The immaculate lawns of Cambridge University are being spoiled by crows feasting on bugs after an EU ban on a pesticide, it has emerged.
This population of the pests has soared after the spray containing a chemical called imidacloprid was outlawed because it is toxic harmful to bees.
As a result crows have had a field day digging up the lawns looking for the chafer bugs, a soil-dwelling beetle which feasts on the roots of the grass.
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The colleges have introduced nematodes, worms that eat and destroy the chafer grubs, in a bid to combat the problem.
But that is not without its problems and Jesus College had to re-turf their entire first court lawn because the area is unsuitable for nematodes.
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In April 2013, the EU enforced a Europewide ban of three bee-harming pesticides called neonicotinoids, including the chemical imidacloprid.
In January 2016, this ban was reviewed, but in April it was confirmed that imidacloprid is highly toxic to bumblebees and was taken off the market.
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