3 Poisonous Plants Michiganders Should Try to Avoid This Summer
If you're planning on doing a little camping, hiking, or simply working around the yard this summer, There are three poisonous plants that you should try to avoid in Michigan. However, you won't be able to avoid these plants if you don't know how to identify them first.
A fun summer vacation in Michigan can turn not-so-fun really fast if you happen to encounter the state's most poisonous plants.
What Poisonous Plants Should You Avoid This Summer in Michigan?
Poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac are a hazard year-round but the majority of people come into contact with them during the summer months.
Not everyone is allergic to poison ivy though. According to Web MD, up to 85% of Americans are allergic to poison ivy, leaving 15% in the clear of any reaction. It's actually the oil (urushiol) on the plant that people are allergic to, not the plant itself.
I'm extremely allergic to poison ivy and for some reason, I come into contact with it almost every year. Even if I protect myself with gloves and long sleeves, I still end up getting it.
Like poison ivy, poison oak can be found in many areas. Typically this plant can look like a shrub but it can also grow like a vine in shaded areas. Poison oak is very similar to poison ivy, it can have shiny leaves and also irritate the hell out of the skin.
Again, it's not the plant that is poisonous, it's the nasty long-lasting oil called urushiol that causes the body to itch like crazy, plus a blistering rash after it touches your skin. Even slight contact, like brushing up against the leaves, can leave the oil behind just like poison ivy.
Poison sumac is less common in Michigan than poison ivy and poison oak and is more commonly found in southern states especially Florida. It's normally found in wet wooded areas in the southern parts of Michigan. Technically it looks more like a tree than your typical plant. If you do come in contact, your rash could become more severe than poison ivy and poison oak.
If you come into contact with any of these, there are over-the-counter remedies but I suggest going to the doctor right away. If it's severe, you can get a steroid shot or pills, which really helps. Also, remember not to scratch the infected part of your skin no matter how bad it itches, you'll only make it spread or the bacteria from under your fingernails can get into them and cause an infection.
This is a great video with tips on how to avoid, prevent, and outsmart these poisonous plants.