SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The weather has been getting warmer and many of us are spending time outside. Poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac are all plants you want to try and avoid.
Poison ivy tends to be more common and there are some things to be on the look out for so you don’t come into contact with it.
“It’s usually mixed in with other plants, usually it will be three leaves. It will be shiny looking, it grows on vines and also on shrubs,” said Bill Golaski, the General Manager of G&H Landscaping in Holyoke.
It’s the oil found in the plant that can cause a bad reaction. About 50 percent of people develop signs and symptoms, and the symptoms and severity differ from person to person. They can include intense itching, skin swelling and skin redness. If poison ivy is growing on your property, there are some things you can do to protect yourself if you are going to be around it.
Remember the phrase “leaves of three, let them be” when trying to identify poison ivy.
“You could wear rubber gloves. They also make creams you can put on your body so the oil doesn’t make contact with your skin and a lot of times we’ll use a Tyvex lightweight suit if we know we’re in an area with poison ivy,” said Bill Golaski.
Never try to burn poison ivy, inhaling the smoke can cause severe allergic respiratory problems.