Reporter: Shannon Samson
New Media Producer: Kerry Corum
If you run into a patch of poison ivy, the itching, redness and rash could be with you for up to a month.
Teaching Naturalist Lisa Hoffman explains, "There's one leaf that sticks straight out at the top and then two that go straight out to the sides. The two that are on the bottom, the easiest way for me to remember is, the bottom leaf tends to have what looks like a thumb notch, however you hold your hand, it looks like a notch that sticks out the bottom that would be the same as your hand."
The itching and misery caused by poison ivy occurs from six to 24 hours after oil from the plant gets on exposed skin. That gives you time to wash off at least some of the oil with soap and water. Remember to clean any tools you were using as well as clothing that might be contaminated.
Hoffman says, "Especially in the fall too. You have to be aware too, that those are poison ivy leaves, because they turn a bright red. So a lot of kids go out and collecting leaves for fall school projects and end up picking poison ivy leaves."
Hoffman doesn't just teach kids the old saying, "leaves of three, let it be." she adds on "hairy rope, don't be a dope."