picture of a Japanese knotweed plant - how to control it?

Japanese Knotweed Control: How to Tame the Invasive Beast

Finding a fast-growing plant on a property that resists killing-off attempts is worrying, but there are effective Japanese knotweed control methods to get rid of it.

In the latest case of Japanese knotweed control to hit the headlines, a husband and wife in their 40s have launched legal action against a pensioner who sold them a holiday home in Cornwall 15 years ago. It’s because the highly invasive plant has started growing in their driveway.

When Adam and Eleanor Smith bought the property in 2002, Japanese knotweed was not growing on it, but — unknown to them — it was present on nearby land. Over the years, it crept towards the holiday home and began spreading its roots and shoots all over their driveway. They claim it has knocked £50,000 off the value of their property, which they paid £200,000 for.

As is fairly typical with anyone who finds a rapidly growing weed they may not know much about, the Smiths tried everything they could to kill their leafy invader, but to no avail. Endless rounds of herbicide spraying and cutting off the shoots did nothing to deter its rapid growth, as it kept springing back up and growing even faster. Like many homeowners with this potentially serious problem, they feared damage might be caused to their property — an altogether valid concern.

Japanese Knotweed Control: What to Do?

The Smiths are certainly not alone in the UK in their alarm over Japanese knotweed on their property. Across the nation, it costs around £166 million a year in Japanese knotweed control measures, as well as devaluations caused to properties. If you're looking to buy a home with the non-native plant (it's from Japan, if you hadn't guessed, and was brought to the UK in the 19th century as an ornamental curiosity) you may have a hard time, too. Mortgage providers won't usually approve an application if a surveyor's report shows Japanese knotweed is on the property. They will require that professional extermination be carried out.

Efforts to deal with Japanese knotweed yourself are futile. Here at Environet, we know all too well how incredibly frustrating it can be for homeowners who can't get rid of it on their own. Listen to what Graham Ellis of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors has to say about it:

“The most important thing is to get advice and to manage the situation properly. People do try to cover it up or cut it back, but the problem with Japanese knotweed is that it will continue to reappear. If it’s cut back it will only come back all the more vigorously,” he said. "If you have any concerns it’s best just to get a specialist in. It may cost you money in the short term but in the long term it could save the value of your house.”

Eradicating Japanese Knotweed for Good

So perhaps the Smiths, and others in their precarious situation, would be better off investing a relatively small amount in professional Japanese knotweed control. It might be better than spending time, money and effort in suing the person who sold them their home — which, after all, at the time of the sale 15 years ago, did not have it on the property.

They could choose a herbicide treatment that takes a while to be effective, or for quicker and better results, bring in experts like Environet, with our tried-and-tested dig-out method. It's swift and gets rid of the entire Japanese knotweed root system, which is the engine of the plant and keeps sprouting new shoots when it's cut back above ground.

When you call in the Japanese knotweed control experts and they get rid of it, it’s not a case of hoping for the best; that it won’t grow back and cause havoc all over again. The best Japanese knotweed control companies operating in the UK today provide iron-clad guarantees that, even if it does reappear, they will carry out additional eradication work at no extra charge. It’s usually a five-year insurance-backed guarantee, which can be upgraded or extended to ten years.

This way, you’re firmly back in control of your property.

To find out more about what kind of Japanese knotweed control measures might be best for your property, contact the experts at Environet today. Receive FREE, no-obligation advice from the country’s leading experts on how to tackle your problem.


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