When the summer season rolls around, you get to enjoy the beauty and wonder of fireflies, also known as lightning bugs. These insects are a type of beetle, and they emerge when the weather warms up. They’re easy to spot when the light is low because their bodies flicker light. Having these fireflies around can provide quite a feast for the eyes and create a magical environment. If you’re looking to welcome fireflies, there are a couple of steps you can take this summer to attract more fireflies to your yard!
Keep in mind, however, that some of these tips may also attract other types of insects or make it more difficult for you to enjoy your yard depending on what other types of animals live in your area. For example, tall grasses may make it easier for venomous snakes to hide. Ticks may be difficult to spot in high grass as well. So, consider the pros and cons of each one of these tips and so long as the pros outweigh the cons, you can enjoy a firefly-filled summer season!
5 Steps You Can Take This Summer to Attract More Fireflies (Lightning Bugs) to Your Yard
1. Plant Native Trees
When fireflies are active during the day, they look for shady canopy environments. If you have trees of varying heights, you welcome fireflies into a friendly habitat. When they lay their eggs, fireflies choose leaf litter and pine trees. If you plant native trees, look for pitch pines, red pine, white pine, long and short-leaf pines, and Ponderosa pines. This environment provides the ideal habitat for fireflies to feel safe and thrive. It’s like you create a cozy bed and breakfast that’s too comfortable to leave!
2. Let Your Grass Grow
Keeping a neatly manicured lawn offer is fantastic for curb appeal. Short grass can also help you keep an eye out for fire ants, yellow jackets, and ticks. But letting it grow just a bit also provides fireflies with places to hide. Female fireflies look for longer grass to hang out. They even like using the blades of grass as a resting space. These tall grasses allow them to sway in the breeze the way you would, sitting in a hammock on a warm summer day. If keeping your grass a little bit taller doesn’t sound that attractive to you but you still want to attract fireflies, you might want to plant some tall native prairie grass. This way, you can set up designated locations for fireflies to roost on.
3. Keep the Lighting Low
If you have tiki torches or string lights decorating your outdoor area, it could be the reason fireflies aren’t attracted to your yard. They need their own glow to take the spotlight because it’s what helps them keep predators away. It’s also what alerts their mates of their presence. To make sure that fireflies are attracted to your yard, turn off any of the lighting that you have set up, including your porch light. After the early evening part of the night, fireflies retreat to sleep so you can turn those lights back on or have your security lighting turn on after a certain period.
4. Add a Water Feature
Another great way to attract fireflies to your yard is to add some kind of water feature. Typically, fireflies are attracted to standing water. High moisture content is alluring for them. Keep in mind, however, that if you live in an environment where mosquitoes are a problem, you may not want to leave any standing water sitting out because that’ll attract mosquitoes. Although having fireflies is beautiful, having mosquitoes potentially bring diseases to your yard can be more of a detriment than anything.
5. Provide Snacks!
Another great option for attracting fireflies is to give them some snacks. It’s like setting up a buffet and inviting them over as guests. Fireflies eat both garden pests and plant pollen and nectar. You can add some flowering plants to your garden to make sure fireflies stop by but don’t go crazy adding garden pests to your yard. It’ll do more harm than good. If you do opt for flowering plants, choose big varieties. These provide tons of pollen and nectar for fireflies to enjoy.
Summary of 5 Steps You Can Take This Summer to Attract More Fireflies to Your Yard
|#||Steps||Why it Attracts|
|1||Plant Native Trees||Fireflies are attracted to native pines|
|2||Let Your Grass Grow||Taller grass gives fireflies a place to hide or rest|
|3||Keep the Lighting Low||Low light gives fireflies a chance to shine to attract mates|
|4||Add a Water Feature||Fireflies are attracted to standing water|
|5||Provide Snacks!||Flowering plants provide pollen and nectar for fireflies to eat|
Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.