Poison ivy has earned its name: This pesky plant can take over, covering yards in a deceptively pretty vine that can literally make your skin crawl. But before taking up the weed whacker yourself, keep calm and call a professional.
One of the best poison ivy removal services can safely eradicate even the worst weed in town, helping ensure families, pets, and property are kept free of poison ivy now and in the future. This guide will help you find the right company near you to remove the poison ivy from your property.
- BEST OVERALL: TruGreen
- RUNNER-UP: Weed Man
- BEST AGGREGATOR: Angi
What to Consider When Choosing One of the Best Poison Ivy Removal Services
Before hiring a poison ivy removal service, there are several factors to take into consideration including proper identification of poison ivy, the specific type of poison ivy removal services required, scheduling, service area, and pricing. Keep these points in mind when looking for the best poison ivy removal service near you.
Poison Ivy Identification
Poison ivy removal services will first identify that the plant is indeed poison ivy. While many have heard the warning “leaves of three, let it be” to describe poison ivy, with so many plants being three-leaved, this isn’t always the most helpful way to identify the plant. Before venturing into any major eradication, proper identification is essential.
Poison ivy is common throughout North America. There are two different types of poison ivy: eastern and western poison ivy. Western poison ivy grows as a sprawling shrub and is native to Canada and most of the contiguous United States except for the southeast, New Jersey, Delaware, and California. Traditional poison ivy grows as a climbing vine. Poison ivy doesn’t typically grow in California or Hawaii; poison oak is more common there.
Poison ivy leaves have a longer middle stalk with a glossy or dull surface. Greenish flowers and whitish berries may also grow from the plant, depending on the time of year. Poison oak vines grow as a shrub with leaves similar to poison ivy, but the leaf edges are more rounded and look like oak leaves (hence the name). Poison oak flowers are small and five-petaled. Poison sumac is another poison plant that’s generally found in swampy areas, and it’s actually a tree that can grow to about 30 feet tall. The leaves are pinnate, meaning they have a pointed tip and resemble a feather. Each leaf has nine to 13 leaflets, unlike poison ivy and oak, which have three leaflets. All three plants contain a toxic oil called urushiol, which causes an itchy rash for most people when it comes in contact with their skin.
Because identification can be tricky, removal specialists should be able to accurately identify the plant and remove it effectively.
Scheduling and Service Area
Most poison ivy removal companies allow for advance scheduling via phone or email. In general, it is typical to arrange a consultation in advance so that a company can first identify the poison ivy and provide an idea of how long it will take to remove, including what type of removal methods will be required.
There’s no benefit for customers to look into hiring a company that may not serve their area. Even companies with a nationwide presence may not have a branch conveniently located near a homeowner’s property. Before vetting any of a company’s services, customers should establish that the company serves their area.
There are two primary removal methods for poison ivy: chemical treatment and physical removal. Chemical treatment frequently involves the use of artificial or natural herbicides. Homeowners may be used to asking their lawn maintenance company if weed treatments for the lawn are safe for children or pets. But since most homeowners will already be trying to keep their kids and pets away from the poison ivy, pet- and child-friendly formulas may not be a priority for customers unless the poison ivy is in a high-traffic area of the yard. While chemical treatments can initially seem very effective, they don’t always kill the plant’s root system, meaning that the poison ivy roots in the ground can grow back.
Physical removal of the plant includes removing both the surface plants as well as the roots, and this is the most surefire way to eradicate the poison ivy completely. However, physical removal may not always be possible due to the plant’s location. For example, if the plant is covering a large area or has grown in areas that are difficult to reach, chemical intervention may be the only way to control it. Most professionals will use a combination of physical and chemical removal techniques for an efficacious yet practical approach.
Location in Yard
Poison ivy is a vine, and though it can sometimes grow along the ground, it also likes to climb. This means it can often find its way high up into a tree or even up gutters or onto rooflines. If this is the case, it can be more difficult to remove and can therefore be more costly. Special equipment including ladders will be required, and the job may also take longer to complete than for poison ivy that is only creeping on the ground.
Poison ivy can cause an allergic reaction and rash to most people who come in contact with it. Protective gear worn during its removal usually includes gloves, goggles, and disposable suits. If the ivy has climbed into higher areas and workers need to climb on ladders or access a roof, a poison ivy removal service may need to take additional safety precautions.
Quotes and Pricing
Poison ivy removal costs average between $300 to $700, so customers will want to get pricing quotes up front. Most poison ivy removal companies may be willing to provide customers with quotes via phone or email, but they will likely require a site visit for the most accurate quote. A detailed estimate can be offered once the company is able to see the area where the poison ivy is growing. Rates can fluctuate depending on factors such as difficulty of the job, spread of the ivy, and method of removal (chemical, surface removal, root extraction, or a combination).
