7 ways to get rid of Poison Ivy and Poison Oak without using harsh and toxic chemical sprays. Listed in order of distance from and contact potential with plant.
1. Graze a goat there. Spanish and Angora goats are especially fond of poison ivy.
2. Vinegar spray. White vinegar will kill poison ivy, though it might take a few days to notice. Fill your garden sprayer with straight, undilluted white vinegar and take aim at the poison ivy leaves and crowns. Try not to soak the ground, since it will result in inhospitable acidity in the soil. If you want, you can use calcitic lime to neutralize any vinegar in the soil afterwards.
3. Salt, water, and soap spray. Mix 1 gallon of water with 3 lbs of salt until well dissolved, add 1/4cup of dish soap. Spray poison ivy leaves. This solution could also kill other plants in the area, so take care not to over do it.
4. Gin Spray. Mix 1 oz gin, 1 oz apple cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon baby shampoo, 1 quart water. Spray onto leaves and crown during hot part of the day. Should be dead by the next day.
5. Burn the roots with boiling water. A good option if you just have a few stubborn plants or vines in flowerbeds or near walkways. Take your tea kettle full of boiling water and slowly drizzle on the very base of the plant. This might take a few applications over a few days, but will eventually do the trick.
6. Smother it. Using cardboard (best option) or newspaper, cover the entire area with poison ivy, then cover the cardboard with straw, wood chips, or grass clippings to keep the cardboard in place.
7. Pull it out. The fastest and most effective (and most dangerous) way to get rid of it is by pulling, or chopping it out with a maddock. Make sure if you chop it out that you get down about 8 inches and pull the vines and all out too. Fifteen percent of people are not allergic to poison ivy. So unless you are one of the lucky few, wear gloves and wash thoroughly afterward!
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