Eliminate poison oak by manually removing the plants and spraying the stumps with herbicide. Wear protective clothing to prevent the oils that cause an allergic reaction from reaching your skin. Monitor the area for any plants that regrow, and repeat the removal process as needed.
- Protect yourself from the poison
The oil on poison oak plants causes an allergic rash on many people. Before beginning eradication, apply an ivy-block barrier to the skin, and wear proper clothing. Long sleeves and pants protect your arms and legs. Gloves and boots protect hands and feet. Don't allow the plants to touch the face. Immediately wash any clothing or tools used in the hottest water available.
- Remove the plants
Poison oak grows in small shrubs. Use long-handled pruning shears to cut the plants and remove them from the area. Do not burn the plants as the ash can also cause allergic reactions.
- Spray stumps with herbicide
Spray the freshly cut stumps with herbicide immediately. The fresh cuts absorb the chemical and distribute it to the roots for a more complete kill.
- Monitor the area for regrowth
Eradicating poison oak is often an ongoing process. Monitor the area for new plants, and repeat the cutting and application of herbicide for a poison-oak-free yard.