Imagine that you are working in your backyard, pulling out some shrubs when you all of a sudden notice an itch. You don’t think about it much until it gets worse and worse, and this is where you realize that you have been pulling out poison ivy and were exposed to the poison they contain.
The problem is that poison ivy easily blends in with the other shrubbery, making it hard to catch, and once you’ve been exposed, it’s too late. The oil that poison ivy, as well as, the related plants, poison sumac and poison oak contain, will stick to your skin and clothing, and it can spread to new areas by touch.
The poison is still active long after the plant is dead, so the only way to deal with it is to wear protective clothing and gloves when you suspect that there might be poison ivy in your yard.
You should also never burn poison ivy, since the smoke can cause serious respiratory trouble for anyone that breathes it in, whether you or your neighbors.