Close-up of firefly on green background

How to Attract Fireflies to Your Yard

One of the best things about summer evenings is watching fireflies light up the night sky. If you’re lucky enough to live in an area where fireflies are common, you may be wondering how you can attract them to your yard.

Read on to learn more about these amazing insects and how to bring them to your outdoor space.

What Are Fireflies?

Fireflies are actually a type of beetle known as Lampyridae. They are distinguished from other types of beetles by their ability to produce light. This light is produced by a chemical reaction that takes place in special cells in the firefly’s abdomen.

Super macro close-up of firefly on a leaf. Dark background.
Firefly on a leaf

One of the most famous species of firefly is the Photinus pyralis, also known as the common Eastern firefly. This species is found in wooded areas throughout the eastern United States and parts of Canada. These fireflies are known for their synchronized flashing, which some people say resembles twinkling stars.

The common Eastern firefly or big dipper firefly on white background.
The common Eastern firefly

Benefits of Attracting Fireflies to Your Yard

There are many reasons why you might want to attract fireflies to your yard. In addition to their beauty, fireflies are beneficial predators that help keep populations of harmful insects in check. Fireflies mostly eat soft-bodied insects like slugs and snails, which can damage your garden plants.

How to Bring Fireflies to Your Yard

If you’re interested in attracting fireflies to your property, there are a few things you can do:

Provide a habitat

Fireflies prefer areas with tall grasses and low vegetation. If your yard is mostly paved or has closely cropped grass, consider planting some native wildflowers or letting a section of your lawn grow a bit longer than usual. You might also want to add a small pond. Many firefly species lay their eggs in or near water sources.

Reduce artificial lighting

One thing that will discourage fireflies from visiting your yard is too much artificial light. If possible, install motion sensor lights so you’ll still have security without disturbing the insects’ natural rhythms.

Eliminate pesticides

Many pesticides contain chemicals that can be harmful to fireflies and other beneficial insects. Try using more natural methods like traps and barriers instead of spraying chemicals around your property.

With a little effort, you can create a space that’s inviting for both humans and fireflies alike.