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I've read from various sources that boiling water kills poison ivy (leaves AND ROOTS!). I've read BURNING poison ivy is a VERY BAD idea because you can have a serous reaction in your lungs.

While pouring boiling water I noticed a smell. My throat feels a bit funny. I'm worried the boiling water making the poison ivy oils airborne, acting like an essential oils defuser or something.

Before pouring more I put on my 3M 2097 P100 Respirator mask, and some goggles. Hopefully that helps protect my lungs and eyes. Hoping someone who knows more can provide insight on this.

For boiling water I'm using 4 tea pots (2 at a time) to try to kill the ivy as deep as practical around a fence.

The last time I had a poison ivy reaction on my skin it took about a week to manafest. What is the expected reaction time for throat or eyes or lungs?

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  • I just put on gloves and pull it up, put in trash . You may have some special allergy, I get swelling, etc , within 24 hours if I unknowingly get hold of some. – blacksmith37 Mar 12 at 21:45
  • I don't know the answer, but I'm a bit suspicious about the claim that boiling water kills poison ivy (since I've tried boiling water on annual weeds in my yard that are probably less of a problem than poison ivy, and it didn't set them back much at all, by the look of it). – Brōtsyorfuzthrāx Mar 12 at 23:23
  • I'm also suspicious that boiling water would kill the roots, unless you dig them up before zap them with it. Of course if you keep killing the foliage as soon as it reappears, eventually the plant will die. Herbicides are made and sold for a reason! – alephzero Mar 13 at 3:13
  • It would be so much easier and more effective to use Roundup. – Peter4075 Mar 13 at 20:18
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I have found this on the HGTV channel https://www.hgtv.com/outdoors/flowers-and-plants/how-to-kill-poison-ivy

It needs several tries to be effective, and it is advised to pour it over the center, so that you kill the main roots holding the trunk, not just peripheral roots which can re-sprout.

They are deciduous, so I guess pulling them before spring leaves appear is much easier and you have less chances of accidental contact.

From Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toxicodendron_radicans

The oil remains active for very long so wear gloves. After you are done with your pulling, don't forget to wash your gloves, boots, and any protective gear before taking it off, cause you can touch it again at some time (Oh, I forgot to wash my gloves and boots!) and still get a rash.

Don't be tempted to burn the bush and watch it turn to ashes, as this may be your last sight: The oil (Urushiol) is borne by the smoke, and if inhaled may cause lung damage (similar to Dermatitis, but inside the lungs) and that could be fatal. If you burn it, stay away until there is no smoke.

You can cover a whole area in opaque plastic sheet which blocks the light and kill it. make sure you cover enough area for the runners.

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  • Poison is not just in the leaves ,it is in the whole plant . I got it from roots so there were no leaves to identify it. – blacksmith37 Mar 14 at 1:42
  • @blacksmith37 That is correct - Always wear gloves and boots. You have less chances of accidental contact if the plant is not in leaf, but that does not eliminate the danger. – Christmas Snow Mar 14 at 8:40
  • I appreciate the information and references. However I'm still not sure if the oil (Urushiol) is borne by the steam of boiling water or not. – Brian Davis Mar 14 at 18:20
  • I've searched information too, but could not find it. – Christmas Snow Mar 15 at 17:37

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