Knotweed: Louse Let Loose
6 April 2010
For those that did not see it, there is news that an Asian insect is to be let loose to see if can stop the spread of one of Britain's most invasive weeds, the Japanese Knotweed.
First introduced by the Victorians Knotweed is a tenacious plant and can be found in many areas. Growing up to three feet a month with roots that go six feet deep it has proven difficult to control.
Scientists are introducing a psyllid louse, a sap sucking predator in a 'controlled' way in the hope they can find a solution for the many local authorities and industry from the huge cost of treating and killing this plant.
However, there are concerns that the introduction of the predator may affect other wildlife and other shrubs. Scientists have tested the pest on over 90 types of British plant including crops and garden shrubs. They have stated that it will only eat its host plant and once the Knotweed has been destroyed it then dies out.