Compared come photographing them, capturing fireflies is around the simplest thing come do. And in the summertime, safety at the very least one evening running roughly a field, mason seasoned in hand, have to be a priority if no a requirement.

You are watching: How to take care of fireflies

In the northeastern joined States, firefly season is at its top in the weeks after ~ July 4. But if you i found it fewer tiny twinkling bugs in her backyard this summer, that could be because firefly populaces are supposedly declining. Yet do not despair. has actually outlined a couple of ways friend can assist protect fireflies. We’re republishing few of them right here in wishes that our fellow gardeners can aid spread the word.

Photography by Erin Boyle.


Seven things you have the right to do to safeguard fireflies:

1. Rotate off the end lights: Fireflies use bioluminescence to communicate and also attract mates. There’s evidence that light contamination from people interferes v that, making it harder because that fireflies come mate and also breed.

2. Allow logs and litter accumulate: Rotting logs and also litter on the woodland floor can provide vital habitats for firefly larvae.

3. Acquire a fountain: Most types of fireflies thrive in marshy areas near was standing water. If girlfriend don’t live through a organic water source, consider adding a small pond or fountain–or also a birdbath–to your garden.

4. Don’t usage pesticides and fertilizers: It shouldn’t come together a surprised that spraying pesticides to eradicate one form of insect have the right to have detrimental effects across species. And also though there’s no direct link in between fertilizer use and also firefly decline, it’s common sense that you will create a richer natural atmosphere if you avoid synthetic fertilizers and also chemicals. Far better for you, much better for the bugs.

5. Don’t over-mow her lawn: Fireflies have tendency to continue to be close to the ground, and also mowing too often can damage some of their favorite areas to roam.

6. Tree trees: Trees–especially pines–provide a safety umbrella under i m sorry fireflies deserve to live and mate. The needles that loss to the ground in ~ pine tree create an additional habitat.

7. Talk to your neighbors: This is probably the finest step you have the right to take. Imagine just how many much more fireflies you’d see if the whole community agreed to just turn off the lights?


Above: on a recent weekend in ~ my parents’ home in Connecticut, we delighted in a nightly firefly show. Wealth of habitats favor the woodpiles, wildflower meadows, and also marshes roughly their location are most likely why we observed so many. (Kendra had the appropriate idea in have the right to We you re welcome Be less Fanatically Tidy?)


Above: Reducing outdoor light pollution is good for star-gazing, fireflies, and just about every various other living point (including humans). My mother hides the earlier porch irradiate under a Red Trumpet Honeysuckle Vine ($19.95 indigenous Gardener Direct) to reduce its impact.


Above: can you clues the fireflies in mine mom’s garden? i promise you, there were many much more of them.


Above: I equipped myself with a wide-mouthed jar and also a square the cheesecloth to perform some old-fashioned firefly-catching.


Above: The cheesecloth go double-duty as a breathable barrier and also a translucent lid on my short-term nightlight. Don’t worry, i was a tenderness captor, and I permit this guy go prior to too long.

Updated indigenous a short article originally published July 17, 2013.

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For an ext of Erin’s countrified exploits, view Meadow Muddle: mine Laissez Faire technique to Arranging Wildflowers and 12 advice for farming Cutting flower from Barberry Hill Farm.