Japanese Knotweed: Weed Control

Environment Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 30th March 2010.

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Photo of David Drew David Drew Labour, Stroud

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will take steps to reduce the spread of Japanese knotweed.

Photo of Huw Irranca-Davies Huw Irranca-Davies Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) (Marine and Natural Environment)

After careful consideration of the evidence we have agreed to release the highly specialist psyllid - Aphalara itadori - to help control Japanese knotweed. Our intention is that as a long-term measure it will complement other actions aimed at managing this highly invasive non-native plant.

The psyllid will be released this spring at a small number of sites initially, and will be closely monitored before any further releases are made. We do not expect it to eradicate Japanese knotweed altogether but, if successful, it should in time stress the plant and reduce its invasive capacity as well as the effort and cost of managing it.

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