Contact Us Host an Event Volunteer Join

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Wednesday - November 12, 2008

From: Woodbridge , VA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Pests, Poisonous Plants
Title: Topical treatment for poison ivy rash
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I would like to know a topical treatment for the poison ivy rash

ANSWER:

There are lots of over-the-counter medications and home remedies for treating poison ivy that you can find by Googling "poison ivy remedy".  Mr. Smarty Plants does not have a "silver bullet" remedy but can offer this advice in brief: 

1.  Learn to recognize poison ivy and avoid it. ("Leaves of three; let it be.")

2.  If you inadvertently come into contact with it, thoroughly clean the area with rubbing alcohol and then soap and water.  There are even commercially available neutralizing agents (Google "poison ivy cleanser") that you can carry with you to use in the field if you come in contact with poison ivy.  This will at least reduce the symptoms. 

3.  Read this same advice from wikiHow in more detail.

4.  If you have a severe reaction to poison ivy, see your physician for medication to relieve your symptoms.


Toxicodendron radicans

Toxicodendron radicans

Toxicodendron radicans

 

 

More Pests Questions

Snails in my flower beds
May 06, 2009 - I live in Kingwood, Texas (north of Houston). I have been inundated with snails in my flower beds in my front & backyard. I really didn't want to use a pesticide, but they were eating all of my flo...
view the full question and answer

Falling Balls from an Oak in Kingsland TX
May 25, 2015 - I have a large Live Oak in the back yard, with St. Augustine grass under it. It is April 3, 2015. The leaves have fallen and now little tiny round balls are falling. I am hearing a popping noise und...
view the full question and answer

Infestation of shiny red and blue/black beetles
May 27, 2014 - I have an infestation of 1 cm long shiny red and blue/black beetles. They have red heads with black eyes and antenna, 2 (?) red spots on their sides, and a bluish black body. Before I kill them with ...
view the full question and answer

Organic means for ridding garden of stinging ants
April 18, 2008 - Dear Mr. Smarty Pants, I have a butterfly garden that is filled with native plants the butterflies LOVE! However I have a colony of red ants that have moved in. I need to trim some of the more inva...
view the full question and answer

Problems with Live Oak in Boerne TX
April 24, 2011 - I had my large Live Oak trimmed last year. This spring there seems to be a problem with leaf growth. Most leaves are small in nature and appear to have been attacked possibly by bugs. Many of the bran...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.