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Poison Ivy in the winter

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by wingsfan, Jan 20, 2013.

  1. wingsfan

    wingsfan Feeling the Heat

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    Scrounged up an ash tree some one hit on the edge of the road and broke it off and the county just pushed it off the road into a pile. Well I got a lot off wood from it , but The tree was laiden with dead poison ivy vines,Or so I thought it was dead. Sweated my arse off getting it,but now I have poison ivy all over my eyelids and forehead, from whipping the sweat away with my sleeve. I sure would of thought the ivy was dead this time of year, but I guess not. Now my eys are almost swelled shot and itch like crazy.Not fub at all.
    WeldrDave and ScotO like this.

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  2. Mackj

    Mackj New Member

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    Poison ivy is miserable #&*#. I have also got it from the vines. Its not dead just dormant and the vines are full of oil. Your doctor can give you a shot, almost immediate relief from the itching, and about 2 days completely gone. I am very careful but very susceptible to pi that steroid shot can save a lot of misery!
    WeldrDave and Backwoods Savage like this.
  3. blades

    blades Minister of Fire

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    The oil in the dead vines will stay viable for a couple years, it is very slow to break down. Do not burn the vines as that does not destroy the oil but vaporizes it into the air which can make for a extremely bad situation. As nasty as it is on the outside of you it is 1k worse on the inside and can cause death.
    fireview2788 likes this.
  4. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    I've done jobs where there was tons of poison ivy, and never got a single reaction from it. Then, the week before Christmas, I went to a co-worker's house to remove a HUGE white pine that had blown over during Sandy. Well, it had a 1" diameter vine growing up the trunk. I used gloves and a hatchet, removed the bark off of the pine that was behind the vine and took it off....end of story, right? WRONG! Woke up the next morning and had several blisters on my right wrist, first time I ever had a reaction to PI in all these years.....it only lasted a couple of days, but still......never had it before. I'm hoping the reason I got it was some scratches I had in that area....I think it got into them. Either way, that chit is NASTY......
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  5. midwestcoast

    midwestcoast Minister of Fire

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    It is very tough stuff to deal with if you're sensitive to it. Unfortunately any part of the plant can get you no matter what state it's in. Even the dead stem or roots in mid winter (as you now know & won't likely forget).
    Be careful with the clothes, gloves and boots you were wearing. They have the oil on them and it's still nasty. You don't need any more exposure now so don't even touch them without impermeable gloves on. Then wash those gloves too. HOT water and soap will remove it no prob though.
    Now about that wood. If it were me I wouldn't touch it 'till you're all recovered, & then handle it carefully, no wiping your sweat ;)
    I would still burn it after a couple years seasoning, but if there's someone who's Very sensitive in the family...
    wingsfan likes this.
  6. wingsfan

    wingsfan Feeling the Heat

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    I told the wife I might just put the rounds outback for a year or so and let the stuff die off..I guess I handle it right I could probably get it split up.
    midwestcoast likes this.
  7. Lowtech

    Lowtech New Member

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    I know this will sound awful odd. But ! For some relief, try rubbing the inside of a banana peal on the rash. Found this on the internet a few months back when I had a pi on my left forearm. Helped me.
  8. jdp1152

    jdp1152 Minister of Fire

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    Urishiol oil will stay active for 5+ years after vine is dead. I killed a big patch a few years back. Didn't see a peep from it for a full year. Completely forgot about and started digging holes for some shrubs. My forearms were covered up. Got into it pretty bad late winter this past year. Had no idea I was in it since there weren't any leaves out yet. Nothing like sitting in an important meeting wearing a dress shirt and having weeping poison ivy sores leaking through your shirt.

