Ragweed (herbe à poux) and poison ivy (herbe à la puce)
Ragweed (herbe à poux) is not the same as poison ivy (herbe à la puce), although the similarity of their names in French causes confusion. Ragweed looks very different from poison ivy, does not colonize the same environments and does not cause itching when touched.
Ragweed (herbe à poux)
- Annual plant killed by fall frosts.
- The leaves are toothed similar to carrot leaves; they are uniform green on both sides and have 3 distinct lobes.
- Plant with stem and opposite leaves, but the leaves at the top of the stem alternate.
- When ragweed is in bloom, the flowers are greenish yellow, grouped in ears at the top of the stem.
- The plant is 10 cm to 1.5 m tall.
- The plant grows in poor soil.
- The allergenic element is the pollen, which causes hay fever.
- Only allergic individuals experience symptoms.
- Allergic rhinitis (repetitive sneezing, nasal congestion, abundant clear nasal discharge, itchy nose, palate and ears).
- Conjunctivitis (red eyes, tearing, itchy eyes, swollen eyelids).
- Allergic asthma (cough, breathlessness, wheezing).
- Uproot the seedlings manually or mow them before flowering (mowing at the end of July and during the third week of August).
- Use mulch to prevent the weed from sprouting.
- Improve the soil quality (topsoil, fertilizer).
- Sow or plant other plants to compete with ragweed.
- Contact the municipality if you identify ragweed in a field or by a roadside, etc.
Poison ivy (herbe à la puce)
- Perennial plant, which can appear in various forms: bushy, creeping or climbing.
- Shiny foliage, wine red in spring, dark green in summer and multicoloured in fall
- Alternating leaves arranged in three folioles.
- The central petiole is longer than the other two.
- The edge of the leaves can be smooth or relatively jagged.
- Its height ranges from 20 cm to nearly 1 m.
- Contains a poisonous sap which causes inflammation of the skin, even in winter.
- Everyone can react to poison ivy.
- Painful red skin inflammation.
- Strong itching.
- Formation of blisters on the affected parts.
- To have an allergic reaction, the person must have been in contact with the poisonous sap.
- Wearing gloves is necessary at all times when handling the plant and it is very important to avoid any contact with the skin.
- It is possible to destroy the seedling by uprooting it and tilling the soil to eliminate the roots. Repeat the operation as needed.
- Pick up the dead seedlings and place them in garbage bags or bury them very deep in the soil.