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Few plants inspire as much dread as Japanese knotweed. This invasive species can make it difficult to sell your house, and even if you get rid of it, there's a chance the plant will grow back again if there's so much as a single fragment still in the soil.

Another oft-cited reason to fear Japanese knotweed is the damage it can cause as it grows in search of moisture and nourishment. Some descriptions would have you believe that Japanese knotweed is a rampaging triffid-esque plant monster, capable of demolishing any structure that gets in its way.

Well, you can rest assured that Japanese knotweed won't be knocking over any buildings in the near future. What it can do is exploit existing weaknesses in a structure - for instance, we often see Japanese knotweed growing through cracks in brick walls and concrete paving.

Japanese knotweed damage

Japanese knotweed photo by Gordon Joly (licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0)

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Garden spades in the soil

We usually treat Japanese knotweed by spraying the leaves with herbicides. A typical knotweed treatment programme consists of multiple herbicide applications over a period of 3 years, followed by a 2-year monitoring period to ensure that the problem is under control.

If time is of the essence, excavation is a quicker (but more expensive) alternative to the above. Heavy excavation machinery is used to dig up the affected area; this may be combined with spraying for optimum results.

Learn more about our Japanese knotweed treatment plans

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Buying a house

Buying a house is a stressful experience at the best of times, but discovering that your new home (or a neighbouring property) is affected by Japanese knotweed can turn your move into a complete nightmare.

But don't panic! Japanese knotweed is certainly a setback, but you don't necessarily have to wave goodbye to your dream home just yet. Here's some expert advice from the Japanese knotweed specialists here at Taylor Total Weed Control...

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The TA6 form's Japanese knotweed question was revised in February 2020. Now, when selling a property, you can only answer 'no' if you are certain there is no Japanese knotweed within 3 metres of the property boundary.

In this blog post, we'll take a closer look at the recent TA6 form change and what it means for buyers and sellers.

Filling out a form

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 Goat with grass in its mouth

As many British homeowners are sadly aware, Japanese knotweed is an invasive plant species that's strong enough to grow through concrete and cause significant damage to buildings and roads.

For this reason, the presence of Japanese knotweed can reduce a property's value by as much as 20% - it's notoriously difficult to sell a house with Japanese knotweed, and getting rid of it often takes multiple applications of herbicide over a number of months.

Wouldn't it be nice if there were a species of animal willing to eat our Japanese knotweed problems away?

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Japanese knotweed

Finding Japanese knotweed in your garden may fill you with dread - especially if you've read all those horror stories about the damage this invasive species can cause and the effect it can have on property values.

But don't panic! There are steps you can take to halt the spread of Japanese knotweed and limit its impact on your home.

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Caerphilly Castle in South Wales

South Wales is one of the UK's worst-affected areas for Japanese knotweed growth.

That's according to an article published in YourMoney.com, which names South Wales alongside the likes of Bolton, Bristol and London.

These are apparently the places where this invasive species is at its most prolific.

Our Japanese Knotweed Removal Service >

 

Which parts of South Wales have the most Japanese knotweed?

According to a Wales Online article originally published in July 2019, the locations in South Wales with most Japanese knotweed infestations were:

  • Llanelli
  • Caerphilly
  • Swansea

That said, it was Conwy - in North Wales - that topped the Wales Online list in 2019, with a jaw-dropping 395 cases within a radius of just 4 kilometres.

 

What should I do if I find Japanese knotweed on my property?

First of all, make sure it actually is Japanese knotweed. There are several similar-looking plants that may be mistaken for knotweed at a glance - visit our Japanese Knotweed Identification page for advice.

If you do have Japanese knotweed on your property, WE STRONGLY RECOMMEND SEEKING EXPERT ADVICE instead of attempting to get rid of it on your own. Japanese knotweed has a 'rhizome' root system, and a tiny fragment of one root can turn into a whole new plant. (This should give you a pretty good idea how the plant became such a widespread problem in this country.)

Read More: How Do You Get Rid of Japanese Knotweed?

If you are worried about Japanese knotweed, please feel free to get in touch with Taylor Total Weed Control and request a FREE knotweed survey.

Photo from Pixabay

excavated soil

Japanese knotweed is an invasive plant species that's notoriously hard to control and treat. There are lots of different methods you can use to stop the spread of knotweed, but homeowners and gardeners are always on the lookout for new, effective methods to try.

One of the main hurdles faced when treating Japanese knotweed is making sure that the plant visible above ground and the roots and shoots underground are completely destroyed. After all, this is the only way you can prevent the knotweed problem from coming back in the future. A lot of the time, knotweed technicians remove excavated land knowing full well that remanence of the invasive weed could cause a problem later down the line, but there are very few ways of effectively killing the entire plant.

Researchers are trailing a soil treatment that uses high temperatures to eradicate the plant roots before the excavated soil is taken away from the site. It makes perfect sense when you think about it, plants require optimal temperature conditions if they’re going to thrive. Put them in an environment that’s too cold or too hot and they won’t be able to grow or develop at their usual rate.

Testing the effectiveness of heat on knotweed

The study carried out by two researchers; Van Gelder Aannemingsmaatschappij and Van den Herik Zuigtechniek involved soil from six known knotweed infestations being strained and treated using revolutionary mobile heating apparatus.

