This blog post is going to be all about Poison Ivy. Toxicodendron Radicans more commonly known as the dreaded Poison Ivy causes red itchy welts and angry painful rashes. I have been spending lots of time outside in tall grass around fields and beds of Poison Ivy at Minute Man National Park and I can tell you first hand about the terrible effects of coming in contact with this plant’s oils. Poison Ivy can be identified by the “leaves of three”. It can grow close to the ground or be a climbing vine. Usually it grows in clusters, and the climbing vines have leaves with little hairs used to climb and grip. Poison Ivy contains an oil called urushial which is harmless until it comes in contact with human skin. 85% of people are allergic to urushial. It is important to wash the oils off right away with soap and cold water. Products like Tecnu soap wash away the toxic oils on skin, clothes and tools. Oils can linger on clothing, boots, and tools for up to 4 years if not washed properly. It is important to take precautionary measures to avoid the harmful effects of this plant if you know you are at risk of being exposed- such as wearing long sleeves, pants and gloves. When returning from the field, it is important to wash your hands, shower off, and clean your clothes properly to reduce chances of having an itchy reaction.