Poison Ivy – Natural Enemies?

Q: Poison ivy sure has a lot of friends that help it hide in my back yard. Does it have any enemies?

A: I’ve never seen a poison ivy leaf that seemed to have been eaten by beetles or caterpillars.

Goats eat the leaves without apparent harm but there aren’t enough itinerant goats available to make a dent in the poison ivy population.

One source says poison ivy berries are eaten by birds, raccoons, and other animals. Some birds, such as the Northern Cardinal and American Goldfinch, also use the vine’s thread-like hairs to build their nests.

Tiny mites cause leaf galls but they don’t seem to hurt the plant much.

As with mosquitoes, the usefulness of this vine seems less than its pestiferous nature.

goat cropped

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