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How to Nip Poison Ivy in the Bud

How to Nip Poison Ivy in the Bud

Spring is one of the very best and easiest times to rid your land of poison ivy in a safe, environmentally friendly way.

The key is catching the plant when the leaves are new and shiny.

Here is an easy formula for killing new poison ivy growth using simple kitchen cupboard ingredients:

Soap has been used for centuries as an all-purpose herbicide.

Note: Buy a liquid soap and not a detergent. Health food stores have liquid soaps, such as Dr. Bronnerís Pure-Castile Soaps.

Soap Spray

4 tablespoons liquid soap
1 quart water

Combine ingredients in a bucket, mix, then transfer to a spray bottle as needed.

Note that this recipe will kill neighboring vegetation also, so focus the spray on the poison ivy.

Here is another alternative solution to herbicides: Goats! For some reason, Spanish and Angora goat breeds absolutely love poison ivy. Make sure you get those particular breeds; most others don’t like poison ivy for their main meal. I would love to have goats, but my family won’t let me… !

Here is the homemade poison ivy vegetation killer spray that I’ve found is safe and effective if you are reading this when the leaves are no longer shiny:

Poison Ivy Vegetation Killer
1 cup salt
8 drops liquid detergent
1 gallon vinegar

Combine the salt and vinegar in a pan and heat to dissolve the salt. Cool the vinegar, add the detergent, and pour some of the liquid into a large spray bottle. Spray the vegetation. (You can also just pour the mixture onto the weeds.) Refill the spray bottle as necessary. Note that this formula will kill all the vegetation, so make sure that you are only spraying the plants you want to kill. If you need to use a lot of this spray, avoid spraying it near wells, as the salt can leach into your water supply.

Read more: Nature, Natural Pest Control

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Annie B. Bond

Annie is a renowned expert in non-toxic and green living. She was named one of the top 20 environmental leaders by Body and Soul Magazine and "the foremost expert on green living." - Body & Soul Magazine, 2009. Learn Annie's latest eco-friendly news on, a website dedicated to healthy and green living.

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Better Basics for the Home

A thousand formulas for less toxic living...everything from soft scrubbers to tile now


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12:05PM PDT on Sep 24, 2013


6:59PM PDT on Sep 8, 2013


7:03PM PDT on Sep 2, 2013

Thanks for the info!

3:44PM PDT on Aug 30, 2013


5:30AM PDT on Aug 27, 2013

Interesting Stuff !
Thank you for Sharing this!

7:25AM PDT on Aug 24, 2013

Thanks for posting.

7:04PM PDT on Jul 15, 2013

Thank you.

11:43AM PDT on Jun 20, 2013

thank you but need information on poison oak, got it all over a few years ago, not fun at all

3:23PM PDT on Jun 14, 2013

It would be nice if you had a photo of Poison Ivy to accompany the article.
That is not, perhaps poison oak?

11:54AM PDT on Jun 5, 2013

Thank you.

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