We know that warmer weather means the return of mosquitos and ticks. But there's also something else we have to worry about, poison ivy.

One of my favorite things to do when the weather is warm is to hike and find a comfy place to set up my hammock.

The other day I was at Lake Lansing Park North and went to set my hammock up in my usual spot and noticed a ton of new greenery.

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I'm not going to lie, I really had no idea what poison ivy looked like, I just remembered the saying "Leaves of three, let it be."

I considered not setting up my hammock because I was afraid of poison ivy and then I remembered I had PlantIn!

PlantIn App/Erica Gray
PlantIn App/Erica Gray

It's an app that helps you identify plants and assists you in caring for your own plants. I originally downloaded it so I didn't kill the mini palm tree I got as a gift but it came in handy.

All I had to do was snap a picture of the plant I was worried about and wait a couple of seconds for it to be analyzed. Lucky for me, it wasn't poison ivy.

Identifying Poison Ivy

According to the Detroit Free Press and a study published by the National Academy of Sciences, the growth of poison ivy has increased due to high levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

Did you know there are two different plant species referred to as poison ivy in Michigan?

Poison ivy and the Virginia creeper are found in our state. Poison ivy has three leaves and a Virginia creeper has five.

Poison ivy can also have different features. Some look like they have serrated edges or "thumb-like" lobes while others appear shiny and smooth like this one.

Mr. Poison Ivy/YouTube

According to the Michigan State University identification guide, there's also Eastern and Western poison ivy.

Eastern poison ivy mainly resides in the lower half of the peninsula and Western poison ivy is in the Upper Peninsula. There are parts of Michigan that have both, you can see a map here.

I don't know about you, but one of my favorite parts of fall in Michigan is the leaves changing. Did you know that some leaves on both Western and Eastern poison ivy turn red in the fall? Be careful!

For more information on dealing with poison ivy and other poisonous plants visit the Detroit Free Press' website.

Check out this video for more ways to easily identify poison ivy.

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