How much does it cost to remove poison ivy?
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Poison Ivy Removal Cost Guide
Updated: August 18, 2022
Poison ivy is one plant you want to avoid. Coming in contact with poison ivy can result in anything from a slight itch to severe blistering that send you to the hospital. Allowing poison ivy to grow anywhere that people or pets may come in contact with it is never a good idea. It can be difficult to eradicate and usually requires a professional poison ivy specialist to decide which removal method to use.
Professional poison ivy removal costs $400 to $600. When hiring an expert, you will want to budget about $500 to spray the plants, pull the surface plants from the soil around one tree or approximately 10 square feet of surface area, and properly dispose of the plant debris. You can expect to pay slightly less for professional herbicide spraying of poison ivy plants, costing as little as $300. The price for professional poison ivy removal can be as high as $850 for pulling the plants and roots out of the ground manually.
Poison Ivy Removal Prices
|Cost to Remove Poison Ivy|
|National average cost||$500|
Poison Ivy Removal Cost by Type
You should be aware of two different types of poison ivy, whose removal will cost between $200 and $600 to remove based on the type. The costs to remove these pesky plants may vary depending on how they grow and how long they have been growing. Typically, it is cheaper to remove non-climbing poison ivy because it involves less work. Climbing poison ivy takes more labor, ladders, and other equipment to remove. You can see the costs of each type and what removal entails in the table and subsections below.
|Poison Ivy Type||Removal Costs|
|Non-Climbing||$200 - $400|
|Climbing||$400 - $600|
Non-Climbing Poison Ivy
A professional company charges $200 to $400 for professional chemical treatment. The total price for spraying non-climbing poison ivy plants increases based on the total spread of poison ivy, the amount of chemical solutions needed, and the labor required. Non-climbing poison ivy grows close to the ground and appears more like a bush or shrub than a vine. In many cases, non-climbing poison ivy can be less expensive to remove because it is closer to the ground. Spraying non-climbing poison ivy plants and pulling up the roots is easier in smaller, shorter growth patterns.
Climbing Poison Ivy
Prepare to pay about $400 to $600 to remove climbing poison ivy from a small area and dispose of the leaves and roots. Remember that some contractors charge up to $100 per hour to perform work using a ladder, which climbing poison ivy often requires. Climbing poison ivy is the vine version of this plant that rapidly reaches new heights and grows up on fences, walls, and trees. Due to the fast growth of climbing poison ivy, it is important to completely remove the roots from the ground to eliminate the spread.
Poison Ivy Removal Cost by Location
You can expect to spend between $300 and $850 for poison ivy removal and disposal, depending on its location and the difficulty of removal. Poison ivy grows in many different locations. Some areas require more work than others, resulting in higher removal costs. The location of the poison ivy determines the amount of time and materials needed for removal. In the table and subsections below, you will see more information about each location, the costs, and other factors involved in the removal.
|Plant Location||Removal Cost|
|Yard||$300 - $500|
|Ground Cover||$300 - $600|
|Fence||$350 - $750|
|Tree||$500 - $850|
Removing Poison Ivy From a Yard
A professional charges between $300 and $500 to remove poison ivy from your yard with herbicide spraying. The more poison ivy plants there are in your yard, the more time and labor involved, so the more you will pay in labor and removal costs. If you suspect there is poison ivy growing in your yard, bring in an expert removal company to survey your property and determine how much poison ivy needs to be removed.
Poison Ivy in Ground Cover
Plan to pay about $300 to $600 for using a herbicide to remove a cluster of poison ivy spreading across the ground. If an entire section of your backyard is overrun by poison ivy, increase your budget to cover the extra labor and equipment expenses. One of the most common places for poison ivy to grow is near the ground and close to bushes, trees, and forests. Poison ivy as ground cover may be slightly easier to remove than large vines in a tall tree. The ground cover can be sprayed directly and removed more quickly because of the easier access.
Poison Ivy on a Fence
Clearing poison ivy growing on or near a fence costs $350 to $750, although the final price depends on the amount of poison ivy and how tall the plant has grown. Remember that some services charge $100 per hour just for working on a ladder. If you have a tall fence that has been overrun by poison ivy, you may need to adjust your budget accordingly. A professional removal company will treat the visible poison ivy with chemicals before pulling out what is left of the plant underground.
How to Remove Poison Ivy From Trees
Expect a professional company to charge $500 to $850 to remove poison ivy from a tree completely. Poison ivy vines often pop up around trees and can grow back unless completely removed, roots and all. This process may require a ladder to reach tall vines. Something plant removal companies charge more for in many cases. They may treat the stump with glyphosate, a chemical compound found in weed killer. Manually digging up the roots to prevent regrowth is another option.
