Insect war on Japanese knotweed

Thursday 25 March 2010, 15:29

Martin Aaron Martin Aaron

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It looks as if the hunter will finally become the hunted as plans are given the go ahead for a trial involving the psyllid insect - Aphalara Itadori from Japan.

In Japan, the insect is a natural predator of Japanese knotweed, as they feed on the sap of the plant, stunting it's growth.

It sounds great in theory as I'm sure many of you will agree. I managed to fill three large bags with roots in my garden last spring...and I still couldn't get rid of the damn knotweed, twirling it's way up my roses! ;)

I think we all agree - it's not only a real blight on the landscape but a real threat to biodiversity in Wales.

However, the question I want to know is this - If the trials are successful and the insects are introduced into the food chain - what happens when all the knotweed has been eaten?

What will they eat next?

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Read more on this story on BBC News.

Find out more about invasive plants in Wales.


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    Comment number 1.

    Maybe we should predate it ourselves!
    Apparently, it makes good soup or wine, and the tender spring shoots are similar to asparagus.

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    Comment number 2.

    My worry on this story is that we appear not to have learnt a lot from history about introducing Animals (insects are animals,thought I'd better get that in quick)to any country where they will not have any predators.
    Should we not remember what happened to Australia,Rabbits bred in their Billions and now they have the dreaded Cane Toad,both introduced by Humans,both rampantly out of control.
    Be fair,we introduced the Knotweed,its out of control,will we next have an uncountable amount of insects (which may acquire a taste for Roses), I wonder just whether we have learned a lesson,or are we about to open Pandora's box yet again.


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