Family finds house's value has halved after Japanese knotweed takes over garden

When you're selling a home, it's most people's biggest asset and you want it to look its best.

But what if your garden has been over run with a destructive, invasive and almost impossible to eradicate weed?

Our reporter Mike Griffiths meets one woman who's doing battle with Japanese knotweed.

Knotweed invasion: 'Somehow we need to tackle it'

The house in Swansea belonged 92-year-old Audrey Abraham.

She has dementia, and her family are trying to sell the house to pay for her care.

Somehow we need to tackle it or we need to auction the house at a cost that is really a lot less than what it should be fetching in her interest.

Elizabeth Wakeman
  • Japanese knotweed is extremely prolific and can grow up to 20cm in just one day

  • A city the size of Swansea is thought to have about 62,000 tonnes of the plant.

  • It can cost as much as £1,000 per square metre to completely remove it.

One scientist warns people should be careful before attempting to tackle it.

There's a huge temptation to rush into controlling knotweed very quickly... often by cutting it.

Daniel Jones, Swansea University

More: Concerns over Japanese Knotweed growth in Wales

Property experts say when selling a house with knotweed, having a plan in place is vital.

Firstly speak to a chartered surveyor. They will establish if you have Japanese knotweed. Bear in mind there are similar looking plants!

Tony Felice, Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors

Elizabeth and her family now have to decide whether to sell the house as it is or begin to remove the knotweed.

There are no easy or cheap solutions.