We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Poison Ivy, Toxicodendron radicans, is a vine, sometimes a standing plant, which is native to and common in the entire eastern US. It's a good plant for wildlife, both leaves and berries. It likes edges, roadsides, beaches, barren areas in sun.
Only humans have reactions to Poison Ivy. People vary in their reactions to the urushriol in its sap (and leaves). Some have no reaction, some severe. I am prone to an itchy rash from contact, but Mrs. BD can develop several days of dramatic migrating hives just from patting a dog who has passed through some. Benadryl helps.
Besides patting dogs, a serious danger in Poison Ivy is inhaling smoke from burning it when burning brush. Not good to burn it.
Little-known fact: Poison Ivy is a close relative to the mango. Some people react to mango skin just as they do to Poison Ivy. Me loves Mangos, no problem.
Tecnu scrub will get it off, even if the exposure was longer than an hour ago. Use to have a Mrs BD type reaction, now I just use the scrub. Takes the itch right out of the first site and it becomes a non event.
I read a blog by a guy who was quite susceptible to the rash from poison ivy, so he did an experiment and discovered if you scrub any affected area with soap and water within 20 minutes of possible exposure, you will not break out.
I give my arms a good scrub anytime I come in from walking or gardening just to be safe and I haven't broken out in a long time.
If you can shuck your clothing and bathe completely within about 6 hours of contact, you should escape a reaction. The thing to bear in mind: Plenty of soap. Use a washcloth, scrub with vigour. The oil is very thick and viscous - imagine that you have just worked on your car and are covered with bearing grease and scrub accordingly- - it will take elbow grease to remove it.
Poison ivy gives me itchy blisters for a few days, and I have lots of it to pull this year. Cheap rubbery-grip gloves to pull it, then throw the gloves in the trash, and wash my clothing. Twice.
Easy enough to remove the oil from skin--wash it off with rubbing alcohol followed by washing with Dawn (or other grease-cutting product such as shampoo). Always works for me. I even keep small bottles of rubbing alcohol and Dawn in my vehicles, alongside my tick kits, cuz ya never know.
I was in Thailand a few years ago, and one day when I was leaving the hotel, I heard the sounds of a drummer; but I couldn't see anybody. Then I looked up, and saw that a kid had installed his entire drum kit in a Mango tree. He was up there, having a great time.
I never got poison ivy my whole life until 1 time I did. That was enough. But, it's easy to deal with. Any spirit will take it off so you can use gas, turpentine, mineral spirits, etc to remove it. No need for special products like Tecnu which is just creamy mineral spirits.
Clorox does nothing for it. The rash is caused by the heavy sap on the leaves and vine. It's very much like pine sap. Anyone who wants to experiment should try removing pine sap with Clorox and see where it gets you. You have to use a solvent to get it off. Even mayonnaise or olive oil will work, just slowly.
Never gave me trouble as a kid. Gives me a nasty, blistered rash now. If I even suspect I have had contact with it I shower vigorously with shampoo, then Tecnu, then blast off and nuke it from orbit just to be sure.
I have some ground cover out front when at least some poison ivy will grow every year. I take an "art" type paint brush and "paint" the leaves with full strength roundup. Early one morning I was out front doing that and a local couple were walking by on the road. They got about 15 or 20 feet beyond me and the guy suddenly stopped and said, "No, I can't just walk away, I gotta know," and walked back and asked me what I was doing.
"Oh, some of the leaves here are a shade of green I don't care for, so I'm painting them."
He looked at me in a way that I just couldn't keep from laughing so I explained what I was doing. They always wave and laugh when I see them anymore.