The Reason You Won’t See As Many Fireflies This Summer

There are certain childhood memories that many of us still look back on, even though there may be quite a few years that separate us from that time in life.

We think about the innocence that we had when we were younger and more than likely, we think about warm summer evenings that were filled with chasing fireflies.

Fireflies are some of those magical insects that we really appreciate having around. They certainly are different when compared to mosquitoes or gnats, at least on the annoyance scale. After all, what could be better than an insect that flies around lighting up the night beautifully?

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Unfortunately, fireflies have been impacted by what is known as the insect apocalypse. Many insects from around the world, including beetles, moths, and bees, are affected by this. That is why we are seeing far fewer of them than we did when we were younger, and fireflies are also on that list.

This fact was backed up by a 2021 report from the Xerces Society, the ABQ BioPark, and the IUCN Firefly Specialist Group, showing that it is worse than many people realize. Not only are firefly populations dropping, but 14 out of 128 of those species are also at risk of extinction.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Fireflies are being threatened by habitat loss, which most people would guess. Some of the places where we tend to see fireflies more than any other are in warm areas of the world with water. Then again, people have also been building homes in warm areas of the world with water as well.

Perhaps the most surprising factor is in the form of light pollution. Fireflies use light to communicate with each other and artificial light may be interfering with their ability to find a mate.

For those of us who grew up chasing fireflies, it is a sad day to learn that they are disappearing from the scene. The fact is, however, they do a lot more for the environment than simply bringing us joy.

Although we cannot individually do what is necessary to turn the tide and stop this from happening, there are some things we can do to help it in a small way. This is especially true if we have property near areas where fireflies tend to gather.

Fireflies use decomposing wood and the young fireflies call it home for the first two years they are alive. Leaving logs on our property to rot is one way that we can help.

Photo: flickr/daveoratox

We might also want to consider reducing our use of nighttime lights, especially outside to allow them to talk to each other. Adding some water to your yard might also help to bring them in and make it more likely for them to stick around.

By making these small changes, you can do your part to make sure that future generations of children have the pleasure of chasing fireflies.

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