How to Kill Off Poison Ivy


Poison ivy may be interesting to observe, but it is best if you hold to the philosophy of "look but don't touch." Poison ivy leaves are coated with a waxy substance that contains urushiol oil, which produces an allergic reaction when it comes in contact with human skin. When you find a poison ivy plant on your property, you will want to remove it, but it's important to take all necessary safety precautions.

Step 1

Cover your entire body with clothing and protective gear before you begin to work with the poison ivy. You don't want to take any chances of getting the urushiol oil on your body.

Step 2

Use pruning shears to cut the poison ivy vine down. You need it to cut it to within 6 inches to the ground for the herbicide to be effective.

Step 3

Collect all of the pieces of cut poison ivy vine and placing them in a thick trash bag. Place the bags out to the curb for pickup on trash day.

Step 4

Use an herbicide that contains glyphosate to kill the rest of your poison ivy plant. Follow all directions on the herbicide label for safety and effectiveness. Wait the designated amount of time for the poison ivy plant to die before continuing.

Step 5

Dig up the dead poison ivy plant, being careful to get all of the roots. Bag the rest of the poison ivy plant and set it out on trash day.

Tips and Warnings

  • Always wash your clothing and gardening tools as soon as you are finished working on the poison ivy vine. Use hot water and a dish detergent that is also a degreaser. Never try to burn poison ivy vines. The oil can become airborne and enter your body through your airways. This can cause severe damage, even death.

Things You'll Need

  • Long clothing
  • Protective gear
  • Pruning shears
  • Trash bags
  • Glyphosate herbicide


  • Missouri Department of Conservation: Poison Ivy--How to Identify and Control
  • Marrick Data Services: Effective Poison Ivy Removal
  • Poison Ivy, Oak and Sumac Information Center
Keywords: poison ivy, removing poison ivy, killing poison ivy

About this Author

Alicia Bodine has been a professional writer for six years. She has produced thousands of articles for online publications such as Demand Studios, Bright Hub, Associated Content and WiseGeek. Bodine is also the current cooking guru for LifeTips. She has received awards for being a top content producer.