His wife knew someone who used saltwater to kill some young pines in his dad's yard.
"The only problem with this, according to the Internet, is that nothing will grow in that spot for years to come. It is just dead ground. This is recommended on the Net as a last resort," Jordan explained. If you've got a spot where you don't want to plant anything for a while, this might be worth a try.
Jordan suggested a "potion" sold at Loop Pharmacy in St. Albans "that will stop the itch almost instantaneously."
"It has xylene, menthol and some other stuff in it. It is very cool when it goes on. It really works. The stuff is kinda pricy, about $10 a bottle. The saleslady at Loop told me that the road maintenance people for St. Albans come in and get it all the time," he said. Sounds great. I'll check that one out, too.
Several pharmacies must concoct "potions" to help with this itchy problem. Wonderful Debbie Di Filippo wrote:
"Just last summer was my first encounter with poison ivy. Someone told me about 'shake medicine' made at Trivillian's Pharmacy in Kanawha City. It definitely works."
I think they make some form of this lotion at Fruth, as well. It's the one my son likes, and it works for him.
One of the smartest women I know, Rita Wilson, weighed in on the issue:
"Tecnu really works. If you wash with it after exposure to poison ivy, it removes the oils. You'll never see even a trace of a rash. I used to mail-order it from Burpee's. In recent years, I've bought it at Green's Feed and Seed.
"My brother-in-law is extremely susceptible to poison ivy. When we were all much younger, my husband and my brother-in-law went fishing somewhere on Blue Creek. After returning to Michigan, Dave had such a severe case of total body poison ivy that he spent several days covered in a prescription potion and Saran Wrap. The next summer, when he and my sister visited again, my husband and Dave went fishing on Blue Creek once again. Dave ended up walking through chest high poison ivy. I had him take my trusty bottle of Tecnu to the shower with instructions to use it all over. He didn't get even a trace of a rash."
Dot Henry of Charleston agrees with Rita:
"This has worked for me and my family. At the drugstore, buy Tecnu and after being in 'wild' areas, scrub yourself with this product. I use a small hand brush and really scrub it in - even after a rash. I also use an antihistamine gel to help with itching," Dot explained.
Well, I'm ready to go tackle the poison ivy again. The only thing better than all of this advice from friends would be if they would just come on over and pull the awful stuff out for me!
Sara Busse is a Charleston resident and a Master Gardener. E-mail her at sjbu...@gmail.com.