The blight of Japanese knotweed in the UK has lead to the research and development of numerous methods of control. A possible means of permanently attacking invasive non-native species such as Japanese knotweed is the selection of a natural enemy that specifically targets the weed without damaging the ecosystem.
Successful tests have been carried out using tiny plant-eating insects known as Psyllids (Phalara itadori) or Jumping plant lice to determine whether or not they could be a suitable control for Japanese knotweed in Britain. By only posing a threat to Japanese knotweed and a small number of non-native plants the Psyllids may be a strong ally in the war against weeds.
Trials are underway in some parts of England to test how effective the Psyllids are against Japanese knotweed. Although the Pysllids may control the spread of Japanese knotweed, they will not completely rid the UK of this weed otherwise the Pysllids would have nothing left to eat and they would die out.
There is also criticism that by releasing another non-native species then the ecosystem will suffer further. The introduction of the Pysllids may cause an impact on the food chain which may have detrimental effects on the environment as a whole. This is another reason for the trials being undertaken in small, localised areas rather than releasing the Pysllids nationwide.
IWA. Getting to the root of the problem.