When I grew up, I was incredibly allergic to poison ivy.
- If we drove by someone burning leavesor branches, just breathing in the smoke would give me a horrible reaction – inside my nose, on my skin, on every part of me that was open to air.
- If I happened to touch someone else’s clothing or skinand they had touched poison ivy, I broke out.
- If I happened to touch it somehow myself, I would be covered, from head to toe with oozy scabs (lovely!).
- Every yearI’d come back from Girl Scout camp covered in bumps.
- I have class pictures with my hair pulled back and a rash on my face.
Needless to say, I became very good at recognizing the plant, whether it was red or green, on vines or not. I roll up my car windows, even to this day, if I see any kind of smoke, and I don’t breathe until the car is past. If I go in the woods, I wear long pants, and keep a careful eye out for anything remote poison ivy-ish. I even had to get weekly shots when I was younger, in the hopes my allergy to poison ivy would be reduced. I’ve had to take corticosteroid medication to get rid of outbreaks.
Luckily, it’s been quite a while since I’ve had an outbreak, and I’m not sure whether that’s because I’ve outgrown the allergy, or because I’ve just been able to stay away from the plant successfully.
But this year I have reason to be concerned!
There appears to be a plethora of poison ivy patches profusely penetrating nearby parcels. (I just had to get that alliterative urge out of my system!)
I’m not sure what is causing the huge growth. I wonder whether the very dry winter and spring, and the warmer than usual temperatures might have something to do with it, but I have seen more poison ivy in the last few weeks than I remember seeing in any recent years.
The poison ivy is on the sides of all local roads. It’s popping up in the middle of lawns. It’s crawling up trees.
If you are selling a home, now would be a great time to take a tour of your property and eliminate any obvious patches of poison ivy. There is a lot of information on the Internet on how to eliminate the plant safely. Not eliminating it might keep a potential buyer (or real estate agent) from buying or showing your home if the growth is too widespread (such as in the above picture).
As for me, I’m doing the best I can to stay away from all traces of the pustule-producing plant, but I have to admit that just looking at it is making me itch.