How Do You Remove Poison Ivy?

To remove poison ivy, identify the plant, dress in protective clothing, cut the plant to ground level, and dig out the roots. If the poison ivy covers a large area, cut down as much of it as possible, and spray the remaining parts with an herbicide.

  1. Identify the plant

    Poison ivy comes in various forms, such as a bush, a vine or ground cover. Check for groupings of three shiny leaves that grow on alternate sides of the stem. Look for leaves that are asymmetrical and either pointed, lobed, saw-toothed or smooth-sided.

  2. Dress appropriately

    To avoid coming into contact with any toxic resin, wear long pants and a long-sleeved shirt. Tuck your pants into your socks to protect the ankles. Put on work gloves. If you are removing lots of poison ivy, wear goggles and a respirator.

  3. Cut down the plants

    Cut any stems with pruners or shears. Avoid ripping or tearing the vines or stems. Dispose of the plant matter in black, plastic garbage bags.

  4. Remove the roots

    With a shovel, dig out the roots, and dispose of them in the garbage bags. If a large area of plants needs to be removed, spray on an herbicide, such as Roundup or Ortho's Brush-B-Gon, to kill the roots.