I remember as a girl spotting fireflies (or lightning bugs as we call them here in East Texas). Summertime seemed to bring out these blinking bugs in the masses. It was like a burst of lighted magic in the night. Sadly, I haven’t seen much of them in years.
The other night, on our back patio, my husband and I caught a glimpse of a firefly in our backyard. Just one little lightning bug … but we were so excited! The next evening, my son saw two dancing along the fence line! Naturally, I had to do some research as to why these beloved fireflies of our youth have slowly disappeared and how we can help bring them back. Here is what I found:
Why fireflies are not as common as they once were:
- Lightning bugs do not like artificial light. The light also keeps them from attracting a mate.
- Pesticides are a double-edged sword. Yes, they kill pesky mosquitoes but are lethal to lightning bugs as well.
- Overpopulation has decreased their natural habitat
How to bring back the fireflies:
- Create a water feature in you yard. According to Good Housekeeping, “Fireflies love moisture, standing water, and marshy areas.”
- Reduce artificial light … turn those patio lights off if you want to see more lightning bugs.
- Plant pine, hackberry, oak, and dogwood trees. Grow morning glories, passion flowers, golden rods, and river ferns.
And lastly, Treehugger.com states: ” Yes, it may be one of the joys of childhood, but collecting fireflies in a container can lead to accidental death.” So let those lightning bugs roam free!