Poison ivy grows throughout North America. It grows almost everywhere except deserts and Alaska and Hawaii. Oily resin on poison ivy plants causes an allergic reaction. Poison ivy is very hardy and grows in many different environments and climates. Eradicating poison ivy is challenging because it is very tenacious, and even light contact with skin triggers an adverse reaction. The best way to get rid of poison ivy depends on location and available materials.
Urushiol is the substance in poison ivy resin that causes rashes and other symptoms after contact. Every part of a poison ivy plant, including the leaves, flowers, berries, roots, and stem, contains urushiol. The resin is extremely sticky, so it clings to skin, clothing, and other surfaces. People can touch poison ivy and spread resin to cell phones, doorknobs, and even writing utensils or keys.
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