Firefly Numbers Are Dwindling, But You Can Help

Kent State associate professor and population ecologist Christie Bahlai, Ph.D., offers tips to help our little bioluminescent buddies to thrive

Your backyard firefly displays may not be lighting up the night like they used to. According to experts, populations of these beloved bioluminescent beetles are declining across the United States.

"It's tough to pinpoint the magnitude of that decline," said Christie Bahlai, Ph.D., a population ecologist and associate professor at Kent State University. While firefly booms and busts are natural, recent studies and observations point to an overall downward trend over the past decade.

The main culprits? According to a report from the Washington Post, pesticide usage, light pollution and habitat loss are making it harder for fireflies to thrive. But you can help reinvigorate local firefly populations by skipping the pesticides, reducing outdoor lighting, and cultivating areas with moisture, cover and food sources that mimic their natural habitats.

"It's never too late" to create a more welcoming environment for fireflies in your backyard, Bahlai told the Washington Post. With some adjustments, you may be able to restore the summer magic of twinkling firefly displays for future generations.

Most importantly, be patient, Balhai said. Populations won’t rebound overnight, or even in one season, Bahlai says. It takes about six years for a depleted firefly population to rebound from an environmentally bad year, but the results will be worth it.

Read the full article from the Washington Post here.

POSTED: Friday, May 31, 2024 03:42 PM
Updated: Friday, May 31, 2024 04:08 PM
Image by nini kvaratskhelia from Pixabay