A Comprehensive Guide on How to Kill Ivy

Why should you get rid of ivy?

Studies show that 80% of people are allergic to poison ivy. This plant’s sap releases urushiol – an allergen oil which your skin can absorb upon contact. If exposed to this allergen, your skin can react within 24 hours. Even the smallest contact to this plant can cause patches of rash with blisters. That’s why many people are looking for ways on how to kill ivy. What’s worse is that indirect contact with poison ivy can cause just as much reaction as when you have direct contact with it. For example, if you go hiking and your clothes, shoes, or any other equipment touch this plant, you could still have an allergic reaction. Even your pets can also carry the oil and pass on to you. If you have this plant in your garden or anywhere near your property, below are more information on how to get rid of ivy.

What tools do you need to kill ivy?

Removing an ivy is easy. All you need is a trowel or a shovel to uproot it. You can also get rid of it by using chemicals. The best herbicide for ivy are glyphosate and triclopyr. Besides these tools, you also need gears to protect yourself from the allergens. Be extra cautious by wearing long sleeves shirt, pants, boots, and gloves.

How to Kill Ivy?

How to Get Rid of Ground Covering Ivy?

To kill ivy, the first step you need to do is knowing how it looks like. Remember that ivy changes colors. In the winter it is brown, during summer it’s green, orange in fall, and red during spring. Poison ivy has three leaves which are smooth and shiny. They grow low to the ground, but sometimes their vines can climb up a tree or a wall. The urushiol can be present in any of its parts from the leaves to the roots.

If your garden or yard has a few patches of ground covering ivy, you can pull them out and follow them along in the grass. It can be a tedious task, especially if you have a wide lawn area. You can also keep the grass in your lawn up to just about three inches long. This will make the lawn a bit thicker and blot out the ground ivy. Ground ivy grows in open areas but if it has thick lawn to compete with, it will not thrive well. Another option is to dig up the area where the ground ivy grows, When only deep roots are left on the ground, use herbicides to spray on the ground where ivy grows.

How to Kill Ivy on Trees or Walls?

The first step you need to do to kill ivy on trees is to start cutting vines at the base. Make sure you cover every part of the tree’s base as one uncut vine can help the ivy to grow back up again. You can use clippers for the small tree, however, for bigger tree you may need to use a handsaw. As you go through the process, try to avoid making any cuts on the tree itself as ivy’s poison can weaken the tree through the cuts. Repeat the first step at a shoulder level. After doing so, you can then pull out the cut sections of the vines. This step will stop the vines from climbing higher up the tree, stopping them from absorbing any essential nutrients. As a result, the poison ivy will eventually die.

How to Get Rid of Ivy Without Chemicals?

Poison ivy can be very invasive and dangerous to everyone’s health. Thus, it is best to remove them as soon as possible. Here are some tips on how you can remove them safely.

Killing ivy with vinegar

If you are thinking of making an ivy killer spray that is non toxic and safe for the environment vinegar is your best option. Just fill any sprayer with vinegar and spray any ivy infested area thoroughly. Keep in mind that the vinegar can kill other vegetation as well. Hence, you want to make sure that the spray will only hit areas with poison ivy. To make the process of killing ivy faster, you can add salt to the vinegar. It will take about one week or two to see the result. Once the leaves of the ivy start to turn brown, it means that your solution is working. You can repeat this step until you completely get rid of the ivy.

Completely cover ivy with black plastic sheeting

Just like any other plants, poison ivy needs sunlight to thrive. You can do this by covering ivy with black plastic sheeting. Be sure to use black sheets thick enough to block the light from passing through. If you do not have thick sheets, you can also double it or use newspaper below it. Tie each end to the ground to avoid the sheets from blowing away. Check the plants once in a while if there are weeds coming through a hole or the sides and immediately push them back in. To make the process more efficient, you can add mulch on top of the area where the weeds are growing. Just place dead leaves, newspapers, or cardboard on top of the ivy to stop them from absorbing light and air as well.


With poison ivy, you want to get rid of it thoroughly to avoid having to repeat the process or exposing yourself or anyone else from the allergens. This is especially important if the ivy is within your property and you live with kids or pets. Through this guide, you now have more options on how to kill ivy. You can use any of the tips mentioned above to ensure you and your family live in a safe environment where poison ivy does not thrive. If despite these steps you’re still having the same problems with poison ivy as before, it is best to ask help from service providers. They have the tools and knowledge on how to best eradicate them safely.