Norwich City shirts are a magnet for bugs

NORWICH City’s new bright yellow shirts are already popular with fans - and now they are also proving a big hit with black bugs looking for pollen.

Canaries fans returning from the home friendly against Newcastle United at the weekend bombarded the Pink ‘Un website with comments about the tiny pollen beetles, also known as Meligethes aeneus - and an expert said today there was not much fans could do to deter them, except wear something else.

One fan said on the Pink ‘Un website: “Got absolutely engulfed in them today, annoying lot. I suppose a few thousand luminous yellow shirts didn’t help either.”

And another added: “When you wear your City shirt it attracts about a million tiny little black bugs.”

The new kit, which is a brighter, more Brazilian or Canary yellow, has been widely accepted by fans since it was revealed in March.

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But Ian Bedford, head of entomology at Norwich’s John Innes Centre, warned that, with the bugs back in force this summer, fans wearing the new kit could expect a plague of pollen beetles to descend on them.

He said: “Yellow is always a good colour to attract insects and that’s why we have yellow sticky traps in greenhouses to monitor the number of pests around.

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“Obviously in East Anglia a lot of oilseed rape is grown and these insects lay their eggs in flower buds of rapeseed flowers before they hatch into beetles and fly off to feed on pollen.

“These insects are highly attracted to yellow, because it’s a sign to them of food.

“You see them on yellow bed sheets put out in gardens to dry and on daffodils, and now on yellow football shirts. They are a major pest of oilseed rape, but have become quite resistant to pesticides.”

When Norwich City announced its new kit in March, at first glance it did not appear to be much different to the old kit, but the Aviva home strip for the 2010/2011 season has subtle changes.

It has lost the green around the shirt collar and on the arms and instead has green flashes from the neck to under each arm.

The shirt also features green blocks around the hips while on the shorts more prominent yellow flashes go down each side.

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