The presence of Japanese knotweed deters 78 per cent of people from buying a property, new research has revealed.

Herts Advertiser: The knotweed heat map for the East of EnglandThe knotweed heat map for the East of England (Image: Archant)

69 per cent of those quizzed were concerned that it cannot always be removed while 56 per cent were worried that removal would be too expensive or too time consuming (57 per cent).

The YouGov survey, commissioned by knotweed removal specialists Environet UK, found that misinformation was rife with regard to the pesky plant, which thrives during the summer months.

First introduced into the UK in the 1850s from Japan as an ornamental plant, knotweed has now taken the place of number one on the Environment Agency’s list of the UK’s most invasive plant species.

Some plants can reach an astonishing three metres in height, spreading rapidly with the ability to push through asphalt, cracks in concrete, driveways, cavity walls and drains in its quest for light and water.

Those who are unfortunate enough to discover the weed on their property are under legal obligation to prevent the spread. However, only half of people know about this, and only one in five are aware that they could receive an ASBO if the plant invades their neighbour’s property.

Using a digging out method, knotweed can now be completely removed within a matter of days. Once the issue has been tackled and an insurance backed guarantee has been secured, there are no difficulties in obtaining mortgage finance and property sales can proceed unhindered.

Nic Seal, MD and Founder of Environet said: “Japanese knotweed can be dealt with once and for all. There is hope for buyers who may have otherwise walked away from their dream homes.”

Chartered Surveyor Philip Santo, Director at Philip Santo & Co, added: “DIY remedies can make matters worse and should not be attempted.”