Dr. Ridge is an expert in human feeding bed bugs in the family Cimicidae. Her primary research is with bed bugs. Dr. Ridge is also a systematist with expertise in insect morphology, behavior, and ecology. She is also a natural science illustrator specializing in pen and ink illustration. Dr. Ridge overseas the daily activities of the insect inquiry office, which receives thousands of inquiries each year.
PhD. The University of Connecticut (Ecology and Evolution) 2008
M.S. Southern Connecticut State University (Biology Department) 1998
B.A. Hons. Trinity College of Music (Piano performance and teaching) 1980
Assistant Agricultural Scientist 2 4/25/2008
Assistant Agricultural Scientist 1 2/02/2007
Agricultural Research Technician 1 8/10/2001
Agricultural Research Assistant 3 5/22/1998
Service activities and responsibilities:
The Department of Entomology insect inquiry office serves to diagnose and assist citizens of Connecticut with insect problems. Stake holders include, health departments, hospitals, others in the medical professions, housing authorities, the real estate industry, pest control operators, nurseries, arborists, landscapers, homeowners, schools, colleges and universities, orchards, christmas tree growers, and numerous other commercial and private entities. Her office also acts as a first responder in monitoring for exotic insects with identification and response. Exotic insects have been intercepted by the office, with many new state, sometimes national records being written. Outreach by her office includes the authorship of numerous fact sheets, written articles, workshops, lectures, and speeches presented at national, regional, and local conferences and meetings.
Dr. Ridge has taken a leadership role in educating, organizing, and empowering housing interests, health departments, and pest management professionals in the management of the Common bed bug, Cimex lectularius in the State of Connecticut. Dr. Ridge is the chair of the Connecticut Coalition Against Bed Bugs (CCABB). This multidisciplinary board consists of members from the Pest Management Professionals of Connecticut, State and Local Health, Research, DEEP, and the Connecticut Chief States Attorney’s Office. It has functioned in an advisory capacity for state legislators; it has sponsored numerous bed bug training forums, built a web-site, published numerous informational articles, has a 400 member list-serve service, and produced an award winning bed bug video among many other its activities. Dr. Ridge is an EPA FIFRA Scientific Advisory Panel member, curator of The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station insect collection, and identification entomologist for exotic pests entering Connecticut including Agrilus planipennis, Sirex noctillio, Anoplophora glabripennis, Operophtera brunnata, Tomicus piniperda (L) etc.
Some Discoveries by Dr. Ridge:
- 2012 Male reproductive behavior with Cimex lectularius L.
- 2009 Crytotermes brevis, first state record; Bostrychoplites cornutus, interception; Aleurodicus disperses, interception; Anomis commode, first state record; Eupteryx decemnotata, first state record; Hylastes opacus, first state record
- 2008 Halyomorpha halys Stål. First Connecticut state record; Cepaea nemoralis (L). first Connecticut state record
- 2007 Myrmica rubra L. First Connecticut state record (nursery shipment)
- 2007 Trionymus americanus (Cockerell). First Connecticut state record
- 2006 Trogoderma granarium Everts. First Connecticut state record
- 2005 Thanasimus formicarius Polski. First Connecticut state record
- 2000 Exotic Bostrychidae spp. in furniture shipped from Egypt
- 1998 Callidiellum rufipenne (Motschulsky). First United States record
- Research in efficacy of an entomopathogenic fungus on bed bug mortality
- Research into delivery of an entomopathogenic fungus to bed bugs in buildings
- Research on entomopathogenic natural compounds for management of bed bugs
- Bed bug reproduction
- Taxonomy and systematics of a species complex in human feeding bed bugs
- Viability tests of Symbiotes lectularius in Cimex lectularius L.
- Ivermectin use in Cimex lectularius L. management
- Cockroach predation on Cimex lectularius L.
Publications: Selected publications available from author, Gale.Ridge@ct.gov
- Insect identification and inquiries in Connecticut. A state Perspective on the Evolution and Future of an Entomological Service. American Entomologist.
- Identification Guide to the Mosquitoes of Connecticut. Illustrator. Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station. Bulletin 966.
- Distribution of the western conifer seed bug Leptoglossus occidentalis Heidemann (Heteroptera: Coreidae) in Connecticut and parasitism by a tachinid fly Trichopoda pennipes (F) (Diptera: Tachinidae). Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington: Vol. 103, No. 2, pp. 364-366
- Fly management handbook. Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station. Bulletin 1013. Contributing author and illustrator
- Best Practices for Bed Bug Management of Mattresses, Bedding, and Upholstered Furniture. Guidance Document for the Reuse/Resale and Recycling Industries in Connecticut
Fact Sheets: Selected publications available from author, Gale.Ridge@ct.gov or on our fact sheet page.
- A home owner’s guide to the human bed bug Cimex lectularis L., C. hemipterus Fabr. (Cimicidae; Heteroptera). Translated into three other languages
- Bed Bugs, How to Deal with Them
- Got bed bugs
- Bed Bug Guide for Connecticut Day Care Services
- Bed Bug Guide for Connecticut Schools
- Connecticut Health Department Bed Bug Identification Guide
- Bed Bug Training Video for Health Departments titled “They’re Back” (YouTube Feb. 2012; winner of the Bronze Tally Award for short educational video
- The home owners guide to bed bugs (translated into three languages)
- First Steps to Manage Bed Bugs in Bed
- Ground Nesting Bees
- Carpenter ants (Camponotus sp.). Translated into two languages.
- Carpenter Bees (Xylocopa spp.)
- Brown Marmorated Sting Bug
- Cat flea, Ctenocephalides felis (Bouche).
- Adult Heteropteran Thoracic Endoskeleton (Insecta: Hemiptera) A Family-Level Study. pp. 950. PhD. thesis. 2008
- Cat Flea (Ctenocephalides felis (Bouche))
- Cluster Flies (Pollenia rudis (Fabricius))
- European Earwig (Forficula auricularia Linnaeus)
- The Japanese Beetle (Popillia japonica Newman (Scarabaeidae: Coleoptera))
- Western Conifer Seed Bug (Leptoglossus occidentalis Heidemann)
- Moth Flies (Psychodidae)
- Pepper Maggot (Zonosemata electa (Say))
- Yellowjackets (Vespula sp. Thompson)