By Ileana Paules-Bronet
Some of my fondest childhood memories revolve around spending summer evenings outside, running outside with my friends and trying to catch fireflies.
Living in a suburb of a larger city allowed me to spend time outside looking at the stars, catching bugs, and enjoying nature — but over the past few years there have been fewer and fewer fireflies to catch.
If you’ve noticed the lack of fireflies, it’s not all in your head — the bright bugs are dwindling in population.
It’s not just bees that are getting wiped out — it’s fireflies as well. According to The New York Times, firefly populations are declining.
And it’s not just in the United States that this is happening. It’s worldwide.
To find out more about fireflies and why they’re so important, keep reading.
And don’t forget to keep scrolling to find out how you can help fireflies in your own backyard!
Do you remember catching fireflies — or lightning bugs — as a kid?
Lots of people love catching and releasing fireflies over the summer, but it seems like there have been fewer and fewer of them recently.
If you’ve noticed a decline in the number of fireflies near your house, you’re not alone.
All over the country — and all over the world — fireflies are disappearing.
But why are firefly populations declining?
Well, The New York Times explains that it’s the “usual suspects.”
As you might guess, human development is the primary cause of decreased numbers of fireflies.
Fireflies, who usually breed and live in rotting wood near forests or standing water, have been losing their habitat to human development.
In addition to normal human development, light pollution — huge amounts of light emitted by electricity (especially in bigger cities) — has extremely detrimental effects on fireflies.
Fireflies actually light up as a method of mating.
Light pollution, as seen in the photo above, makes it harder to see stars.
But it also interferes with the fireflies’ making signals, explains The New York Times — thus, they aren’t reproducing as much.
All of this seems pretty terrible, and you might be feeling pretty helpless, but don’t worry — there are things you can do to support the fireflies!
First things first, try to limit the lights you have on in the evening.
The less you can contribute to light pollution, the better for the fireflies.
Other things you can do to help fireflies include letting logs and litter accumulate on your property.
Fireflies love rotten logs and composting leaves that are natural to the forest canopy — so try to recreate this environment to help firefly larvae grow.
In addition to lowering your contribution to light pollution and creating firefly-friendly environments, you should also avoid using pesticides.
Only use natural fertilizers, plant native trees, and only mow your lawn as much as it needs.
If you want to see more fireflies in the future, please SHARE this article with your friends and family!
Source: Little Things