Over the past couple of hundred years or so, since we have been travelling the world, we have made some stupid biological and ecological blunders.
The Romans imported Rabbits to the UK as a source of food and we know what they have done to our market gardens. We in turn exported the little blighters to Australia and they are even more of a pest there than here. They got their own back by exporting Myxomatosis to us. Then there was the damn Grey Squirrel imported from Canada at the expense of our own lovely little Red Squirrel. There’s the Mink, various spiders and the African Fighting Bee. I am sure you can think of many more but the new big thing is Japanese Knotweed. I had an enquiry from a solicitor client today asking if there was an environmental report which highlighted the location of this invidious weed. I made enquiries and apparently there is not. According to the Environment Agency it is everywhere. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries our intrepid explorers brought back to this country all manner of flora and fauna for our museums and horticultural centres. A gang of botanists visiting Japan were employing locals to bring specimens of plants to them for examination. They brought the dreaded Knotweed which did not impress the botanists as it was scrawny and twisted so they brought a sample of a hybrid which was must prettier so they kept it for study and brought it back to Britain. This hybrid, like most hybrids, was much sturdier and hardy and the rest, as they say, is history.
However all is not lost. The beast can be defeated although it is a long hard struggle.
There is a chemical that kill just about every living thing including Knotweed and it is contained in a weed killer generally available. The name may be familiar and the top brand although the dearest does the trick. Roundup Probiotic. The leaves need to be sprayed top and underneath and when the plant is obviously dead and withered cut it off and burn it.
DO NOT DISPOSE OF THIS MATERIAL IN ANY OTHER WAY.
The weed will come back so repeat the operation. After three to five years it should be eradicated. Do not dig it up. If left undisturbed it should stay dormant but if it returns sell the house.
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