News & AnalysisBiocontrol

Loosing the Louse on Europe's Largest Invasive Pest

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  13 May 2011:
Vol. 332, Issue 6031, pp. 781
DOI: 10.1126/science.332.6031.781

You are currently viewing the summary.

View Full Text

Summary

Japanese knotweed can grow through solid concrete foundations, forcing contractors to abandon infested building sites. In the United Kingdom, damages and removal cost $288 million a year. Last week, the United Kingdom approved the widespread release of one of the plant's natural enemies, a plant louse, or psyllid, called Aphalara itadori. While there are dozens of biological controls already in use against insect pests, this is the first officially sanctioned release of one against a weed in the European Union.