If a company offers a guarantee, it tells the customer that it stands behind its work. Many poison ivy removal companies offer a guarantee, but each guarantee will have different criteria. For instance, a company may offer a guarantee for a set period only, such as 48 hours, or it may offer a guarantee only for annual subscribers to their services. Broadly speaking, a satisfaction guarantee means that the issue will be rectified at no cost to the customer or a refund will be provided. Any guarantee is always at the company’s discretion.
Poison ivy removal is a specialized field, so it’s important that a company is available to answer common homeowner questions. Whether that’s scheduling concerns or questions about the process, having customer support via phone or online is something to look for in a poison ivy removal service.
Our Top Picks
Poison ivy grows in nearly every state in the United States, but not every lawn maintenance company can remove this pesky, persistent weed. Here are our top picks.
Why It Made the Cut: TruGreen uses a dual-method removal system for effective poison ivy removal, plus near-nationwide services make the service both high-quality and convenient.
With locations in 48 states and Washington, D.C., TruGreen provides poison ivy removal using a highly efficient dual method which involves both the use of chemicals on mature plants and the physical removal of young plants. This helps to ensure effective removal of poison ivy plants.
TruGreen offers a satisfaction guarantee, though it’s unclear whether the guarantee applies to all customers or just customers with annual plans. However, the guarantee signals that TruGreen stands behind its methods for weed eradication and lawn care. TruGreen offers a wide array of general lawn, yard, tree, and shrub care, making it possible to bundle services. Customers will find the website easy to navigate, and customers can obtain instant quotes, access booking, and make payments through the site. Customers who prefer doing everything from their smartphone can schedule services through TruGreen’s convenient mobile app.
- Scheduling: Online, phone, mobile app
- Service area: 48 states and Washington, D.C.
- Quote process: Instant online quote
- Guarantee: Satisfaction guarantee
- Effective dual-method poison ivy removal
- Straightforward instant quote, booking, and online payment
- Easy-to-use mobile app available to schedule services
- Service professionals widely available in 48 states and Washington, D.C.
- Unclear guarantee information
Why It Made the Cut: It’s all in the name: Weed Man technicians are pros at tackling all weeds, including poison ivy, and they offer pet- and child-safe chemical options.
Offering poison ivy removal and weed control in 37 states plus Washington, D.C., Weed Man specializes in using safe chemical weed-control products to effectively remove poison ivy. Customers will find that Weed Man works with the seasons for weed removal, applying chemicals for broadleaf weeds such as poison ivy only at peak germination. As a result, depending on the time of year, customers may find the company will suggest they wait for an application. However, the chemical treatment will then be more effective at keeping the poison ivy from spreading, and customers will likely require fewer repeat visits to tackle the invasive weed.
As part of its satisfaction guarantee, Weed Man offers reservice visits within 48 hours to resolve any situation the customer is not satisfied with. In addition, the company offers customers an extensive online lawn-care library and a comprehensive FAQ section to answer any questions.
- Scheduling: Online, phone
- Service area: 37 states and Washington, D.C.
- Quote process: Online quote
- Guarantee: Satisfaction guarantee
- Pet- and child-safe chemical weed-control products
- Reservice visits completed within 48 hours
- Comprehensive FAQ section and lawn-care library
- Poison ivy removal may not be available year-round
Why It Made the Cut: Angi provides access to local, vetted professional landscapers in every state and Washington, D.C. through a user-friendly website.
Customers can search Angi by location to find poison ivy removal services nearest to them. Although customers will need to enter their name, phone number, and email in order to browse local services, once they do so they will gain access at no cost to providers in every state and Washington, D.C.
Customers then simply search by ZIP code and type of service. The quote process is online and the website is streamlined and easy to use, putting customers in touch with vetted professionals in their area. Customers can obtain quotes from multiple professionals to ensure they’re getting the best price.
- Scheduling: Online
- Service area: 50 states and Washington, D.C.
- Quote process: Online quote
- Guarantee: Varies by provider
- Customers can filter by project and choose from local professionals
- Customers can obtain quotes or bids within minutes
- Streamlined and user-friendly website and app
- Comprehensive resource center organized by project type
- Name, phone number, and email are required to browse local services
- Persistent follow-up emails and calls
For near-nationwide availability and an effective dual-treatment system for fighting poison ivy, the best overall award goes to TruGreen. Weed Man is a reliable runner-up choice, especially if pet- and child-safe chemicals are a customer’s priority.
