In some areas of Ayrshire, a destructive plant has been spotted known to wreak havoc on homeowners.
Japanese knotweed Grows up to three meters in height, and the roots can reach underground up to 20 meters.
Going into hibernation, from March and April it returns and can destroy pipelines, sewers and even weaken the foundations of buildings.
But Invironet UK Invasive Plant Specialist, here to help by uncovering a number of Japanese knotweed hotspots across the county this spring.
Environet UK Interactive Internet Tracker Revealed: heat map of Japanese knotweed designed to inform homeowners and buyers about the presence of destructive plants and the risks to their property.
Data is generated from more than 50,000 known infections, and they add new observations daily.
Here are the hotspots you need to know how to detect Japanese knotweed and how and why to fight it.
Japanese knotweed is spotted in Ayrshire
In Ardrosan alone there are six cases within 4 km, six more cases have been recorded in Steveston and 16 in Kilwining and around it in the same range.
While Largs himself avoided the complex plant, so far Largs has recorded seven cases within 4km.
There are eight cases in Irvine and Gales and three cases reported in Coffin.
The plant was also spotted in Ayr with three cases, 11 cases in Mossblown and one case in Kamnak within 4 km.
How to detect Japanese knotweed
Not only is Japanese notwood infamous to get rid of, but it’s hard to spot.
Its appearance varies with the seasons, so you need to know how the plant looks at different times of the year.
Euronet says that Japanese knotweed is easier to spot in the spring and summer months.
These are the main features you should pay attention to:
- In the spring there are red shoots, similar to asparagus
- The leaves are thyroid or spatulate
- Stems resembling bamboo canes with purple specks
- Small, creamy flowers develop by late summer
In contrast, when we move to fall at the end of the year, you should look for yellow leaves that wither when we head into winter.
The stems will also change to darker brown before going into hibernation in winter.
Japanese knotweed is often mistaken for other plants, including bindweed, Himalayan balsam, Russian vine and others.
You can learn more about how to identify Japanese knotweed through Environet site.
How to fight Japanese knotweed
Japanese knotweed has a powerful system of roots and rhizomes that go deep into the ground, making it extremely difficult to treat and remove on its own.
Environet recommends that you get professional help to treat a complex plant because failure to remove it can damage and even devalue your property.
Due to the harmful side of the plant it is included in the list of property defects in the RICS Homebuyer Reports and can lead to a reduction in property values by 5-15%.
Environet has identified three solutions to control and get rid of Japanese knotweed:
- Physical removal – excavation and removal of the underground system of roots and rhizomes, ensuring that the Japanese knotweed is gone and gone forever.
- Herbicide treatment is a method of control, as the herbicide can kill immature plants, it is less effective on mature rhizomes, often causing dormancy rather than death.
- Combined methods – a combination of physical removal, herbicide treatment and the use of root barriers is often the best solution.
Specialists in invasive plants also gathered tips and guides for commercial and residential real estate and answered all your key questions via the Environet website.