Local News

Poison Ivy Woes? Blame Fran

Posted June 11, 1997 12:00 a.m. EDT

— Seems Hurricane Fran left us with more than destruction. She also left behind ripe conditions for a bumper of greenery. The problem is, it's a crop everyone would rather do without.

Poison ivy, the plant that causes many people to break out in an itchy rash, thrives on the edges of wooded areas, in those borderline areas between sunlight and heavy shade. Since the passage of Hurricane Fran through the state, there are more of those areas available. For gardeners, that can present real problems.

Gardening expert Gil Decker says there have been many unusual weeds around since Fran came.

Poison ivy always has three waxy, jagged leaves on each stem. The rash it causes comes from oil secreted by the plant. Traditional treatments can bring some reliefafter the fact, but now there are other products around that can be used to prevent infection. One of them is called Ivy Block.

Pharmacist Richard Schultz says people who are sensitive to the rash-producing plants should use such a product as a precaution.

If you see poison ivy spreading through your yard, be careful how you handle it. Decker says use gloves and be sure to get the roots out if you pull it up.

Decker says he likes a product called Tech-New, which is a poison oak and ivy cleanser used before the fact. Decker says it's available in area drug stores.

Photographer:Joe Frieda