The poison ivy plant is a perennial vine that spreads through a series of underground runners. The plant has green glossy leaves that grow in sets of three with edges that are either pointed, smooth or saw-toothed. The leaves start out red in early spring, turn green in the summer and become bright orange in the fall. Remove poison ivy on a calm day to prevent the plant toxins and herbicide from blowing onto you. Wear protective gear to prevent a poison-ivy rash.
Cut the poison ivy plants at the ground level with a pruning clipper. Remove all plant stems and place them in a plastic bag for disposal. Do not tear the stems or leaves because doing so will release the plant toxins into the air.
Dig the plant roots out of the ground with a shovel and place them in a plastic bag for disposal.
Spray herbicide directly onto stems and remaining roots to kill any plant growth that you could not remove by digging.
Repeat the process if any the poison ivy grows back.