There are few ways to make an evening outdoors more magical or romantic than the glow of fireflies. Luckily, inviting these unique creatures into your yard is not too hard. Here are some tried and true methods to make your yard glow:
Some varieties of fireflies eat pollen and nectar, while others snack on bugs that eat pollen and nectar. Firefly Conservation provides this list of their favorite plants. There are varieties of fireflies on every continent, so be sure to research your local variety to select the right plants.
Mow No More
Fireflies like tall grass and shrubbery to hide in. The less frequently you mow your yard and manicure your shrubs, the more places the fireflies will find to live in. If you are concerned about ticks inhabiting your yard as a result of tall grass, consider allowing the grass to grow taller in the least frequented area of your yard and keep the rest of the yard mowed for your family’s wellbeing.
Each variety of firefly is drawn to certain native plants. To welcome them into your garden, you need to maintain as much of a natural habitat for them as possible. Try to select a portion of your yard to keep wild, and perform only minimally necessary maintenance as needed.
Stop Chemical Pest Control Measures
According to the Firefly Conservation, these glowing bugs feast on snails and slugs. If your garden is full of these slimy characters, cease all chemical warfare, which not only eliminates the firefly’s food source, but also hurts your glowing garden guests. Instead, utilize nature’s pest control system by allowing the fireflies to dine on them.
Do Not Rake Leaves
If you rake leaves and remove them from your yard, you might be removing firefly larvae! Fun fact: firefly eggs and larvae glow too.
Create a Snail Hotel
Wet paper bags or card board and lay them down in the least frequented area of your yard or an area of your yard where you plan to garden. Keep them moist for at least three months, then you may remove them and dispose of them. This practice will attract snails and slugs, which are a firefly’s favorite feast. This practice will also create ultra rich soil perfect for planting a lush garden for these bugs and their prey to live in.
Turn Off The Lights
Minimize your outdoor lighting when you are trying to enjoy your garden at dusk or after dark. If your yard is flooded with light, it will make seeing fireflies more difficult.
Serve Beverages For Your Garden’s Guests
Every creature needs water to live. Fireflies are attracted to still water, like bird baths or other water features. Be sure to regularly change out the water to prevent mosquitoes from inhabiting their water source.
Take No Hostages
While capturing fireflies in mason jars is a tradition enjoyed by many families, the more fireflies are captured, the smaller the population that resides in your yard and survives to breed the next generation of inhabitants. Try to encourage children to enjoy watching the fireflies instead of capturing them, or find a firefly toy or firefly game for them to play with.
To enjoy a garden full of glowing guests, mimic the firefly’s natural habitat as much as possible, create a healthy garden that serves their favorite snacks of snails and slugs, provide them a cool beverage, and reduce outdoor lighting. By following the aforementioned tips, in no time at all, you will enjoy one of nature’s most beautiful sights: a garden full of fireflies.