, but they can carry urushiol on their fur and bring it right back to you. If they brush up against poison ivy growing in your yard, then rub against your leg or jump into your lap, you can be contaminated without ever leaving the house!

The worst thing anyone can do is to burn poison ivy. The smoke becomes a vicious irritant and can inflame your entire respiratory system to the point it proves fatal. Breathing poison ivy smoke can straight up kill you.

If you are very, very lucky, you might be one of the 15% of humans who are immune to poison ivy.

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Poison Ivy Plant

poison ivy close up

Cashews, pistachios, and mango are in the same family as poison ivy and have similar compounds. Some people can get a rash from mango rind. This is why cashews and pistachios are roasted before being eaten.

Toxicodendron radicans, or poison ivy, is extraordinarily tenacious. It can grow as ground cover, a bush, or a vine.

In the Dallas area, you can often see a small red patch on the stems between opposing leaves (see photo above).

Sgt. Poopers® Conservation Control Corps sealThe way to spot poison ivy is not by the shape of the leaves, since they are often very different even on the same plant. It is not leave shape, but leaf placement that indicates a poison ivy plant. Look for three leaves per stem. Technically, these three leaves comprise one "compound leaf."  The "head" leaf will be separated by a short stem. The two lower leaves will have practically no stem at all. Down below, is the stem trunk which attaches to the main branch.  Leaves may be shiny, or dull. Serrated or smooth. Pointy or somewhat rounded. Poison ivy does not have thorns nor hairs.

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Poison Ivy Photos

 poison ivy patch

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Poison Ivy Rash

urushiol blisteringIt's estimated that poison ivy is responsible for 152,000 lost work days each year. Another group estimates there are "10 million cases of poison ivy per year" in the USA. I don't know, that sounds like a gross exaggeration to me but in any case, poison ivy is not a weed to be trifled with!

When I was three, my very creative but impulsive father decided he could save some money by digging up some small oak trees in the woods by our new house near White Rock Lake and replanting them in our yard. What a great idea! The only cost was a monumental case of poison ivy, with red welts and oozing orange blisters between his fingers, on the backs of his hands, up and down his arms, neck and ears. He was absolutely miserable day and night for about two weeks. Right there, that cured any desire I had to ever play in the woods. It also cured my dad's interest in free trees. 

As explained in the video below, the rash is caused by urushiol tricking your immune system into attacking your own healthy tissue. The look is not complimentary and probably won't get you invited to any parties, unless it happens to be Halloween in which case you will easily take first place.

If it weren't so hard to kill of, no one in their right mind would allow poison ivy to grow on their property. We can help by taking the key first step of killing it and making sure it stays killed. Once it's dead, you can usually pay your lawncare team (or us) to bag up any dead leaves and stems and throw them out. But be careful not to touch. Even dead stems, leaves and roots can are contaminated with urushiol and thus capable of giving you poison ivy rash. Long gloves and protective clothing (hazmat suit) are necessary to keep skin from contacting any part of poison ivy dead or alive.

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Poison Ivy Videos

NIOSH, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health put together this excellent video explaining how poision ivy works.

On using fresh Jewelweed as a home remedy treatment of poison ivy:

On using non-toxic Hollywood Sani-White as a home remedy treatment of poison ivy:

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Poison Ivy Treatment options

Disclaimer: If you have a medical emergency, contact a doctor or call 911. We are conservationists not doctors. Our expertise is in treating yards not people.

Sgt. Poopers® Mascot, Maria 2006-2017If you've been contaminated with urushiol from poison ivy or poison oak (poison sumac doesn't grow in Dallas) by far, the best treatment is to scrub the urushiol oil off your skin using cold water and Technu, Zanfil or Dawn and a wash rag. But you must do it immediately, like within 10 minutes if possible. Some people might be able to successfully extend that interval, unfortunately there's no way to predict how a given person will respond to the irritant. So the best practice is to act fast.

Use plenty of cold water and plenty of Dawn (renown for its oil and grease cutting abilities) and vigorously scrub every square centimeter of your skin to get the urushiol off. Don't forget to wash any areas you may have touched inadvertently, like your neck, etc. Start with cleaner areas and work toward the more heavily contaminated areas of skin.

Sgt. Poopers Disinfection and Deodorizing buttonBy report, vigorous scrubbing with a wash rag is better than grease-cutting detergent or soap alone. It is best, of course, to use them together. The point is don't neglect the scrubbing. Afterwards, just throw away the washcloth. Washing it could spread urushiol to the inside of your washing machine or dryer, and thus spread urushiol to other clothes.

