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DAYSIDE GARDEN: How to spot poison ivy


Heat and humidity add up to Poison Ivy season in the South. Channel Three's Kathryn Daniel shows us how to spot the vine and avoid its toxic effects.

Good Friday morning to you.  We are the Escambia County Extension Office master gardener's garden off of Stefani Road. Beth Bolles is here with us.  You are getting a lot of calls about Poison Ivy, it is the season for this particular vine.

"Right now, people are getting into this quite a bit because we've had a lot of rain, people are working in their yards, things are overgrown so they are cleaning those areas out," Bolles said.

"And unfortunately, our Poison Ivy is a plant that really takes off and a lot of people don't know to recognize it, when they are out pulling all of these vines and weeds out.
And then they break out with a rash and then they know they have poison ivy issues."

"How can you tell the difference?"

"The best way to tell is 'leaves of three.'  this one will grow up a plant or surrounding tree, and it forms air roots that attach to that.  But the middle leaf will be a stalk.  And the other leaves will be stalkless, and be attached right to that limb.  So the middle leaf kinda sticks up on its own.  Look for that.  The hard thing about poison ivy, is even the dead leaves and twigs will have that compound in them that causes people to break out.  Some people have no reaction at all,  but if you're like me, if you get anywhere near Poison Ivy, like today,  I can break out in a very severe rash."

"if you were to burn this and get it into your lungs and throat, that's a serious issue.  So if you are burning materials, be very careful.  Make sure you don't have Poison Ivy in there and stay well away from that.  So it's not in the air and you breathe that in, that may be a severe issue that you may have to see, go to the hospital for sure."

"Can your dogs or cats be affected by Poison Ivy in the back yard?"

"A lot of times what can happen is, they can pick up the compound sap on their fur and they can transfer that to you.  So if they run around, be careful.  You may have to wipe them off, or you know, a frequent bath for an animal is not a bad thing anyway.," Bolles said.

Next week we're looking at some new selections of some old favorite plants; the copper plants.  There are so many beautiful ones out there for people to try for a tropical look in their garden."