How to attract fireflies - Knowledgebase Question

Name: Mimi Lilly
Port Saint Lucie, Fl
Question by luxio
April 6, 2010
Hello! Which flowers or shrubs attract fireflies? Are fireflies beneficial?


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Answer from NGA
April 6, 2010

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Fireflies are not flies at all, but are a kind of beetle. They are also called lightning bugs. Firefly eggs hatch into little worm-like creatures called larvae. Some kinds of larvae glow in the dark, and those that do are called glowworms. The glowworms eat very small creatures such as other insects, snails, and slugs. Some adult fireflies also eat other insects. Some eat pollen and other flower parts, and some probably do not eat anything at all. Having lots of colorful plants in your garden will be inviting to them. Other ways to attract them include eliminating the use of chemicals in your yard. Fireflies do not like the smell of many chemicals and will avoid any potentially harmful odors.

Reduce light in and around your lawn and garden. Extra lights will interfere with the fireflies's light signals, so turn them off. Every time a firefly lights up, he is signaling to another firefly. Create an environment in which those signals are easy to see.

Leave an area of high grass or shrubbery around the perimeter of your yard. Male fireflies fly. Female fireflies will rest on tall pieces of grass or other shrubbery. If there is high grass and a lot of shrubbery, you'll see more fireflies.

Fireflies love to feast on slugs and snails so don't control them.

And finally, be patient. Fireflies start showing up at the beginning of spring, but will increase as the summer progresses. They tend to mate in late summer when the weather is warmest. New larvae will become adults next year and will mate and produce offspring so your firefly population will always increase. Enjoy!

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