Fireflies: Nature's Twinkle Lights

Who doesn’t love summer’s sparkling garden visitors? Fireflies, also known as lightning bugs and glowworms, are a delightful part of summer evenings; it’s no wonder we all clamor to attract more. Not only are fireflies beautiful and luminescent, but their larvae have voracious appetites for insects and other pests, especially snails and slugs. Since fireflies flash in order to attract mates, they prefer habitats where their flirtatious gestures will display most effectively. So you can attract these twinkling friends by reducing extra lighting on your property. Cutting down on, or even better, eliminating the use of chemicals on your lawn will help too. There are also certain plants that can be incorporated into your garden to attract fireflies. Any kind of low overhanging trees, tall grass, or similar vegetation will provide adult fireflies a place to rest and stay cool during the day. Create a firefly habitat by adding ornamental grasses to your garden, such as pink muhly grass or zebra grass. You can also provide fireflies with a tasty treat by planting members of the carrot family, including caraway, coriander, dill, fennel, bishop’s flower, Queen Anne’s lace, and wild parsnip, which produce nectar and pollen that fireflies can’t resist! Did you know? Fireflies aren’t flies at all! They are actually beetles, part of the Lampyridae family. True flies, such as house flies, have one set of wings, whereas fireflies have two pairs.