Boise’s Poison Ivy Problem Is Bigger Than Usual
Now what?! Just when you thought you had a handle on your skin with soap and sanitizer, there's something else to worry about. Poison ivy is growing faster than ever, and there's one big reason behind it.
Poison ivy is one of those plants that grows coast to coast, and in Idaho, it grows in every type of habitat. The most likely places to find it are forest edges and recently disturbed fields, but it can pop up anywhere.
This year it's more abundant than ever, and scientists say the plants are bigger and nastier too. Of course they are. It's 2020. But rather than blame the year, we've got to blame carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere.
A University of Georgia professor thinks increases in yearly CO2 levels are contributing to the quick spread of poison ivy. The plant isn’t mutating or becoming more powerful on its own, but apparently, it's getting some help with increases in CO2 levels.
It's like carbs for an athlete. Plants love CO2 and it powers them, so if there's a lot of it in the air, the plant's growth really takes off. This year, the abundance of CO2 is making poison ivy more poisonous, especially for people who are allergic to it.
When the oils in poison ivy come into contact with skin, it leaves an itchy, burning rash that takes two or three weeks to go away, and it will probably drive you a little nuts before it fully disappears. Okay, a lot nuts. It's hard to leave the rash alone because the painful itch is impossible to ignore, and it can spread if you scratch it. It's a vicious cycle trying to get the skin to heal.
The best thing to do? Avoid it if you can. Click HERE for help identifying it.
And now, back to happy thoughts! It's pumpkin spice season and Christmas is only 114 days away. Things are still okay.