The UK Government have sanctioned trials for the biological control of Japanese knotweed in England using Aphalara itadori. Aphalara itadori, the Japanese knotweed psyllid, is a species of psyllid from Japan which feeds on Japanese knotweed (Fallopia japonica).
Huw Irranca-Davies, the wildlife minister, said: ‘This project is not only ground-breaking, it offers real hope that we can redress the balance. These tiny insects, which naturally prey on Japanese knotweed, will help free local authorities and industry from the huge cost of treating and killing this devastating plant.’
Us in the UK can only hope these psyllids really will die out once they have destroyed their hosts (the Japanese knotweed) and that they don’t go on to become pests themselves.In the meantime, if you have a problem with knotweed (or any other invasive plant) or think you have a problem – call us, PLR Ltd, and ask for a site visit.
The specific name for this psyllid comes from itadori (虎杖, イタドリ *), the Japanese name for Japanese knotweed.