Using insects to combat invasive Japanese Knotweed

There is a stand of Japanese Knotweed (Fallopia japanica) across the street from our house (seen above). It’s virtually its own neighborhood. A series of steps were begun to eradicate it, but state funding ran out, and now the colonizing shrub has rallied (and I think I hear it laughing).

From Europe comes news of that region’s introduction of its first non-native biological control: the insect Aphalara itadori, a natural predator of Japanese Knotweed from its native range of eastern Asia. Like the successful introduction of beetles (genus Galerucella) in the U.S. to curb Purple Loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria L.), research shows the Aphalara restricts its attack to the target species and presents little invasive threat as compared to the known hazard of run-amok knotweed. Read more here.

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