Blowing our trumpet

A well-balanced article about the biological control of Japanese knotweed was published today in a British newspaper. Most articles about the release of the Japanese knotweed psyllid (Aphalara itadori, pictured) that appeared last year were either dismissive of the idea of releasing a non-native insect to combat another non-native species, often on the grounds that the selected agents will also damage native species. Or the articles just copied bits of press statements.

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Public perception and knotweed biocontrol

In 2010, we commenced with a controlled release of the specialist Japanese knotweed natural enemy, Aphalara itadori, in the UK.  This has been the culmination of many years of project development and intense research and is effectively a first for Europe, at least as far as weeds are concerned.

RT.25.4.05.japanese.knotweed.high.wycombe.concrete.
Japanese knotweed pushing through tarmac in Buckinghamshire (CABI)

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