Average Cost of Poison Ivy Removal by Method
You will spend between $300 and $850 for the removal of poison ivy based on the method of removal and how much of the weed needs to be removed. Three main methods may be used to get rid of poison ivy in your yard: killing the plants with herbicide sprays, pulling it out of the ground by hand, or a combination of the two. To find out which approach is best for you, check out the pros and cons of each. You will also see more information about the costs in the table and subsections below.
|Herbicide||$300 - $500|
|Combination||$500 - $750|
|Manual||$700 - $850|
Poison Ivy Herbicide
It costs between $300 and $500 to remove poison ivy with a chemical herbicide. While chemical herbicides are the easiest and fastest way to get rid of poison ivy, they only work temporarily. Chemicals only kill surface plants, leaving the roots untouched and able to regrow. One of the major drawbacks of using herbicides to kill off poison ivy is its high environmental impact. Chemical eradication impacts the environment the most. The chemicals leach into the surrounding soil and become dangerous to other plants, pets, and people.
In some cases, a combination approach may be required, which generally costs between $500 and $750. More work than simply spraying the plant, but less than manually removing every plant and root from the ground, the combination approach offers the benefits of both. This approach is effective in most cases and offers less impact on the environment than strictly spraying the plants. However, since some chemicals are used to kill the poison ivy first, it does come with some downsides.
Manual Poison Ivy Eradication
In the case of severe infestation or a desire to avoid chemicals, manual poison ivy removal can be done for about $700 to $850. Considered the gold standard when it comes to getting rid of poison ivy, manual eradication is the most effective. By hand digging every plant and root from the ground, the plant seldom returns. Manual eradication is backbreaking work, however, and takes more time. The impact on the environment is minimal since no herbicides are used.
Poison Ivy Exterminator Cost
Depending on the amount of poison ivy that needs to be removed from the area, the cost runs between $400 and $600, with the average hourly rate running $50 to $75 per hour for tackling larger areas of ground ivy. If the vine has grown enough to require a ladder, there may be an additional $100 charge for that alone. Then, you will also need to factor in disposal fees and travel fees, if they are not included, which run between $25 and $150 per hour. Some providers may also charge by the mile for travel, so inquire about that when getting your estimate.
Properly removing poison ivy takes a certain amount of skill and knowledge. Taking on the job yourself could result in a bad reaction–-and even the return of the plants. Hiring a professional who understands how the plants grow and how to remove them from your property safely results in the most trouble-free eradication. However, not every landscaper is qualified to remove poison ivy. Be sure to inquire whether the crew you want to hire has been specifically trained in dealing with poison ivy and knows how to best remove and dispose of the plants.
Poison Ivy Disposal Cost
A reasonable base price for professional poison ivy disposal is $50 plus the cost of the removal method you choose. The average cost of $400 to $600 to remove poison ivy often includes the disposal because many professionals are required by insurance and other laws to dispose of the plants as part of the job. If not charged as part of the job, it runs from $25 to $150 depending on how much there is to dispose of, how far they have to travel, and other relevant costs. Poison ivy clean-up is an important part of poison ivy removal. If the poison ivy plants are taken out but improperly disposed of, the plant could start growing elsewhere. That is why most poison ivy removal contractors offer removal and disposal services.
How to Identify Poison Ivy
When identifying poison ivy, most people simply look for clusters of three shiny leaves found growing on a vine-like stem. While this is a common way to identify some forms of the plant, you must understand the different stages of poison ivy. You want to avoid coming in contact with it even when it looks different.
Usually growing in clusters of three leaflets (with the middle stem slightly longer than the other two), poison ivy doesn’t always grow in a vine. Some poison ivy resembles a shrub or even ground cover.
Depending on the season and the region in which the poison ivy is growing, the leaves can look somewhat different. Some poison ivy plants feature elongated or lobed leaves with either jagged or smoothed edges (but never serrated).
Poison ivy’s color changes with the seasons. While it is usually green in the summer, the plant appears more reddish, orange, and yellow during the fall and winter months. To make matters worse, poison ivy plants tend to change color and shape depending on the region and season in which they are growing.
To correctly identify poison ivy, watch for several common signs. If you see compound leaves made up of three leaflets that grow along the middle stem and two smaller leaflets located directly opposite one another, you are very likely looking at a poison ivy plant. These plants also have smooth stems without brambles and a slightly waxy appearance that may look shiny.
