A Knotty Problem
Hurrah 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.