1) Go get a goat!
Poison Ivy and poison oak can be found throughout North America, and maybe even in your backyard. Depending on where you live, poison ivy can be a notorious invader, especially when it comes to taking over your garden. If you are looking for an effective, eco-friendly (albeit not especially practical) way to get rid of poison ivy/ oak, goats will do the trick! They can and will eat as much poison ivy/ oak as they want without any ill effects. If you would like any vegetation cleared,(namely poison ivy and oak) you can count on goats to gobble them up( *possibly along with your entire garden). As a pet foster parent of two goats, I can personally attest to this. The truth is: Goats are poison ivy/ oak gobblers!
2) Poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac are all the same plant, just different names, right?
Wrong. This is a myth. While poison ivy, oak, and sumac are all part of the same plant family known as anacardiaceae, they are different plants with unique identifying features. A major common thread between them, however, is that they all produce the skin-irritating urushiol oil.
3) Are mangoes a no-go?
The truth is, mangoes are in the same family as poison ivy, oak, and sumac. Since the sap of the tree and rind of the mango contain urushiol (the oily resin that causes skin rashes), touching mango tree leaves, bark, and other parts that have urushiol could cause contact dermatitis. Thankfully though, most individuals who are sensitive to contact with urushiol can eat mango fruit without issues, since the pulp of mango does not contain urushiol.
4) Does poison ivy “scratch and spread?”
Scratching blisters that have developed on your skin will not spread the rash. After all, the urushiol is what causes the spread of poison ivy, oak, and sumac, not the blisters! However, due to other concerns, scratching is not recommended.
5) Poison oak and oak are family, right?
No! They are not in the same family. However, poison oak leaves do have somewhat of a resemblance to oak tree leaves, hence their name. Next time you stand beside a beautiful oak tree, don’t be afraid to lean on it and/ or enjoy its shade. It won’t bite or give you poison oak, I assure you. 🙂