Homeowners, tenants and landlords are being warned to watch out for an invasion of Japanese Knotweed.
The bad weather earlier in the spring, which saw more than 60 flood warnings in force across the country, could have helped spread the invasive and destructive weed, which is often found along riverbanks.
During a storm or very wet weather, soil containing fragments of the plant can break loose and travel on river currents up or downstream and into neighbouring land.
Over recent years it has found its way into gardens and will spread quickly. It is particularly worrying for property owners as if it gets into cracks in concrete or brickwork, it can destabilise foundations.
It can also ruin a garden, is incredibly difficult to remove, can delay or prevent a house sale and if left untreated it can cause costly damage to a home.
The weed, which is described by the Environment Agency as “indisputably the UK’s most aggressive, destructive and invasive plant” has been the subject of updated advice and guidance from the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors.
Advice on the government’s website says it takes at least three years to treat Japanese Knotweed. The rhizome can remain dormant in the soil for many years and will regrow if disturbed or if the soil is relocated.
Anyone who sees evidence of the plant on their land should call a specialist in to treat and get rid of it.