A Knotty Problem

The Day of the TriffidsHurrah for the tiny Aphalara itadori coming to these shores to battle the monstrous Japanese Knotweed. Anyone who’s had to deal with Knotweed will know what a triffidian nightmare it is, and its recent spread – like Himalayan Balsam – has been shocking. I’m sure the boffins are right to be confident this sap sucking psyllid won’t do for any native plant species, and on the face of it it’s a really clever solution (a lot more effective and targeted than Eddie Izzard with a pump action shotgun). Have a look at this CABI video, which is a fascinating introduction to using biocontrol against invasive alien plants and includes a section on the Knotweed story. I suppose someone will start selling Aphalara itadori so that people can launch their own private biological offensives too. I do idly wonder though what sort of impact it might have on existing ecosystems. I hope these little chaps are a tasty snack for something bigger that’s not just indigenous to Japan, for example. I suppose it’s possible whatever might predate them here might start to do rather well – perhaps too well… I think I’m prepared to trust the boffins though.