Sunday, October 23, 2016

Chicon Street Poison Ivy Journey, Part Two - It's Worse Than Expected

Hey there!

It's been a week since I really went through the yard. My son and I have been dealing with poison ivy on our hands, arms, and legs for a week, and it's finally getting better thanks to our friends that have been making good suggestions and offering helpful product advice. 

To get rid of the pain / itching, my best results come from a combination of Poison Ivy Soap and a Poison Ivy Wash. I got the soap from a friend and the wash from HEB, I recall. You can use them over and over and during the wash, the itching stops. Big props to them as they can be used any time you notice you're itching. When I notice I want to start scratching, which is heavenly when you get into it and painful when you stop, I can sit by the edge of the tub in shorts and suds up until it's all good. While washing, and especially after drying off, you can feel the relief palpably and, in my opinion, it's as if it never itched at all. 

Wash off after 3 mins
Wash as often as you like

Over the past few days, I tried to learn more about poison ivy. Here are the resources I got the most from: 

How to Identify Poison Ivy
This is a great visual quiz that really sprained my brain until I think I finally "get it." 

How to KILL Poison Ivy with no Chemicals
This Farmer's Almanac page describes a saltwater / soap solution that I'm trying. 

Today, I went through the yard to see if I could find the place that had the poison ivy. I looked all along the fenceline, which is where we felt must be the place. Our back neighbor, T, knew his kids would play in the back corner of his yard so he told us it might be over there. We hadn't gone back there yet because we found out we HAD poison ivy rashes and didn't want anything to do with it at all, but this weekend I wanted to see if I could figure out where it was. I thought we might have a few small vines.

I went to the back and didn't see anything on the ground. Maybe we got it all!? I went along the back fenceline and then into T's backyard. Still nothing. Then I looked up into the trees. Wait... is that? No... trees don't have three leaves like that, do they?

I was WRONG. That wasn't a tree. It was a bunch of huge, branch sized vines. Here's what I found.

Where is the Poison Ivy? It's there, somewhere!

Well, I found it, but it was a little worse (!) than expected

Here are some detail pics of the leaves / vines in case you want to get a closer look.

During my exploration, the back neighbor kids came out and I showed them the Poison Ivy and explained what to avoid, how to identify it, and told them what I was doing to get rid of it. Their dad came out and I explained the whole thing including the "plan." He was very appreciative about my finding it and doing something about it. He didn't know exactly how his kids were getting Poison Ivy, but he knew it was from that corner of his yard. Now he knows! 

Here are some closeups on the vines themselves. I get itchy just looking at these. Look at the hairy roots! When I was taking these, our side neighbor (she shares this fence with me) came out and was shocked at what we were looking at. She said she was going to speak with her landlord and maybe we can get some help from them. More as that develops.

The "Solution," Literally
One gallon of water, one cup of salt, 8 drops of soap, from the site above. I started by spraying the smaller plants along the fence, pretty much anything that was green, just in case. Then, I found the mess above. I used 3 gallons of it (so far) and I'm going to ratchet up to bleach next. 6 parts of water to one part bleach. Bleach breaks down into salt and a few other things, and the salt in both solutions causes the plants to DIE. It should get into the roots and kill these things. A typical root goes 8 inches down, according to what I've found so far, and I can't IMAGINE how deep those huge roots go into the earth. I have to do something extreme, I think. 

When we go after this full force, it's going to be duct taped clothing (that I'm going to throw away), disposable shoes, and some way to pack all of that Poison Ivy so it doesn't get on anything. It is going to be a HUGE deal, unless we can hire a company to come take it away. Maybe our collective landlords can help?  

Okay, gotta take my last batch of saltwater out there. More as it develops. And I hope it's not a new "I Have Worse Poison Ivy" post you see next. 

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