Even thinking about coming in contact with this plant can get those feelings of itching start to creep in. If you’ve ever come in contact with this nasty bush, then you know the importance of being aware of its existence and effect on you and your body. Learn how to get rid of poison sumac, so you can relax while out in your backyard.
Exploring in the woods and the outdoors is a ton of fun, but if you happen to find yourself in contact with poison sumac, it’s important to know what you should do to get rid of it as well!
Even more importantly is knowing how to get rid of the poison sumac plants that can be hanging around your yard and home. If you think you have these plants in your backyard, it’s important to take the steps to get rid of them before they spread.
What Is Poison Sumac?
Poison sumac can have a variety of forms. It can be a bush or a tree, and is usually not any taller than 6 feet or so in height. The stems and leaves are a bit glossy while the back or bottom side of the leaf has a greenish color to it. The leaves are arranged in pairs.
Another tell-tale sign is the red stems and the small groups of yellow-green, or light pink flowers. Poison sumac bushes tend to grow and thrive in very wet climates. If you happen to live in a swampy area, it’s important to know what you are looking for.
In the fall, these plants turn beautiful colors. But they’re not worth keeping it around your property.
Here’s how to identify it, and the differences between the staghorn and poison sumac.
How To Get Rid Of Poison Sumac
It is possible to rid your home or yard of poison sumac with several different methods. There are chemicals out there that can help to rid your yard of the plant, but you can also use a more natural method.
Pull out the sumac and its roots
Digging out the poison sumac plant is a possibility, but you need to make certain that you are getting out the entire plant and root system when attempting. If not, it will grow again and you’ll never fully rid of it.
If you’re going to attempt this method, make sure you’re properly dressed. You’ll need long pants, long sleeves, and gloves (if you use short sleeves, you can use a pair of long gardening gloves).
After pulling out the poison sumac plants, discard them in a plastic bag. Tie it up well, so you (or a family member) don’t accidentally open it up ad get infected.
Cut it down
Another natural method to get rid of poison sumac plants is to cut plant down to the stem over and over again. You have to do it repeatedly as the plant will continue to grow, every week or two.
If you keep up with it and cut it quite often, it will eventually end up dying off and won’t re-sprout or grow again. This method is more time consuming, taking up to 2 years, but there are less chances to get its leaves and the urushiol oil all over yourself.
What to do if you come in contact with poison sumac
No Rein’s Jewelweed Salve 4 oz the Jewelweed Plant Is Commonly Used for Poison Ivy Oak and Sumac If you happen to come in contact yourself with the poison sumac plant, you might get an allergic reaction. It’s important to know that there are things that you can do to help control the spreading and the itch.
Wash your body with cold water
Just because your body doesn’t start showing signs of a rash immediately, don’t wait! Wash your body with cold soapy water to try to remove any of the oils off that may be lingering.
Warm water can have a reverse effect and actually cause it to spread, because it opens up your skin pores. Cold water and soap is the key to naturally removing the oil from the poison sumac plant.
Don’t forget to scrub under your nails and clean your clothes
Getting a good scrub to your nails and under them is important to make certain that there isn’t any of the poisonous oils hiding underneath!
As soon as possible, remove your clothes that you were wearing as well to give them a good cleaning, too. When it comes to the possibility of spreading poison sumac, you don’t want to take any chances.
How to soothe a poison sumac rash
If you missed a spot and got a poison sumac rash, you can use a few natural ways to get relief:
- use a poison sumac (works for poison ivy and oak too) wash, like this Zanfel dual action formula
- spray a 50/50 solution of vinegar on your rash. Alert: it will burn!!!! But after the initial burn, your itching will go away and your rash will dry out. Apply 2 or 3 times a day.
- apply this soothing healing gel
Now you know how to get rid of poison sumac.
Don’t take it lightly if you come in contact with this bush. Statistics show that it’s less common than the other poisonous plants, but it’s one of the more toxic ones as well.
The plant can be difficult to get rid of, but with the methods above it is possible. Remember that persistence is key to getting rid of the poison sumac plant and also the rash that appears as well.
Do you have poison ivy on your property? Here are some suggestions for removing is safely.
And if you struggle with poison oak, here are 3 ways to get rid of it naturally.