    Started using Ivy Block before getting out in the brush and it seems to be working well. Some tiny blisters, but not major outbreaks. I also keep a prescription of Prednisone just in case. Went from being able to run around it as kid and have no reaction to having pretty bad ones as an adult.
  9. midwestcoast

    midwestcoast Minister of Fire

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    Tell me more about Ivy Block. You put it on before anticipated exposure and it helps block the oil? Do you put it on your whole body? under clothes?
    My wife is pretty susceptible to PI, & I have friends that are VERY sensitive to it. We all like to hike and the stuff grows thick around here.
  10. jdp1152

    jdp1152 Minister of Fire

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    Correct. I put it on my face and forearms if I'm going to be in an area I know it's at. It's not pretty....you'll have a thin white haze on your skin once it dries. It won't stop everything, but it certainly improved my situations. I can live with a tiny blister vs a huge weeping rash. After I'm done outside, my clothes come off and go right in the washing machine and get washed alone with a little extra detergent. I'll keep a bottle of palmolive in my shower during the summer months. It repels oil better than typical soap so I wash with that with cooler water temps to keep my pores closed more than they would with hot water.
  11. midwestcoast

    midwestcoast Minister of Fire

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    Thanks. Just threw some in my cart for the loved ones who lost that particular genetic lottery ;)
  12. jdp1152

    jdp1152 Minister of Fire

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    I seriously have considered renting goats to clear it out on a portion of my lot. I just don't know how to tackle it and the brush killer only knocks it back. Dang birds just spread that stuff everywhere. Lot of elderly folks in my town who don't maintain their land and it's growing everywhere. Saw where the utility company took down this massive three trunk ash up the road from us. It had two PI vines growing up that were as big around as my arm.
  13. Michael Golden

    Michael Golden Feeling the Heat

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    I got poison ivy one winter deer hunting sitting on a stump, I was covered. Like said above get the hot ASAP and it will be gone in two days. I haven't got poison ivy since, it's amazing how the body changes.
  14. BobUrban

    BobUrban Minister of Fire

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    Bad stuff and pretty much on every tree I cut. I call it Devil Weed and my best defense is just make a concious effort to keep from touching any exposed skin with anything I wear our use when cutting. Invariably I get a little every year because I spend so much time in the woods either hiking, hunting or working but the biggest exposure is cutting. The oil lasts forever and you can put a coat or gloves on that you have not used for over a year and get the dirty stuff from them. My biggest worry is getting it from the chain because I cut through a lot of vines.

    I often wash my hands with dish soap with my cutting gloves on after coming in from cutting just to cut down on the potential and remember to wear gloves when working on the saw and sharpening the chain because this is covered in oil.

    The vines are totally invassive so near impossible to eliminate but I do take an axe out in the winter and cut as many big vines as I can find. I take a couple inches out and they die and dry up in a year or so. Dead ones are still filled with oil but they pull off the tree much easier when I am cutting the tree at a later date.

    For me I have found little relief from either pharmacutical or voodoo remedies and just deal with it for a week or so until it goes away. Best defense IMO is not to get it - which can be near impossible at times. Do as much research online as possible if you are working around it and this will give you a better perspective of how to avoid it. If you do get it on your hands/faces/skin you can limit or prevent it by just rinsing them in water within a few moments. I will use my drinking water or even a creek or puddle if I know I just touched some. May not be 100% but if you don't get the oil off right away it is too late - like 5 minutes.

    Also there is no medical evidence that it can go systemic although some feel differently is is actually that certain parts of your skin react quicker that others so you can get different stages of a breakout that make it seem like it is spreading from within. You also cannot spread it from one person to another unless you are spreading the oils. The blisters are not contageous. Be careful out there.
    ScotO likes this.
  15. BEConklin

    BEConklin Feeling the Heat

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    I thank my lucky stars that my 11 acres of "cutting wood" land has very little of it growing anywhere. A few smaller vines here and there along the river is all. On my 2+ acres where the house is, however, the stuff is all over the place with some pretty large and hairy vines growing up several trees that I'm planning to cut in the future :confused:

    I'm thinking the best way to kill it might be to cut the vines in winter about 2 feet above the ground and paint the remaining stump of the vine with a systemic herbicide like Round-up. In spring, IF new leaves sprout from the stump, once they open up, I'll spray them with Round-up as well.
  16. BobUrban

