A week ago the roses in the college grounds were pest free, but within that week the white, green and black fly have been breeding at an alarming rate, especially on the roses found on the top terrace of the front quadrangle.
These pests have been breeding at a faster rate than the beneficial insects that feed on them, Ladybirds, who can't possibly eat them all, so chemicals now have to be used to control these pests.
Ali spent the morning wondering around the grounds in her full chemical spraying kit, yes, the snowman outfit worn by Josh and Ady mentioned in previous blog entries. Her job, to spray all the roses showing any signs of infestation, whether one fly or a million. The chemical used is 'systemic', it works by spreading through all the tissues of the plant instead of staying on the surface and will kill the pests when they feed off the sap and draw in the chemical. This spraying does not affect the plant and should kill enough fly allowing the Ladybirds to catch up in numbers.
Ali has also made two trips to Tiggywinkles Wildlife Rescue Centre with injured animals, a young squirrel and a moorhen, both with injured legs. Hopefully, that will be the last for the year.