After the soil was heated, the researchers studied it for seven weeks to monitor whether any knotweed would grow from it or not. The results showed that straining and heating the soil reduced the number of vital fragments by an impressive 99%!

This is a soil treatment that is not yet being used in mainstream knotweed treatment but could really help to reduce the spread of knotweed from excavated soil in the future. Researchers indicated that this method would need to be combined with a suitable aftercare plan to make sure that no surviving shoots would cause problems later down the line – something that would need to be considered carefully before technicians tried this method.

If you have a Japanese knotweed problem that needs treating – take a look at the different treatment methods we offer. Alongside excavation and removal programs we also offer herbicide application programs to rid your property of this invasive weed for good!

Japanese knotweed plant

Japanese knotweed is known for causing havoc in gardens across England and Wales. This aggressive invasive species spreads fast and can cause structural damage to homes and buildings. Its presence may even decrease the value of your home or discourage mortgage companies from lending to you, so it is vital that you tackle the issue properly.

 

What is Japanese Knotweed?

Japanese knotweed is a strong and fast-spreading perennial plant. While not native to the UK, it can be found in numerous locations throughout the country. It spreads quickly due to its aggressive rhizome root system - these rhizomes can grow up to 4 metres deep, meaning they require treatment and disposal by specialist teams to remove the plant.

Japanese knotweed can look very similar to other decorative plants, so be sure to read our Japanese knotweed identification guide and learn what to look out for in your garden.

 

Who is responsible for removing Japanese knotweed?

In England and Wales, it is a criminal offence to encourage the growth of Japanese knotweed or allow it to spread. Clearing the weeds as soon as possible is key if you don't want to damage to your property or run into legal trouble.

If Japanese knotweed is on your property, it is your responsibility to organise its removal. The plant can be cleared via excavation or through a herbicide treatment. It is strongly recommended that you arrange this with a professional, qualified specialist, as there are many regulations governing how to dispose of Japanese knotweed.

If there is Japanese knotweed in a neighbour's garden, you should discuss this with them if possible. It is not a crime to have Japanese knotweed on your property; however, if the knotweed spreads to your land, you may be able to take legal action against your neighbour for creating a nuisance.

In 2014, a law was introduced allowing local governments to penalise people for not taking adequate steps to eradicate Japanese knotweed. Talk to your local council's environmental team, who will have the authority to encourage your neighbour to address the problem if necessary.

Read More: What to Do If Your Neighbour Has Japanese Knotweed

 

I'm renting a property - is it my landlord's responsibility to get rid of Japanese knotweed?

Check your contract to see whether you are responsible for the removal of Japanese knotweed. Some landlords may put clauses into contracts that agree the tenant is responsible for removing invasive plant species. They may assist you with the task due to the aggressive nature of the plant and the potential damage to their property.

Once you have figured out who needs to clear the weed, it is time to act. Taylor Total Weed Control's treatment options start from £750 (plus VAT), making tackling this problem easy and affordable compared to other weed removal specialists. Our team of technicians will be able to assess the extent of the damage and best advise you on how to address the issue with a free survey.

Call us today on 029 2039 7554 to arrange a free weed removal consultation, or get in touch for more help and advice on clearing Japanese knotweed.

Request a Free Japanese Knotweed Survey >

knotweed sniffer dog

We all know that dogs are capable of some remarkable things, they can lead the blind, aid police officers and provide therapy for sick patients. Well, the talents of the canine don't stop there! Did you know they can also detect Japanese knotweed?

A Start-Up Company in Ireland

Helga Heylen founded her start-up company back in 2018 and has been training dogs to detect Japanese knotweed with incredible accuracy. Heylen claims that one of her sniffer dogs is able to detect the Japanese knotweed rhizomes even if they haven't broken the surface of the soil yet!

Using their powerful noses, the dogs are able to identify the exact location of a developing knotweed problem. Heylen currently has three knotweed detecting dogs working for her, one is a purebred labrador and the others are labrador-beagle crosses. 

These amazing sniffer dogs can really transform the way that Japanese knotweed is detected and treated. Rhizomes as small as a fingernail can be laid dormant under the soil for a number of years before developing into a fully-fledged knotweed nightmare! If dogs can help commercial property developers, home and business owners to quickly find and treat the problem, it could prevent a huge amount of structural damage later down the line. 

How Do These Dogs Work?

Unlike humans, dogs don't need to be able to see the knotweed to know it's there! They have a keen sense of smell that can identify rhizomes several metres under the ground. They can quickly move through over-grown terrain and don't need bright lights to work. This means they can quickly survey abandoned areas of land that humans simply couldn't access on foot. 

Doggy Danger

While these dogs might sound like miracle workers to those of you with a knotweed problem, there are some people who do not feel so positively about them. While working in Belgium, one of Heylen's dogs was given poisoned food after it detected knotweed at the site of an upcoming commercial development. The discovery of the knotweed by the talented pooch delayed the development project, which was a source of frustration for investors. 

Since then, security for the dogs has been tightened to make sure nothing like this happens again. They sleep under security cameras and are kept indoors near to the handlers. Hopefully, they can continue to carry out their work unharmed from now on! Heylen said: "You know it's a good thing when it excites like-minded people, which is certainly the majority and really scares others".

If you think you could have a Japanese knotweed problem on your hands, we can't provide sniffer dogs, but we can provide a FREE expert survey and Japanese knotweed treatment plan.

 Request a FREE Survey >

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