Black Ram Farm

Musings from Rural Vermont

Posts Tagged ‘pheromone’

Ronald S. Kelley

Posted by Alexandra Jump on October 17, 2009

ronRon needs to be blogged about again.  Last night the truth came out about the gypsy moth pheromone at his retirement party.  It was plain and simple revenge on me because I wrote a story about him and flipped his wife and his daughter’s names. ( by accident mind you) but he didn’t take too kindly to that, because he is ever so particular.

Back on August 12th, I wrote about the gypsy moth pheromone and didn’t give it too much credit.  Well last night the joke was on me because it turns out that when the freezer died, Ron found one last little green strip of pheromone gypsy moth bait and pinned it under the drivers seat of my car.  So when later I traveled to Maine and had trouble with the moths fluttering all around me and in my car, and later Rose Marie Trapp complained about the scent getting all over her after riding in my car, well I thought that must be pretty powerful stuff.  Lauren at the office has claimed that she has never been bothered with it, so I couldn’t figure it out.

Well now I know.  And today I went out to find the strip, but I couldn’t find it at all.  All the guys last night from Vt. Forest and Parks said that I will have that in my car for the duration of the life of the car.  Bait is bait and in this case it seems pretty potent.   I found some bait on the web, lots of different places to get it actually.    The male moths are not harmful to us, only trees, but in abundance they are very  annoying  and those fluttery friends try and fly up pant legs and skirts and will follow you around for about 2 weeks in the height of the mating season.

But I got to admit, Ron and the guys at work played THE best practical joke on me and I will miss Ron at the office.  He lives just up the road from work and I hope that he continues to pop in every once and a while.  Now I gotta think of a really good practical joke to get back at him…..

Posted in humor, pondering, vermont people, writing | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Female gypsy moth- pheromone trouble

Posted by Alexandra Jump on August 12, 2009

images-3Work can be pretty funny at times.  There is a whole cast of characters there, one of which is Ron Kelley, the bug guy I have written about before in Livin.  Ron works for the State of Vermont and his office is cati-corner from mine.  He also has a lab on the first floor where he all sorts of odd bug things.

So we all work in this funky kind of building and last fall Ron’s fridge in the lab went belly up and died.   However in the fridge was:

Lymantria dispar pheromone

Female Gypsy Moth scent.

Now what is the big deal?  Well the big deal is that female gypsy moth scent is pretty powerful.  And if there is a male gypsy moth around, then he will go to that scent.  Females don’t fly, according to Ron, so the scent has to be strong for the male to find the female to reproduce.  When Gypsy Moths were in over abundance a while back and the caterpillars were eating up our trees,  bug bate in the form of pheromone was used in moth traps.  Ron had tons of the bate here in the building, which he kept in the freezer.

Apparently the scent lingers for decades. So we have this scent in the office building, which would be fine if the scent stayed there.

But it doesn’t.  It sticks to your clothes and to your person, so even if you shower, you still carry this scent around with you and you become a magnet to male gypsy moths.  Staff in the office said that this has been a problem with them for years and that when they sometimes go out the gypsy moths will congregate around them.  Fluttering up skirts, up pant legs, round the head, sitting on the shoulder, on the top of the head… you get the picture.

Yesterday, Ron had a male moth in the building and so I learned about this strange thing and I instantly remembered that the night before I had a strange encounter with a moth.   It had come into the house and had come right to me and was fluttering around me and no matter where I moved the moth followed.  For about a half hour.  No joke, I had a little buddy.

I thought that perhaps it was a totem that had come for a visit.  I had had a huge week away and then a wonderful home coming with Emilie, so I open to what it was bringing me.   I was fine with my little theory, then Ron came up with this horse hooy story about the pheromone and I didn’t want to believe him.  In fact, I think that the staff knows I am super gullible and so they all grouped up confirmed that the strange encounter I had was not me, but bug love drugs.

Everybody came into the main office and we all had a good laugh and a good break from work talking about this phenomena.  My colleagues all worked hard on trying to convince me that it was the building and the lasting scent that was the reason for my fluttery friend, not a totem.

I am not buying it.  At least not right away.  I rather enjoy the magic of a strange encounter with nature, then the sad true of a dead fridge that released old smells.

Posted in friends, humor, places, pondering, vermont people | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »


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