January 31, 2015

Warnings to stay clear of poison ivy

Poison Ivy

Poison Ivy

Department of Natural Resources officials are reminding people to keep an eye out for poison ivy this summer.

The plant can cause some nasty rashes if left untreated. DNR invasive plants coordinator Kelly Kearns says repeated exposure makes it more likely you’ll get the rash.

The plant can grow in different forms — ground cover, small shrub, a climbing vine, or it can even look like a small tree, but Kearns says it always has three pointy, shiny leaflets. She adds, the plant’s oils cause an allergic reaction.

Exposure to the plant can cause nasty allergic reactions in most people. Officials recommend wearing long pants and socks while hiking to prevent contact. If you do start getting a rash, be sure to wash yourself and your clothes to prevent any further spread of the oils that cause the allergic reaction.