Wednesday, March 24, 2010


This moth was recently found in the wine country of Napa, California and because of that and its proximity to Placer County, I was called back into action as a bug trapper! It has been a while since I have done this but they wanted someone with experience so that they wouldn't have to waste valuable time training someone. Apparently, I came highly recommended. I received the message on my answering machine late one afternoon and the next day the job was mine. I guess you never really retire, do you!This European Grape Vine Moth is the first set of traps to go into the field. In two weeks I go back and check to see if anything is in the trap (hopefully not!) and then start setting the next traps out for the citrus orchards.
A trap will go into fruit orchards in Placer County. In this area of California there are vast amounts of orchards for mandarin oranges as well as all the stone fruits. I will be kept very busy for the entire summer.
Meet my other familiar bug friends: Japanese beetle, Medfly, Oriental fruit fly, Gypsy moth, and Mexican fruit fly.

This job will go from March until the end of October and then I will have the next 4-5 months off. I really enjoy this job for a few reasons: the people I work for are really nice and down-to-earth (my supervisor is my daughters' age), I am on my own daily when I am in the field so there are many opportunities to see parts of the county that I have never seen before and hopefully, take some great pictures. I also like the flexibility of the job. I can pick my own hours daily just as long as I get the job done and when I am done: I can leave! I could NEVER do an office job again...ever! The thought of sitting inside a stale building (maybe) looking out of a window, and just basically having a portion of the office with a cubicle does not appeal to me at all. I know there are some people that do these jobs day in and day out but for me, it just would NOT work. So, this is the next best thing to not working in my mind.

I like these kind of seasonal jobs. Just when you're wishing that you didn't have to work any more, the job is over for the season. They give me a county truck to drive on my route so I don't have to use my own vehicle except to get there and back. The hardest part for me is getting up in the morning. I am not a morning person generally. I like to stay up late at night and as such, have gotten adjusted to that sort of schedule. Thank goodness for the DVR! Anything on television that I "need" to watch can be taped until I have the time to watch it at a later date. Oh---modern conveniences---what would we do without them?


  1. Good luck with your new job...sounds like a perfect job!

  2. I can just image it is like standing in a vast corn field like we have here in Illinois...quiet...quiet...wind...birds...smell of earth...sun....what a job
    Get those pests! I love mandarine oranges

  3. This job sounds fantastic! Good for you! I am withering in the office, after so many years of holding it together. Change will come when the time is right, hopefully. It usually does.

    Teri, is that your garden in the header? How neat
    and well designed it looks! Can you come here and help me tame my jungle?!

  4. Yes, enjoy the next few months! Your post reminded me of a few shots I took the other day through my laundry window. I googled and actually found the exact bug so will post about it soon.

    My husband is somewhat of an amateur entomologist and photographs bugs all the time, as he ties up flies for flyfishing. His site is I've lived with fish and bugs for years!

  5. Melanie--Yes, it is my yard--the back yard the other day when it was sunny and I was weeding. I had planned on doing more of it this week while I was off but it has been raining. I'm afraid I won't be able to keep ahead of the weeds. Any time you want, I'll be there to help you work! I love to work, especially in the yard. If I didn't have to catch bugs this summer you just might have found me at your doorstep!

    Alaine--Thanks for the web address. I wrote it down and will definitely check it out. My daughter's father-in-law has a huge collection of flies that his dad made. Have you seen Egmont's book? I will look for the address and give it to you. You would love it! I have a friend (Frank who bought us the bread?) who was an entomologist in Viet Nam for the Navy. He had wonderful photos of many bugs, esp. mosquitoes because they were the problem there for the troops. He also studied photography with Ansel Adams!! Quite incredible person.

  6. Your yard is beautiful! Your job sounds like fun. Out here we are struggling with the Emerald Ash Borer...a beetle that is killing our ash trees. If a tree is found to have them, then it must be cut down. We have also had to watch moving any wood for the fireplace. It seems to be getting harder to control the bugs. Some years ago when our subdivision was built, the parkways were lined with green ash trees. If we get an infestation in the neighborhood we will lose all the parkway trees.
    Happy bug hunting!

  7. that really does sound like a dream job!
    but I hope for the farmer's sakes that you don't find toooo many bugs!

  8. Teri, many thanks for that link you sent me but I couldn't publish your comment, as I keep getting error messages with the new template. I've had two today; can't change my link colour and now can't publish comments! I've reported both problems and a lot of people are in the same boat but they don't seem to get answers!

    My husband has a huge reference library of angling books, some antiquarian. I'll tell him about Egmont's book. Thanks again.

  9. Oh, meant to tell you also, I posted my bug post today; photos aren't all that flash as they were taken through the window.

    Your garden is so neat!

  10. Dear Teri,

    Forgive my not being around so often. Apart from not having the laptop, I have not been on-line since I spend sometime of the day now outdoors.

    Congratulations on the job. I am curious at to what are the qualifications and how one acquires the position.

    The Japanese beetle has eluded me all these years from my collection, it looks like I need to be in your area to find a couple.

    Thank you for the kind words about my book and introducing Alaine to my blog as I have written her and already visited her husbands website.

    Wishing you all the very best,

  11. what a cool job!
    i agree about morning and DVR.
    Love love love your header. What a glorious space!


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