Creating a Firefly/Lightning Bug-friendly Habitat

Turn off outside lights at night.


Fireflies use their flashing lights to signal each other to attract mates or warn of danger. It is likely that human light pollution disrupt their flashes, making it harder for the flies to mate and breed. Turn off exterior lights and garden lights, and draw your blinds at night.


Logs and leaf litter are wonderful homes.


Firefly larvae grow in rotten logs and leaf litter in the forest canopy. To encourage firefly growth and foster wildlife habitat, plant trees and consider leaving some natural litter around for larvae to grow.


Create water features on your property.


Fireflies thrive around water – ponds, streams, rivers, marshy areas and even a small depression full of water are all good habitats for fireflies.


Avoid the use of pesticides.


It is believed that pesticides and weed killers have a negative effect on firefly populations.


Use natural fertilizers.


It is possible that chemical fertilizers may have a harmful effect on firefly populations as well, since many harmful chemicals in pesticides are also found in chemical fertilizers. Try and use natural fertilizers.


Do not over-mow your lawn.


Fireflies stay on the ground during the day and frequent mowing disturbs populations. If you feel that you need to keep your lawn mowed for aesthetic purposes, consider incorporating long grasses into your landscaping.


Plant trees.


Fast growing native trees provide good habitat for fireflies and improves wildlife populations.


Talk to your neighbors.


You can create even more habitat for fireflies by enlisting your neighbors in your efforts.  Every little bit counts and allow for some room for wildness on your property.


Firefly Facts:


+ Fireflies light up to attract mates and to communicate.

+ Firefly lights are the most efficient lights in the world – 100 percent of the energy is emitted as light (an incandescent lightbulb only emits 10 percent of its energy as light and the rest as heat).

+ Firefly eggs glow and respond to stimuli.

+ Fireflies eat other fireflies (carnivorous). Some species the female flashes to attract a male – to eat it.

+ They have short lifespans – one year.

+ They are found on every continent besides Antarctica.

+ They are medically and scientifically useful. The chemicals from fireflies are injected into diseased cells, where they can detect changes and study diseases, like cancer.


Photo By:  C. Frank Starmer



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