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Michigan's Invasive Species Community

Knotweed Needs Special Treatment Teams/Businesses

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I know it's controversial, but I have to be true to the information I'm getting from the UK.

  • Knotweed can be dormant in the soil for around 20 years. (according to many sources in the UK, including their Environment Agency)
  • Countless 'knotweed' businesses have been developed in the UK, whose sole purpose is to treat and monitor properties with knotweed infestations.
  • These companies sell their services in 10-year contracts: application of herbicide (roughly 3 years) and then monitoring for regrowth the rest of the 10 years.

Some declare it eradicated after two years of no regrowth, but given the 20-year potential dormancy, this is- in mine and others opinion- not wise.

I think this idea is something we in Michigan should latch on to, and see about replicating in our service areas. 


During the field trip to West Michigan CISMA this year, I heard it over and over: "We just don't have enough people to monitor all this property for knotweed!"

Also, with funding running out and grants not being awarded (among other reasons for dissolution), CISMAs and others who have been treating knotweed for the public run the risk of having poked the bear for a year or two, only to not be there when it rages back in an explosion of growth. (which could leave the problem worse than when the strike teams first arrived- this plant fights back).


I encourage any organization with the ability, to explore providing the entrepreneurial public with opportunities to start an Invasive Species Treatment Business.

I understand the risk and fear of people being out there, 'going crazy' with treatments and things, but I feel that that is where -> WE <- can provide the guidance and support so that it is done RIGHT. Legitimately. (Think: partnerships in the community with business training associations- like ISCBC did with the Aboriginal Business Centre for their event. Maybe DNR/MDARD can be involved to create a 'fast track' program-...hate the name...- to promote this or make it easier to get information on herbicide training/certs...)

They promoted the following:

  • Finding the Entrepreneurial Mindset
  • Goal Setting and Business Planning
  • Financing Your Business and Understanding Cash Flow
  • Business and Financial Administration
  • Market Research and Marketing Your Business
  • Requirements to Start Up and Invasive Species Management Business

And required the following:

* Underemployed resource industry workers

* Interested in starting up their own invasive species service-based business

* Hold a valid Industrial Vegetation and Noxious Weed Pesticide Applicators Certificate

* Aware of invasive species and management issues in the region

*Attendance to Orientation


We CAN'T fight knotweed alone. It will suck up all our resources in a short amount of time.  We need to build an 'army'... for lack of better terms.... A private sector army that HAS the time and resources to watch this stuff for 10+ years at a time. I'm diving into research papers and I keep coming up with the same result: We are going to be overrun by knotweed. (This researcher says forests are going to be a thing of the past because of knotweed: http://gearsofbiz.com/poison-ivy-an-unlikely-hero-in-warding-off-exotic-invaders/196733  The paper is here: https://bdj.pensoft.net/articles.php?id=20577

But we still have time to do something about it. I'm looking forward to working with anyone who wants to chat/come up with some state plans/ideas :)

Here is the link to the course being put on by Invasive Species Council of British Columbia: http://bcinvasives.ca/resources/programs/invasive-species-training/northeast-bc-invasive-species-business-development-workshop/invasive-species-business-development-workshop-dec-5-6


Here is the link to an article about a guy quitting his job to start up a knotweed company WITH DRONES!http://www.dailypost.co.uk/news/local-news/sourge-japanese-knotweed-moves-dolgellau-13852836


And just for some extra fun, here are three FANTASTIC two-minute videos from Invasive Species Council of Metro Vancouver:

 Knotweed video #1 -Intro

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/J99e_rTJ66U" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

 Knotweed video #2 –How it spreads

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ZTgoan0jLnQ" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

 Knotweed video #3 -Handling

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ZzG63ujtCo8" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>



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