There’s so much to think about when you’re looking to move home or get on the property ladder for the first time. You have to worry about getting together a deposit, what neighbourhood you’re in and how you can move all of your stuff to a new place. The last thing you want to consider is that there is a menace out there looking to devalue your property. But this is the reality that many have to live in due to the presence of Japanese Knotweed. Japanese Knotweed is a non-native plant from the Far-East as it’s name suggests, that, like many foreign species, can cause havoc with local indigenous species. In this case, it’s not as much the wildlife that is under threat but British homes. Let’s investigate what it is that makes Knoweed so destructive, and what the impacts are:
How Japanese Knotweed can affect you
Japanese Knotweed can have disastrous consequences for you and those living around you. It is a fast-growing, persistent and constant threat to the integrity of your property structure. It’s not just discovering whether or not it’s there but even trying to get rid of the pest is an ordeal. Here are some of the biggest issues that it can cause:
- Property value can be slashed, reduced by 10-15% generally, but far more in some cases.
- Aside from the up-front property value loss, there is the cost of treatment materials or other lesser-discussed costs.
- The affect on mental health due to stress or stigma from others can be great.
- Responsibility is a major issues. If you allow Knotweed to spread you may become liable.
- An estimate 1 – 2% of UK households may be at risk.
- Estimated damage of £150 million annually.
- Even for fishing; Japanese Knotweed can be a bane, obstructing rivers and streams and detrimentally affecting water quality.
- Knotweed can invade and encroach upon existing plant species making it harder for them to grow.
What does it look like?
Japanese knotweed has some similar weed-like characteristics in general. It has green broad leaves and grows mostly lower down but it has other features. It’s stems are long, hollow, bamboo-like tubes that can grow tremendously depending upon the season.
To add to this, the roots underground can extend for several metres, another reason why it can be so hard to dispose of. Where it blooms, white or pale flowering occur which can set it apart from other plants. It spreads violently, so one tell-tale sign might be the sheer area of land that it occupies. In the winter it is less prevalent, but in the Summer months, it can grow by as much as 10cm a day!
How to get rid of/maintain Japanese Knotweed
You’ll first want to trim over the surface vegetation to make the roots accessible. Then you can use a desired weed killer to finish the job. People can find that the process of gradually ridding your property of this particular weed can take 3 or maybe 5 years, so it’s not quick. Other less effective methods may remove the visible trouble quicker, but over a shorter term and not permanently. Overall, if you find you have Knotweed, you may end up dealing with it far longer than you could have anticipated.