While the traditional treatment for mild itches was pink calamine lotion, used for some 1,500 years, poison ivy is in nowise a mild itch. It's more of an insane itch. One lady on YouTube, who seems sincere, swears by "Hollywood Sani-White" which is a white non-toxic shoe polish! This product has been around for decades and is in fact labeled as non-toxic. Sometimes home remedies work. I do know this, if I were infected by poison ivy, I'd probably try anything short of hot lava to make the itching stop. So yeah, paint me Sani-White.

A more exciting and better sounding solution is Jewelweed (if you can find some) which frequently grows in the same areas where poison ivy grows. There are some excellent videos and posts showing how to recognize Jewelweed and how to use it. The juice rubbed on the skin has been reported to halt the consequences of and heal a poison ivy rash.

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Poison Ivy Treatment Links

How to use Jewelweed to treat poison ivy and other itchy symptoms.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impatiens_capensis

https://learnaboutherbs.com/jewelweed.htm

https://www.henriettes-herb.com/archives/best/1996/jewelweed.html

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Poison Ivy Control Prices

 Each week when we come to clean, we will also inspect and spray any new or existing shoots of poison ivy with a non-toxic solution that will kill the above ground. Repeated spraying will eventually starve the root and kill it too never to return! That's how we get it done and make poison ivy a thing of the past in your yard to protect you.  We charge by size of area that is infested by poison ivy.

Poison ivy control pricing chart

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Poison Ivy Control Summary

Sgt. Poopers graphic from our original 2008 website

A backyard contaminated by poison ivy is no walk in the park! Our poison ivy protocol is designed to protect and conserve the most precious parkland of all — the one you call home. It’s like having a park ranger for your own backyard which is why we say, “We treat your yard like a National Park!” 

Sgt. Poopers is a conservation company, so our protocols are based on the principles of conservation. Our approach is common-sense, holistic, always safe, and 100% effective. Our methodology works and you will see immediate results. On top of everything else, no contract is required. We do not use toxic chemistry that can harm people or pets. We restore the balance of nature and make living environments safe for you, children, pets, and beneficial insects like honeybees and butterflies. Please tour our website to learn more. If you have any questions, please call us today at (214) 563-6379. For your convenience, you may also request services from this site.

Steve Hall, Conservation Advocate   signature

Steve Hall
CEO & President, Sgt. Poopers
Conservation Advocate

We would like to thank you for your interest in Sgt. Poopers. We look forward to serving you in the near future!

Proudly serving neighborhoods throughout greater Dallas, Texas

Monday–Friday: 8AM–8PM
Saturday: 8AM–5PM
Sunday: 9AM–5PM

(214) 563-6379

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Questions and Answers for Voice Search

Here are the answers for questions addressed to Alexa, Siri, Cortana, and Google Home.

Who can get rid of poison ivy in my yard?

Sgt. Poopers can kill poison ivy in your yard without toxic herbicides, efficiently, economically and safely. Prices for Sgt. Poopers poison ivy control service start at just $1.95 per week for yard cleaning customers. Stand-alone service prices start at $11.95 per week. Call (214) 563-6379

I think I have poison ivy in my yard what should I do?

Sgt. Poopers can kill poison ivy in your yard without toxic herbicides, efficiently, economically and safely. Prices for Sgt. Poopers poison ivy control service start at just $1.95 per week for yard cleaning customers. Stand-alone service prices start at $11.95 per week. Call (214) 563-6379

What does poison ivy look like?

Sgt. Poopers can inspect your property for the presence of poison ivy and treat any plant they find to kill it without toxic herbicides. Their stand-alone poison ivy control service prices start at $11.95 per week. Call (214) 563-6379

Will poison ivy hurt my dog?

Poison ivy doesn't affect dogs, but dogs can carry the toxic oil on their fur. If they rub against your leg or jump into your lap, you can be contaminated without ever leaving the house. Sgt. Poopers can kill poison ivy in your yard without herbicides, efficiently, economically and safely. Prices for Sgt. Poopers poison ivy control service start at just $1.95 per week for yard cleaning customers. Stand-alone service prices start at $11.95 per week. Call (214) 563-6379

Can poison ivy blisters spread the infection?

The fluids oozing from poison ivy skin blisters won't spread the poison. The rash only seems to be spreading since update of the toxic oil, urushiol, affects some areas of the body faster than others. Call (214) 563-6379

Is poison ivy safe to burn?

Do not burn poison ivy!  If the smoke is inhaled, the rash may erupt inside the lungs which can be fatal! Call (214) 563-6379

How long does urushiol remain active?

Urushiol can remain active for years. Even dead leaves and vines can cause a serious reaction so have to be cleaned up while wearing protective clothing including gloves, long sleeve clothing or a painters/hazmat suit, hood, face mask, and googles. Wash any clothing, tools, and other things like door knobs that may been exposed to oil to prevent further reactions. Call (214) 563-6379

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Tags: environmental toxins, toxin control, poison ivy

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