NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — People in Long Island City, Queens have been dealing with an itchy problem.

A patch of poison ivy was growing on a fence owned by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, and close to a busy sidewalk. Residents said they complained about it for a while.

But then on Thursday, CBS2 demanded answers and got action.

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In the concrete jungle that is New York City, nature is usually treasured, but not when it comes to poison ivy.

(credit: CBS2)

“We pass by it all the time, so it was really scary,” resident Jane Ransan told CBS2’s Christina Fan.

Most people who walk down Jackson Avenue in Long Island City were oblivious to the patch of leafy green flourishing on the Long Island Rail Road fence. It turned out to be poison ivy, and those who learned about its identity had as violent a reaction as touching the blister-inducing plant.

“I’m going to cross the street from now on,” Maria Fonseca said.

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The poison ivy was growing for weeks, about as long as some neighbors were complaining. Fan covered the story on the CBS2 News at Noon and the MTA finally responded by sending a crew to trim the vines. Some of the leaves had poked out from the fence by more than a foot.

“Especially if someone is walking with two strollers, double stroller, that’s it. You’re going to be walking, bumping into it,” resident Lidiya Marchanko said.

Poison ivy is reddish in the spring, green in summer, and orange in the fall. The leaves grow in groups of three and are pointy at the tip. It is illegal to have it grow on a property in the city.

“I think a lot of things the city should be cleaning up. This is a very family-friendly area, and a lot of things are not family-friendly around here,” Marchanko said.

The MTA said it will be sending another crew at a later date to spray herbicide on the other side of the fence where the poison ivy is rooted.

If you suspect you’ve come in contact with poison ivy, wash the area with warm soapy water or rubbing alcohol to remove the plant oils that cause the allergic reaction.

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