Surveys using dogs trained to sniff out Japanese knotweed

Mick and Mack

Meet Mick and Mack, the first knotweed detection dogs trained in the UK

A detection dog survey is the most accurate way to determine if Japanese knotweed is lurking hidden beneath the ground or has been deliberately concealed. Working alongside our team of surveyors, Environet’s highly trained Labrador Retrievers have a vital role to play in determining the presence of knotweed where it may not be visible to the naked eye.

Home buyers can find out if the property they wish to buy is knotweed-free, giving them the confidence to press ahead with the purchase. This is particularly useful if: the property is located in a high-risk area; is situated close to a knotweed infestation; is being purchased during winter when knotweed dies back; there are suspicions it has been concealed; or where the seller won’t give any assurances e.g. answering “Not known” to the Japanese knotweed question on the TA6 form.

Home sellers can check their property is knotweed-free, ensuring there are no nasty surprises further down the line that could disrupt the sale. In order to respond “No” on the TA6 form, completed as a standard part of the conveyancing process, sellers must be certain there is no knotweed present including hidden in the ground and on adjoining property within 3m of the boundary.

Home owners can be confident that their biggest investment is unaffected by knotweed – and if it’s found, remediate the problem as quickly as possible. Those carrying out extensions or landscaping work can press ahead with confidence.

Developers and construction firms can progress safe in the knowledge that a site they wish to buy or develop is not impacted by Japanese knotweed and if it is, put in place a suitable remediation plan.

Call in the dogs for the most comprehensive and reliable knotweed survey

Knotweed is not always obvious to the human eye but is to the canine nose. Specially trained for Environet UK to detect Japanese knotweed rhizome, even in small quantities hidden beneath the ground, detection dogs Mick and Mack can cover a garden or development site in a matter of minutes and will indicate by ‘freezing’, or staying completely still, when Japanese knotweed is detected.

Dog detection is the most precise method available to determine whether knotweed is present and can be carried out at any time of year, including during winter when the plant is dormant beneath the ground.

If it is discovered, we’ll provide a free Japanese Knotweed Management Plan, detailing options for remedial works. If no knotweed is detected, we can provide a 5-year insurance-backed guarantee.

We have partnered with RFA Security Services Ltd, leading specialists in dog training and handling for detection of illegal drugs and explosives. Dog welfare is also of paramount importance and RFA Security is fully compliant with BS 8517/2: Code of Practice for Use of Detection Dogs.

Our Dogs in the Media

Mail Online

As featured in The Daily Mail on 19th June 2020.

The Times

As featured in The Times on 7th June 2020.

Mail Online

As featured in Country Life on 17th June 2020.


As featured in K9 Magazine on 4th July 2020.

Listen to us talking about the dogs on the BBC's Radio 4 programme You and Yours below.

  Simply amazing, fascinating watching them in action

  I highly recommend this reassuring service

Japanese Knotweed Detection Surveys – the benefits of the dogs.

1. Fast and unobtrusive

Detection dog surveys are quick and unobtrusive. Dogs can quickly cover a lot of ground. Localised excavation using hand-tools to verify rhizome presence is carried out if, and where, the dog indicates a positive result.

2. Any time of year

Dogs can detect knotweed any time of year, summer or winter, hot or cold, wet or dry.

3. Reliable results

The dogs can detect rhizome in the ground, even when there is no visible surface growth. Detection by dog is then verified by human, often involving localised excavation in the area indicated by the dog.

What makes Japanese Knotweed detection dogs so effective?

Dogs have an extraordinary sense of smell. It’s because of this capability that they are used across the world for detecting everything from explosives to drugs, cash and cancer. The human nose has around 400 smell receptors compared to some 300,000,000 in the nose of a dog. A much greater proportion of a dog’s brain is dedicated to smell - 40 times greater than ours.

Need a Japanese Knotweed Dog Detection Survey?

Call in the dogs.

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