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"Fun" Facts about Poison Oak, Ivy, and Sumac

Updated: May 20, 2022

85% of humans are allergic to poison oak, poison sumac, and poison ivy, so it's something most of us have or could deal with at one point in our lives. So besides it is annoying and dangerous in serious cases, what else is there to know about these nuisance plants?

  • Poison ivy is related to mangoes.

  • Symptoms can occur 1-3 days after exposure

  • It is NOT contagious, even by scratching you won't spread it on yourself (but try not to scratch, it can cause scars or infection)

  • Dead plants carry the ingredient Urushiol, the chemical that causes reactions, for up to 5 years.

  • Only humans and very few primates are allergic to urushiol, so you're pets are fine. However, if Urushiol remains on their fur, you are still susceptible to symptoms.

  • Poison ivy changes colors with the seasons

  • Chemicals are just about the only way to remove the plants if the entire root system can't be removed.

Avoid the itching by knowing how to identify these plants before you trek into the woods.

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