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How to Attract Fireflies to Your Yard

A firefly on a blade of grass at night.
Fer Gregory/Shutterstock.com

Catching fireflies is a staple of many childhood summers, but it’s probably been a while since you’ve seen any. Luckily, there are a few ways you can lure those little “lightning bugs” to your yard.

It might sound odd to want bugs in your yard, but when they glow, that’s a whole different story. While you might not think you can draw them to you, professionals think differently.

Josh Matta, an entomologist at Spectrum Garden Brands, says fireflies are attracted to shady, moist areas. In fact, most of the time they live in the soil. That’s why you often see them near bodies of water and forests. The trick is to emulate that environment.

Matta recommends creating a habitat at the edges of your yard with dense plants that retain moisture. Then, rake any leaves and create piles in shaded areas to attract other animals, like snails and slugs, which immature fireflies eat.

Avoid using any pesticides on your lawn and garden and allow the more natural sections of your landscaping (the things you didn’t plant yourself) to grow. Of course, as they bring the light, make sure any bright lights are removed from your backyard so fireflies aren’t repelled.

While some of the above might not be practical for your space, if have the room for a firefly habitat, creating it could be a fun activity for the kiddos this summer.
If you want to attract butterflies, too, add some of these plants to your garden.
Shea Simmons Shea Simmons
Shea Simmons is an Atlanta-based writer who has written about everything from whether Crisco is a good moisturizer to how to KonMari your space. Her work has appeared in Bustle, My First Apartment, and Make It Grateful. Read Full Bio »

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