• Graham Harris

A disappearing light?

This morning’s papers featured some rather unfortunate news for our namesake insect, the firefly. As we talked about in a previous post, fireflies are not just beautiful creatures in their own right, they are also an indicator species, sensitive to changes in their habitats.

Recent research has confirmed that habitat loss, combined with the use of pesticides and the increase in light pollution, is combining to threaten certain species of firefly with extinction.


There are ways you can help. Firefly.org has some simple tips on ways you can help preserve firefly habitat – and also habitat for other insect species. These include simple steps such as:

  • Turn off your outside lights at night – they may be outcompeting the bugs as they try to find a mate

  • Avoid use of pesticides – fireflies spend most of their life in a larval state and may be badly affected by these chemicals. Firefly larvae are also excellent predators of most other insects and so if you have fireflies, you shouldn’t need pesticides to control pests anyway! A double win!

  • Set aside an area of your yard as to remain in a natural state and allow leaf litter and plant materials to accumulate, providing a habitat for the larvae.

For more information on firefly conservation, go to www.firefly.org

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