How We Chose the Best Poison Ivy Removal Services
To determine the best poison ivy removal services, we researched dozens of companies across the U.S., focusing on companies with a multi-state presence. The final list evaluates relevant factors for each poison ivy removal company, including services offered, scheduling, pricing, removal methods, and satisfaction guarantees.
Before You Hire One of the Best Poison Ivy Removal Services
Although removal of poison ivy may at first seem like a simple job, it can quickly become more complicated. Poison ivy is quick to grow back and overtake an area, so it’s critical that all parts of the plant are removed, including the roots. Leaving part of the root system in place means that the plant could grow back.
A customer may want to decide in advance if chemicals are an option. If there are pets or children in the home and the poison ivy is in a prominent place in the yard, any chemicals used should be safe for use around pets and children. In addition, it may be worth it for a customer to talk to more than one removal service to get opinions about the best removal methods. Effective, practical removal methods may vary depending on the time of year and the state of the plant.
If a customer is considering a greater landscaping design makeover, calling in a contractor from one of the best landscaping companies as part of a consultation may be a step to consider before beginning the removal process. Planting certain plants, including edibles, is often avoided in areas where poison ivy has grown.
Cost of Using One of the Best Poison Ivy Removal Services
Poison ivy removal costs can fluctuate depending on the type of treatment used. For an herbicide treatment of 10 square feet of plants, expect to pay about $300. For a treatment that involves the spray of plants, pulling of surface plants, and disposal of plant material for the same square footage (10 square feet), you can expect to pay about $500. For manual removal, which includes removal of the surface plants and the roots as well as disposal of the plant material, expect to pay around $700 for 10 square feet. For tricky places, such as a poison ivy vine that’s grown up a tree, expect increased costs, which are usually billed at around $50 to $75 per hour.
The Advantages of Hiring One of the Best Poison Ivy Removal Services
Hiring a poison ivy removal service holds many benefits for customers. Because the volatile oils on poison ivy are on both the stems, vine, and leaves, it’s easy for the oil to pass from clothing, toys, and pets onto skin. Having poison ivy professionally removed means peace of mind for customers who want to enjoy their property without worry.
- Customers reclaim the use of land that was inaccessible.
- Customers avoid getting poison ivy rashes.
- A trusted professional can typically take care of the job in a day.
Every homeowner will run into different issues with poison ivy removal. Here are some of the most common questions.
Q. How much does poison ivy removal cost?
On average, poison ivy removal costs between $300 and $700 per 10 square feet. Prices may fluctuate due to the location, extent of the infestation, time of year, and removal methods.
Q. Do poison ivy removal services offer annual plans?
Yes, many poison ivy removal services will offer annual maintenance plans. However, the best poison ivy removal companies will ensure that the weed is eradicated thoroughly and quickly, so with luck, you won’t rely on a service to return and kill the same weed again and again.
Q. When is the best time to remove poison ivy?
Catch it small or in the fall. Poison ivy is best to tackle when the plant is small and hasn’t had time to grow extensively or develop a deep root system. But if you can’t get it while it’s an immature plant, the fall is the best time of year to remove poison ivy for two primary reasons. The leaves turn a bright red in the fall, making it really easy to see. And in the fall, the plant starts to shed its leaves and prepare for winter, so it is more vulnerable to horticultural treatments.
Q. Does anything kill poison ivy instantly?
Chemicals work the fastest and may appear to kill the ivy instantly, but they do not actually kill the roots, which means the ivy will grow back the next year. The fastest way to kill poison ivy is to dig it out from the ground.
Q. Can you kill poison ivy naturally?
Yes, there are several natural remedies for killing poison ivy. The hands-down most effective way to remove poison ivy is to dig out the root system, which requires no chemicals. Smothering is another chemical-free method, which involves covering the plant with a tarp so it can’t perform photosynthesis. Some natural herbicide recipes include mixing salt, dish soap, and water to create a spray, but methods like these require multiple treatments.
Q. Can I cut down poison ivy?
Yes, you can cut down poison ivy, but you will need to dig out at least 8 inches of the roots in order to prevent it from growing back.
Q. How can I prevent poison ivy from growing again?
The most effective way to prevent poison ivy from growing again is to use a multipronged approach which includes applying a natural herbicide, removing the plant (both surface and roots), and then routinely inspecting for regrowth. Hiring one of the best lawn care services to keep poison ivy and other weeds under control is one of the most effective ways to keep poison ivy from growing out of control again.