    BobUrban Minister of Fire

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    Yes - cut the big vines in the winter and take out a chunk so it cannot somehow re-gen back together and you know you have eliminated it's life force but DO NOT rely on the fact that it is dead either from cutting, spraying or a combination of the two that it no longer can get ya!! The oil lasts a long time even in dead plants. Killing it just makes it more managable when working on the trees and limits re-gen. Darn stuff is relentless!!
  17. BuckthornBonnie

    BuckthornBonnie New Member

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    Just dealt with some of it this morning while cutting some buckthorn outta a hedgerow. Hopefully won't get a reaction to it since I took a few precautions. I'd add that keeping a spray bottle with rubbing alcohol has helped our issues a bit. Spray hands, gloves, tools, etc. with it. When I can, I toss out the gloves that I know came in contact with it (rubber coated junk gloves). I also shower up right after cutting...no delay. Wear a hat/bandana during the summer so sweat isn't constantly in your face (you're less likely to wipe the oil on your face that way).

    I've been doing the axe trick and will continue to attack this stuff. I have some vines thicker than my wrist and we also have the "ground variety" that is nasty to walk through without swamp boots. Good luck!
  18. BuckthornBonnie

    BuckthornBonnie New Member

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    Oh... and we've found that Benadryl Clear works for us once you get some rash developing. I don't think it heals the rash, but it helps with the pain/itch. Read the directions carefully since it is easy to over-do Benadryl products.
  19. Shane N

    Shane N Feeling the Heat

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    I'm really glad our poison ivy doesn't grow in vines here. I never see any sort of vines on trees here. The PI we have is only a couple feet tall at worst in clumps, all growing on the ground.
  20. TradEddie

    TradEddie Minister of Fire

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    Persistence, and Round-Up.
    Vines on trees, hit them with an axe, leave them there. Vines on the ground, start in early Spring, spray Round-Up on everything with three leaves, be ruthless, then every few weeks walk through again. Don't try pull the sprayed plants, let the spray get to the roots and kill the whole plant. PI only grows well on the periphery, so concentrate your efforts there, only occasional checks of the deeper woods should be needed.
    It took me a year after we moved in to feel like it was under control, but now anything that re-appears gets dealt with quickly. I'm sure I've killed many innocent bystanding oak and hickory saplings, buts that's a small price to pay.

    TE
  21. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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  22. bad69bird

    bad69bird Member

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    I get it bad, Now if I know im gonna be cutting near the stuff I carry a spray bottle of rubbing acohol. Spray my equipment with it then spray a couple paper towels and rub down all my exposed skin. May burn a little but better than getting the stuff
  23. Applesister

    Applesister Minister of Fire

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    Tecnu? huh
    that's a new aspect. The powerline guys have all the latest remedies and preventives. I took some pictures last week out snowshoeing. Vines. I can get closer to the vines under snow cover. Its along the hedgerows growing on the black cherry and I can see the tiny little hairy stems left from the little white berries that have most likely been eaten.
    My favorite pub, just about 10 miles from me, has a tree growing at the edge of its outdoor eating area. The poison ivy vines hang directly over a dining table. Last summer I could see the little white berries hanging in drupes...waiting.
    I asked the doctor once how come the shot needle looked so big. He said the serum needs to be refrigerated. LOL. Imagine storing gear oil in the frig.
    Thank God the needle is a subcutainous injection cause you gotta drop your pants for it!!
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  24. weatherguy

    weatherguy Minister of Fire

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  25. wingsfan

    wingsfan Feeling the Heat

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    We bought some stuff at Meijer, it's called Zanfel. It does the same thing as the tecne, to wash away the oils. This stuff was $37 for like a 5 oz.tube, but it washes the oils away and takes the itch away in 30 seconds. Says right on the package and it worked for me. It was expensive,but a lot cheaper thangoing to the doctors.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.

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