Poison Oak

Arthur Rodriguez artrod at ptd.net
Wed Apr 1 07:27:16 EST 1998

Hi John,

I don't really have any advise regarding removing the poison oak other than
by hand to a remote area, but I do have some ways to prevent getting it.

Wear gloves, long sleeves and long pants even when its hot.  Be very
careful when its hot that you don't wipe sweat off of your face or neck
because once you do and you put the oils on that skin the sweat will carry
it on down your body.  Do not go inside or touch anything else until you
are done all you are going to clear.  

When your done clearing for the day take all of your clothes off outside or
just inside the door.  Don't touch anything in your house where the oil can
sit waiting to touch skin.  Particularly don't sit on upholstered furniture
or bedding.  

Throw all the clothes in the wash by them selves.  Even though its a small
load and will waste some water, there are times when necessity prevails.
Wash in Hot water with a strong detergent.  Then take a shower.  You can
buy Felsneptha bar laundry detergent in most grocery stores.  Use this soap
to wash your body and hands.  Its a little harsh but it really gets the
poison oils off of you.  Pay particular attention to wrists, ankles and
spaces where stray matter may have slipped in.

Good Luck

At 07:48 AM 3/31/98 -0800, you wrote:
>My name is John Knapp and am relatively new to this list.  About a year ago
>we bought some property in Redwood Valley, California and are in the
>process of selectively clearing an area for a house and garden/orchard.
>Problem is a large amount of very potent poison oak.  I removed a
>significant amount by hand while the ground was soft, but eventually ended
>up with a delightful rash on both arms and my stomach.  That which I remove
>is tossed on existing stands of poison oak that I do not plan to clear.  I
>also have been using cardboard mulch to stifle any small shoots that I
>missed in the first go around.
>I still have a lot more to remove, some of it in the garden area.  Most of
>the garden area is depleted soil with star thistle being the predominant
>species.  The best soil is near a fallen oak, surrounded by - you guessed
>it - poison oak.
>I have been getting tons of advice, most of it urging selective, topical
>use of Round-up.  Is there something in the permaculture repertoire that is
>any more effective and less lethal than what I have been doing - and a
>reasonable alternative to Round-up?  The only pattern I've managed to
>discern is that poison oak doesn't seem to grow under Madrone trees, but
>the leaves don't seem to be toxic to established plants.
>Any suggestions would be appreciated.

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