Fireflies are simply amazing to watch. However, the once very rampant creatures also known as lightning bugs are quickly disappearing globally. Their current low population is attributed to light pollution, human encroachment on their habitat and the heavy use of pesticides. But there is still much that can be done to restore their population and the beauty they have to offer in the gardens and backyards. Here you will learn a few tips on how to attract fireflies to your garden.
Start by creating a habitat for the lightning bugs. Shrubbery and high grasses are their major habitat. To create favorable conditions for the fireflies, let your yards perimeter grow wild/naturally. Do not choose what to plant at the perimeter. Moreover, you should mow less often to avoid killing fireflies that may be resting on tall grass blades during the day. If you are keen on maintaining a well-mowed yard, let the tall grass bushes grow on the outer edges of your yard.
Create water features in your garden or yard landscape
Just like mosquitoes, fireflies thrive around marshy areas and stagnant water. That is why they are mainly found in rivers, streams, and ponds. However, a small water depression can offer the right habitat for the flies and cause them to congregate effortlessly especially during the mating season. Note that, a chemically treated swimming pool in your compound cannot substitute a water feature. A small pond in your garden or yard will work perfectly. Also, fireflies are believed to feed on grubs, snails, and smaller insects that thrive in natural ponds, streams, and stagnant waters.
Turn off lights at night
Fireflies rely on their glow to signal each other, warn predators to keep and attract mates. Artificial night lights can interfere with their glow and make it hard for the flies to attract mates and breed. This results to low mating and subsequently smaller numbers of the fireflies in the next generation. According to scientists, there are about 5 active firefly species at one location at any given time. The males use a unique lighting pattern to signal their female species. If interested in suitors, the females use a distinct glow pattern to signal back. Lighting can outshine these glows. Thus, turn off garden lights and draw blinds at night to block interior lighting.
Avoid using pesticides
Chemical pesticides do not just target the bad pests; they affect the good insects and flies as well. Fireflies and their larva that may be in your garden can ingest the poisonous pesticides from plants and other smaller insects that may have been sprayed. Avoiding the use of chemical pesticides on your lawn can increase the firefly population in your yard/garden.
The firefly population is reducing globally. But as discussed above, there are few things you can do to help maintain or boost the current population. If you live in proximity to your neighbors, talk to them about turning their outdoor lights that brighten your yard or garden at night. If possible, you can convince them to join your cause.