Tag Archives: Japanses knotweed in Britain

Jumping lice to fight knotfeed?

In a plan to use one non-native species to combat another, DEFRA is considering releasing jumping lice to fight battle against Japanese knotweed. The non-native sap-sucking insect would be released under licence to tackle the weed, which causes serious damage to buildings, roads and railway lines; while driving out other plants; and eroding river banks. Knotweed was originally introduced as an ornamental plant the early 19th century. It now lives unfettered without predators in the countryside. The Indepedent

Japanese knotweed is often considered Britain’s most invasive plant species.DEFRA notes: “The species also causes problems in terms of flood management. It increases the risk of riverbank erosion when the dense growth of the plant dies back in the autumn exposing bare soil. It can also create a flooding hazard if the dead stems are washed into the streams and clog up the channel. A fragment of root as small as 0.8 grams can grow to form a new plant.”