Is Poison Ivy Dangerous?
Poison ivy can be more than just a nuisance. It can be dangerous. More than 85% of the general population is allergic to it, and about 15% experience dangerous reactions like swelling, fever, difficulty breathing, or infection that send them for medical care. Poison ivy should always be taken seriously. Since the human body considers urushiol to be dangerous, it reacts by increasing the histamine reaction in the body, sending fighter cells to fend off harm. This reaction causes swelling, itching, and redness of the area. While the poison ivy rash itself is not harmful, when scratched repeatedly, it opens the skin to infection.
Another dangerous way of interacting with poison ivy is when the affected person comes in contact with urushiol filled smoke. Inhaled poison ivy can cause swelling of the airway, making it impossible to breathe. An allergic reaction in the digestive tract can also cause serious harm by prohibiting food intake, causing dehydration from vomiting, and even disrupting important digestive processes. Some people have secondary reactions when they come in contact with the oils from another source, such as a pet. Dead plants, stems, and roots are also still dangerous to touch.
Poison ivy treatment generally includes using a topical and/or oral antihistamine that reduces the swelling, inflammation, itchiness, and discomfort of the rash. If the rash is broken open, treating the wound with peroxide and antibiotic ointment is safe to stave off infection. If the rash becomes serious or the effects are internal, it is best to seek medical attention as soon as possible in case of a dangerous or deadly reaction.
What Happens If You Eat Poison Ivy?
One of the most dangerous ways to come into contact with poison ivy is eating it. It is incredibly important to recognize poison ivy with its three leaves and pointed tips. It is better to err on the side of caution and double-check before eating any natural plants. If poison ivy is consumed, it could cause an internal rash and inflammation of the airways, lungs, and digestive tract, which could lead to death if left untreated. Allergic reactions may also occur if you inhale smoke from burning poison ivy. Although animals have a greater level of protection with their fur, dogs and cats may have mild gastrointestinal issues if they ingest poison ivy.
Where Does Poison Ivy Grow?
Maybe you see poison ivy everywhere you look, or maybe you have never seen it firsthand, leaving you to wonder where the plant is hiding. Popping up all across the United States (except Alaska and Hawaii), poison ivy grows close to the ground. Resembling either a vine or a shrub, the plant tends to either hug the ground or a tree. Poison ivy usually does not grow very high, unless it has attached itself to the side of a tree, fence, or wall. The most common places to look for it include trees, stumps, edges of properties where the grass stops, along the base of other shrubs, and amongst other ground covers.
There are two main types of poison ivy: Eastern and Western. The names are deceiving because these two plants can grow anywhere, but their origins were in the Eastern and Western U.S., respectively. Eastern poison ivy can be found as ground cover and is known to climb and crawl. It also appears in vines or shrubs, unlike Western poison ivy. The latter is primarily known for crawling. Some people even consider Western poison ivy to be a subspecies of the Eastern variety. In any case, they both contain the same urushiol oil that causes the reaction.
How to Prevent Poison Ivy From Growing Back
Poison ivy is a stubborn plant that grows fast, so it’s important to stay on top of it and get it removed as soon as you can. One key to success in preventing future poison ivy growth is to remove the roots entirely. If the roots are left in place, and only the top layer of leaves is treated, the plant will grow back easily. Regular chemical treatment of the affected area decreases the likelihood of regrowth. If you have persistent poison ivy growth, it may be worthwhile to consider professional root removal and disposal over cheaper, short-term services.
Poison Ivy vs Poison Oak
Poison ivy is often compared to and confused with poison oak, a woody shrub or vine that may produce a similar allergic reaction. The main difference in the appearance of these two plants is the shape of the leaves. Poison ivy always has three leaves, with the large center leaf surrounded by a slightly smaller leaf on each side. These shiny leaves have notched edges and are typically a vibrant green color. They can turn shades of yellow and red when the leaves change along with the seasons. Poison oak usually has larger, rounder leaves that resemble oak tree leaves, hence the name. Poison oak may come in clusters of three, five, or seven textured leaves with an almost hairy surface.
While the plants are different, the rashes caused by both poison ivy and poison oak are very similar, as they are both caused by the presence of urushiol within the leaves. Poison ivy and poison oak exposure can lead to red, itchy bumps on the skin with inflammation lasting several days. The reaction develops within 12 to 48 hours of exposure and lasts for up to three weeks. The severity of the rash depends on how much urushiol got on your skin.
Additional Considerations and Costs
- Permits and licenses. In most cases, no special permits or licenses are required for poison ivy removal. The one exception may be if the vine has climbed up a tree, requiring longer ladders or even tree removal.
