It can be hard to identify poison ivy. When it comes to the plant there's an old saying, "Three... let it be" but experts say there's more to it than that.
"They can have a smooth edge. They can have a coarsely toothed edge or they can almost be lobed so there's a lot of different forms that can take. Also, the plants themselves have different forms," says Ward Upham, Kansas State University Horticulturist.
Poison ivy grows on the ground, in a shrub and climbs trees.
It does have three leaves but there are other plants with three leaves that won't give you a rash.
So here's what to watch out for—three leaflets with the middle leaf on a longer stem.
The other two leaves are directly attached to the main stem.
And it grows on a brown branch—not a green one.
More than 90 percent of people are allergic to poison ivy.
"A poison ivy rash is different from a bug bite in that it will start out just being red and irritated and then blisters will actually raise up and people say those blisters will spread and they must be spreading the oil, but really it just takes awhile for the reaction to occur," says Upham.
There is a lotion called Ivy Block that can be used before going into the woods.
Poison ivy plants can also be removed by pulling it out of the ground or using herbicide specifically for killing brush.
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Wednesday, August 27 2014 2:48 AM EDT2014-08-27 06:48:05 GMT
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