Just mention the words poison ivy and poison oak and my skin begins to itch.
In a past life, I boasted “I never get poison ivy. I could roll around in it and never be bothered.”
Oh the innocent boasting of youth.
It appears that as we age, and our skin thins, and even I have become susceptible to this curse that crawls upon the earth and covers trees with evil, evil greenery.
This I discovered, (when blotches appeared on my face) three short days after my latest daffodil rescue mission. I couldn’t help myself. The house was charred, a meth-house, I reasoned. A place where the daffodils were at risk of certain death should they remain at their current location. Grabbing my partner in crime, who coincidentally was clawing at her own patch of poison on her hand, we arrived at the “rescue field” where we commenced Phase I (the initial dig of bulbs).
The problem with spring-time digging, planting, and of course, rescuing is that poison ivy looks like a leafless stick. There are no “leaves of three” for us to “let be.”
There was also no warning sign hinting of hidden danger. Because I assure you– as I try to type, and not claw–had I caught a three-leaf-glimpse I would most certainly let it be.
One of the best ways to prevent the spread of poison ivy (other than complete avoidance) is to clean tools and gloves properly. Washing garden gloves, especially leather ones can be disastrous. However, replacing gloves after use is costly. Perhaps this is best done by soaking gloves in a bucket of warm soapy water. Or perhaps it is best to don latex gloves then dispose of them immediately. Either way, what is done is done and I’m left trying to ignore the itch that I swear is working its way up my face!
Spray shovels handles with a kitchen cleaner that has bleach in it, then place the tool (handle down) in a bucket for a few hours.
Since it is the oil that irritates the skin, it is wise to keep a bottle of Dawn Dishwashing Liquid in the shower. Place clothes in the wash then scrub your skin immediately after exposure to remove any residual oil. Next try, oh how hard it is to try, not to claw at the face when the burdensome blisters appear.
I welcome your “home remedy” suggestions. What have you tried that works?
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