I Mowed Over Poison Ivy Vines – Is It Still Toxic?

Q: I threw poison ivy vines out in the yard and mowed over them. Now I’m afraid that I spread it throughout the yard. Do I avoid going out in the backyard for the entire summer?

A: I am not a botanical toxicologist but I have had lots of experience with poison ivy. In my experience, chopping up the vine and leaves will expose the reactive ingredient, urushiol, to sunshine, oxygen, and water, all of which decompose the resin into less toxic components. My bet is that the chopped leaves and stems will not be a problem for more than a week. If you are worried, simply don’t walk around the yard in your bare feet.

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