Poison ivy and poison sumac contain oils that are toxic to the skin. The toxic oil remains in the vines and roots of the plant even during the dormant season of late fall and winter. Some people are extremely sensitive to the toxins, and only require a slight brush against the three-leaved plant to experience a reaction. Large blisters may soon form on exposed skin, and in some cases hospitalization is required. If you are sensitive to any form of skin irritation, you may wish to contact a professional exterminator to kill the poison ivy and poison sumac.
Wear old clothing, boots and gloves whenever treating poison ivy and poison sumac. You may wish to simply dispose of the clothing articles after treating the highly toxic plants. Any piece of clothing or skin that comes in contact with the plant will become contaminated with the oils.
Mix the glyphosate herbicide according to label directions for poison ivy and poison sumac. Various strengths of the chemical are available, and the labeling will instruct how to mix the herbicide with water for different pest plants.
Apply the herbicide to the leaves of the plants. Thoroughly coat the leaves with plenty of chemical on a dry and windless day. Understand that the chemical will also kill any other plant with which the spray comes into contact.
Wait a period of one week. Observe the leaves on the poison ivy and poison sumac. If the leaves have not fully wilted and dried out, another application will be warranted.