Poison Ivy can be a real problem for people in Upstate New York because it can be found anywhere and there are different varieties. It can be spread with contact, or even contact from clothing or a pet. In fact, experts say never burn poison ivy to get rid of it as the smoke can be inhaled and that can be fatal.

Poison Ivy causes blisters and an itchy rash that can spread anywhere on a person's body and in some cases, it's bad enough to cause hospitalization.

Here are three sayings to help you remember: "Leaves of Three, Leave them Be," "Longer Middle Stem, Don't Touch Them," and "Harry Vine, No Friend of Mine."

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Web MD describes Poison Ivy as "the only one that always has three leaves, one on each side and one in the center. They're shiny with smooth or slightly notched edges." 

Now, to help people determine what is and isn't poison ivy, there are two ways to help detect the poisonous plant, and just about any other plant out there. The Apple App Store has an app called Plant Snap which can be downloaded to your phone and with just a simple picture, it can identify poison ivy, along with thousands of other plants, vines and trees.

Here's another trick. The newest version of Apple IOS has an awesome feature that does the same thing. When you take a picture of a plant or leaf, go to Photos and select the photo. Swipe up on the photo and and you'll be able to click on "Look Up" and when selected, it will automatically tell you what kind of plant you just photographed. believe it or not, it's pretty accurate.

Screenshot by Bill Keeler
Screenshot by Bill Keeler

How to Kill Weeds - Safely

If you want to kills weeds in your back yard, but you'd rather not use cancer causing weed killers that also hurt the environment, there's a home recipe that really works. It's a combination of either vinegar, Dawn, and sugar or vinegar, Dawn, and salt.

I've tried it and it really works. As a cancer survivor, I feel much better spraying this around my pants and sidewalks than the stuff that's proven to be harmful.

DIY Weed Killer 

•1 gallon white vinegar

•2 cups epsom salt or table salt (sugar can also be used)

•¼ cup Dawn dishwashing soap


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