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Tiny army to take on American invaders
AN unlikely army of reinforcements is being drafted in to chomp their way through an unwelcome invader choking Malvern’s ponds.
Pools on land owned by the Malvern Hills Conservators are being attacked by the invasive water fern, which smothers ponds of light and oxygen, killing wildlife.
To counter the threat of the hostile American invader, the Conservators are calling on an army of pond weevils to munch their way through the problem.
They will be taking delivery of hundreds of the tiny insects today and releasing them immediately into Hall Green Pond at Guarlford, where the weed problems are among the worst.
Weevils reproduce extremely quickly and populations can reach several million within a matter of weeks.
However as they only feed on water fern, once it is gone they will also quickly die out.
Jenny Palmer, deputy conservation officer with the Conservators, said the innovative approach was more environmentally-friendly than other methods.
If the trial is successful then the method will be used to tackle water fern infestations at other affected ponds in Guarlford and the Old Hills at Callow End.
Mrs Palmer believes that the water fern was probably released from a home aquarium and has thrived in the wild due to the mild weather last winter.