Labradors become UK’s first dogs to detect Japanese knotweed
The dogs (pictured) have been specially trained to detect Japanese knotweed stem or roots, even in small quantities hidden beneath the ground.
Japanese knotweed is a weed that spreads rapidly, in the winter the plant dies back to ground level but in the summer the bamboo-like stems emerge from the roots deep underground.
It can reach a staggering 12ft and can be difficult to clear, requiring a lot of determination to remove it by hand or eradicate it with chemicals.
Nic Seal, founder and managing director of knotweed specialist Environet, said: ‘Japanese knotweed is a growing problem for homeowners in the UK and misrepresentation cases are on the rise, where sellers have answered dishonestly about whether their property is affected or deliberately concealed the plant.
‘It’s not uncommon for knotweed to be cut back prior to a survey and I’ve even seen cases where the seller has placed a membrane horizontally in the ground over a knotweed infestation and laid a lawn or pathway over the top.
‘An Environet dog detection survey is the only way to say with high certainty that a property or site is clear of knotweed, offering peace of mind to buyers that there will be no nasty surprises further down the line.’
Read the full article in The Metro here
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