Under the right conditions, poison ivy and its rash-producing cousins can spread and quickly get out of control. To keep tough weeds from invading your yard, survey problem areas once a month throughout the growing season (May-November), looking for any new growth. See Identifying Poisonous Weed Types for tips on identifying nuisance weeds.
Here's where to look and why:
Edges: Year after year, poison ivy comes back because of a phenomenon known as the "edge effect." The edge effect occurs when environmental changes cause the interior of wooded areas at the edge of your property to dry out. These drier conditions encourage rampant growth of opportunistic weeds like poison ivy, poison sumac, poison oak, kudzu and wild blackberry, among others.
Ground Cover: Poison ivy is a woody perennial often found as a groundcover, creeping along on the ground at the edge of the woods or an open, unmanicured area in the shade.
Trees: Poison ivy is often found climbing up trees located in the shade. Sometimes it can resemble the trees it lives on, or it can branch out two or three feet, making it easy to mistake older poison ivy vines for tree limbs.
Small Shrubs: While not typical, when conditions are just right, poison ivy can develop into a shrub, usually in a sunny location.
Stumps: Dead stumps can be places for poison ivy and other opportunistic weeds to hide.
When your monthly inspection turns up noxious weeds, use an easy spray-on poison ivy control such as Roundup® Poison Ivy Plus Tough Brush Killer. Then apply regularly to control new tough weeds as they emerge*. For more on how to kill and dispose of poison ivy and other hazardous weeds, see How to Kill Poison Ivy and Easy Spray-On Control for Poisonous Weeds: How to Use Roundup® Poison Ivy Plus Tough Brush Killer.
*Special Caution: Be careful when applying Roundup® Poison Ivy Plus Tough Brush Killer. Do not spray surrounding and desirable lawn grasses, groundcovers or nearby plants as they may also be killed. If desirable plants are accidentally sprayed, wash them immediately with water. Do not use Roundup® Poison Ivy Plus Tough Brush Killer around edible food or crops. Re-enter the treated area only after the product has completely dried.