Poison Ivy & Poison oak

Working in the yard can be a relaxing experience but it can come with an ouch if you are not careful! Have you ever had an itch that just won’t go away after working around the yard? That itch can turn into a rash and cause discomfort and pain.  Normally people experience symptoms on their skin within hours of contact with either poison ivy or poison oak. Did you know that over 85% of the public is allergic to these poisonous plants? In Maryland, poison ivy and poison oak are not only found in the woods and unmaintained areas but also golf courses, public parks, and your own back yard. Both of these plants belong to the same family and they produce a resin (an oily substance) called urushiol.

Avoiding these pesky plants is the best advice but many times people come in contact with them without even realizing it. The best way to protect yourself is to know what the plants look like and look for them before venturing into areas where there is vegetation.

Poison Ivy

Poison ivy has several characteristics that make it stand out from other plants. The leaves grow in groups of threes. They resemble a mitten in shape. In the spring the leaves are reddish in color and typically dark green in summer and turn yellow and orange in the fall. It is a vine that grows trailing along the ground or climbing on trees, plants and anything else in its path.

Poison Ivy

Typical Treatment

If you come in contact with poison ivy a rash or blisters form on the skin. Wet compresses will help soothe the itch and over-the-counter calamine lotion or corticosteroid lotion should help.

Poison Oak

Poison oak is also a vine with fuzzy green leaves. The leaves grow in clusters of three and are toothed with rounded tips. Some poison oak plants will have small white berries attached to the leaves.

Poison Oak

Typical Treatment

Treatment for poison oak is the same for poison ivy.

With summer now in full swing in the state of Maryland both poison ivy and poison oak are flourishing. Be aware of what is growing in your landscape and pay attention to avoid contact with these plants that bite back. 


Use disposable gloves to remove or wash the gloves separately as soon as the removal process is complete. If you are severely allergic hire a landscaper to remove for you.

American Landscaping Inc.

(301) 384-4486


We serve clients in Montgomery, Prince Georges, Howard & Anne Arundel Counties, throughout the Washington D.C. metro area including the following cities and communities:

Ashton MD | Sandy Spring, MD | Barnesville, MD | Beltsville, MD | Bethesda, MD | Brookeville, MD |Burtonsville, MD | Cabin John, MD | Calverton, MD | Chevy Chase, MD | Clarksville, MD | Colesville, MD | College Park, MD | Columbia, MD | Damascus, MD | Friendship Heights, MD | Gaithersburg, MD | Germantown, MD | Glen Echo, MD | Hyattsville, MD |  Kensington, MD | Laytonsville, MD | Laurel MD | Montgomery Village, MD | North Bethesda, MD | Kensington, MD | North Potomac, MD | Olney, MD | Poolesville, MD | Potomac, MD | Riverdale, MD | Rockville, MD | Savage, MD | Scaggsville, MD | Silver Spring, MD |Somerset, MD | Spencerville, MD | Oakmont, MD | Takoma Park, MD | Wheaton, MD | West Laurel MD | White Oak, MD | Berwyn Heights, MD | Cloverly, MD | Glenwood, MD | Lanham, MD |  Landover, MD | Fulton, MD | Washington D.C.