- DIY. Removing poison ivy yourself must be done correctly to ensure that it has been completely eradicated without any adverse reactions for the person doing the work. You can choose a chemical-based poison ivy removal product or find several DIY instructions online using vinegar. If the infestation is severe, it is best to leave it to professionals.
- Guarantees. While every removal specialist is different, most professionals offer a guarantee for their work. Most guarantees run for 3 to 6 months and are included in the base price of poison ivy removal. That way, the specialists will come back out and get rid of any re-emerging poison ivy for free.
- Herbicide use. You may think that using a herbicide to try and kill poison ivy plants before a professional comes is helpful. However, sometimes it makes the job more difficult. Refrain from spraying any chemicals on the plants beforehand, unless otherwise instructed by the removal specialist.
- Prioritize the process. When poison ivy seems to be taking over your property, it can be difficult to know where to begin the removal process. Your removal specialist will tour the yard and help you determine the best process and priority for removal, including if eradication is needed at the roots.
- Never burn poison ivy. Burning poison ivy plants (even dead ones) can be deadly. The oils that cause the allergic reaction mix with the smoke. When the smoke is inhaled, swelling and blistering in the nose, throat, and lungs can occur.
- Do not plant edibles where poison ivy has been. The oils that cause poison ivy to be a problem for most people can linger in the soil for months. Be careful not to plant fruits, vegetables, or herbs in the area for at least 12 months.
- Other dangerous plants. Poison ivy is not the only dangerous plant that could be overtaking your garden or yard. Call for professional help if you discover sumac or poison oak, too. Both can cause serious allergic reactions and need to be removed by a trained professional.
- Pet safe treatments. If you have furry friends at home, you may want to ask your contractor about natural alternatives for poison ivy removal. Most contractors have a pet-safe poison ivy treatment that they use or have available. It usually comes at no extra cost.
- How much does it cost to have someone remove poison ivy?
The average cost to remove poison ivy ranges from $400 to $600, depending on the type of poison ivy present, the severity of the infestation, and the removal method used.
- How do you get rid of poison ivy in your yard?
Several methods can be used to free your property from the dangers of a poison ivy outbreak. While it is possible to eradicate the plant with chemicals and sprays, the best method for removal involves manually digging out the plant’s root system and removing the dead plants from the area.
- What is the best way to get rid of poison ivy?
The absolute best way to get rid of poison ivy is to pull out the plants and then dig up the roots.
- How do I get rid of poison ivy fast?
The fastest way to get rid of poison ivy is to spray it with a herbicide or homemade spray using vinegar, salt, and dish soap, followed by pulling and disposing of the dead plants.
- Does bleach kill poison ivy?
Bleach kills just about any plant. However, vinegar solutions are recommended for weed killing without using harsh chemicals. You should never mix bleach with other chemicals due to the potential for noxious gases to be produced. Also, you shouldn’t put bleach on a poison ivy rash.
- Who removes poison ivy?
Not every landscaper is qualified to remove poison ivy. Be sure to hire only those professionals who have been trained in removing it.
- Does poison ivy die in winter?
The plants you see above ground do indeed die off in the wintertime, but the roots do not. The plants can leave behind oils in the soil, which can cause an allergic reaction, even in colder months.
- Can you get poison ivy from the roots?
Pulling poison ivy plants out of the ground is only the first step to getting rid of it for good. To completely eradicate the plant from a specific area, you must dig the roots out of the ground. Otherwise, the plant will resprout. This is another reason you should never bury the plants with topsoil to get rid of them. Unless you kill the plant’s roots, it will always reemerge.
- How can you remove poison ivy from the skin?
If you realize you’ve touched poison ivy, rinse the affected area as soon as possible. Try soapy water at lukewarm temperature or rubbing alcohol. By rinsing off the oil immediately, or at most an hour after exposure, you may minimize the reaction. Keep in mind that you can transfer the remaining residue on your skin or clothing to other parts of your body or other people. Rinsing off keeps it from spreading. If you have a rag and some rubbing alcohol at home, this shouldn’t cost you anything.
- How can you remove poison ivy from clothing?
Separate clothing with poison ivy stains and put them in the washing machine for at least two wash cycles using strong detergent. If you think there was a lot of urushiol on your clothing, you may need three washes. Hang clothes out to dry in the fresh air to make sure they are thoroughly decontaminated. Once you’ve gone through this process and you’re satisfied that your clothes are free from the poison ivy, you can mix them in with the rest of your laundry.