How to Attract Fireflies, for Homeowners

Illustration of a firefly with text tips on attracting fireflies to your yard. Text below.
Full text of this infographic below.

Text: How to Attract Fireflies for Homeowners

  • Reduce or eliminate pesticide use.
  • In your landscape, allow edges of your yard to grow up into shrubby areas, or plant vegetation that shades the soil and contributes to preserving soil moisture. Soil moisture encourages the slugs, snails, and worms that firefly larvae eat.
  • Provide a diversity of habitat to attract a diverse firefly population.
  • Turn off all of the artificial outdoor lights around the house: flood lights, porch lights, garage lights, etc.

More about fireflies

Fireflies (also called lightning bugs) are actually beetles, not flies. There are 56 species found in Florida, and 2,000 worldwide. They are predators. Adults can grow up to one inch in length. Their average life span is about a month.

The firefly is able to produce bioluminescence with chemicals in its body called luciferin and luciferase. Firefly larvae glow in order to warn potential predators that they taste bad. The adults of most species use this light to attract mates. Each species has a different pattern of flashes. But some species do not emit light at all and instead use pheromones to attract mates.

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