The land around our home is overrun with poison ivy. It is everywhere; a vine has even wrapped abundantly around the tree that holds the end of the clothesline so we can’t fix the rope pulley that is broken there. After a few years of passively accepting that I can’t hang clothes on the line, or that various family members get terrible rashes every summer, I’ve decided to do something about the scourge.
I won’t ever use herbicides out of concern for health and the environment, so I’ve been trying out various “down home” remedies. This one really works.
Before I tell you about what I’ve found that works, let me tell you of another alternative solution to herbides: 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:
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.