First day of summer marks peak poison ivy season


BLACKSBURG, Va. – The official start of summer means the peak of poison ivy season.

We spoke with a professor at Virginia Tech about the pesky plant. He says peak season for poison ivy runs from June to July when it’s actively growing. 

Poison ivy can be identified by the old saying "leaves of three let it be" but it can also take on many different forms. For example, in a small research area on Virginia Tech's campus, the plant is growing on the ground, as a shrub and as a massive vine on a tree. 

"It's a little bit of a trickster. It can really take on a lot of different forms and it can be a little bit challenging," John Jelesko, associate professor in the school of plant and environmental sciences.

Jelesko said poison ivy does not have spines or thorns. 

If you suspect you’ve come in contact with poison ivy or poison oak, wash your skin with soap and water within the first 10 minutes to an hour after exposure. That can help prevent an outbreak.