Old Trail’s Unscientific Firefly Survey

In July, swimming on sizzling days, enjoying stunning fireworks, and encountering dancing fireflies in your backyard are typically ways to proclaim that summer has arrived. In our local Nextdoor group, John Smith started a thread, pronouncing how there seem to be fewer fireflies than usual. Some people in this thread claim that they have seen the same amount as usual, but others allege they’ve seen less. The lack of fireflies may be due to the recent extensive construction going on in Old Trail, with all the brand new houses and even whole new segments of the neighborhood. Why would construction disrupt fireflies? These bugs, or more specifically, beetles, enjoy environments with warm, humid air in open fields or forests with a lovely water source nearby. Unfortunately, to have more wondrous neighbors, we have to take up this land that the fireflies may be dwelling in. John Smith, the initiator of this topic, wrote, “The main conclusion I see is that there seem to be fewer firefly sightings reported by residents in Old Trail than in surrounding areas. Someone suggested maybe the constant construction and/or spraying in Old Trail has disrupted their natural habitat; that sounds about as reasonable as anything I can think of. I hope the number of sightings will rebound after construction is completed, and the habitat gets back closer to normal.” Though there may be fewer fireflies, there are ways to get them back. If you want to get these glowing bugs back to your yard, there are some things that you can do. The bugs use their light to interact with one another, but it’s hard to do that with tons of light pollution. The way you can help with this is by simply turning off outdoor lights at night. Another way to attract these bugs is to let trees grow in your yard. The growth of trees will give the firefly larvae a place to grow. If you already have trees but still aren’t seeing fireflies, consider leaving some natural litter around your trees to give the larvae somewhere to grow. These are just a few of the many ways to attract these beautiful bugs to your yard. You can find more information about these bugs at firefly.org. Not only will it make your yard pretty with dancing fireflies, but it will help the ecosystem around Old Trail, too!