Introducing Japanese Knotweed Detection Dogs

In these unprecedented times, we’ve all been finding different ways in which we can work, and complete the day to day tasks we would usually complete.

Environet UK have revealed that they’ve trained two dogs, Mick and Mack to detect the Japanese knotweed rhizome present in a garden or development. The dogs can ‘sniff out’ the knotweed even in small quantities, and like their drugs or explosive counterparts ‘freeze’ when they detect the invasive plant.

The one year old Red Fox Labrador Retrievers were trained by RFA security, and can now carry out searches a lot quicker and more accurately than humans, due to their incredible noses.

It has been said that dog detection is the most precise method available to determine the presence of Japanese knotweed and can be carried out all year around, even when the plant is dormant beneath the ground.

Nic Seal, Founder and Managing Director of Environment 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.

“A 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.”

Jason Collins, Operations Manager at RFA Security, said:

“Highly trained detection dogs have a long history of working with the police and security services to find drugs and weapons, but increasingly they’re also taking on exciting new roles such as in the health and environmental sectors. Now, for the first time in the UK, dogs will be on the front line in the battle against Japanese knotweed, helping protect homeowners as well as our fragile native ecosystems.”

During lockdown what measures have you introduced which have changed the way you work?

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