To get rid of poison ivy plants, wait until it rains, put on protective gear, cut the stems, dig out the roots and spray the remaining plant matter with an herbicide. Immediately disinfect tools and clothes.
- Choose the right day
The best time to treat poison ivy is right after a heavy rain. Removing roots from dry ground is difficult. If rain is not expected, use a hose to thoroughly soak the ground.
- Put on protective gear
Because poison ivy leaves contain a toxic substance that causes serious rashes, it is important to protect your skin. Wear goggles, a breathing mask, rubber gloves and thick, waterproof boots. Cover your skin with long pants and long sleeves, tucking the pants into the boots and the sleeves into the gloves.
- Cut the stems, and dig out the roots
Use gardening shears to cut the stems at ground level. Avoid damaging the vines, as they can release toxins into the air. Use a shovel to remove the roots if possible. Place the stems and roots in heavy-duty plastic bags, tie them shut and throw them away. Never burn poison ivy because the toxic smoke can cause serious damage to lungs, which can even be lethal.
- Destroy remaining plant matter
Buy an herbicide formulated for poison ivy. Spray the remaining plants according to the instructions on the label. Check back every few days to spray new growth. Poison ivy can be difficult to eliminate and requires numerous treatments.
- Disinfect tools and clothes
Wash all tools with rubbing alcohol. Wash clothes separately from other laundry. Clean the boots with soap and water, then hose them off. Avoid touching any infected items with bare hands.