A magical garden: How to bring fireflies to your backyard

Luckily, inviting these unique creatures into your yard is not too hard. Here are some tried and true methods to make your yard glow.

There are few ways to make an evening outdoors more magical or romantic than the glow of fireflies. Luckily, inviting fireflies into your yard is not too hard. In this article, we’ll talk about some tried and true methods to make your yard glow.

Plant intentionally

There are varieties of fireflies on every continent, so be sure to research your local variety to select the right plants.

Some varieties of fireflies eat pollen and nectar, while others snack on bugs that also eat pollen and nectar. Firefly Conservation provides a list of their favorite plants.

Mow no more

Fireflies like tall grass and shrubbery to hide in. The less frequent you mow your yard and manicure your shrubs, the more places the fireflies will find to live in.

If you are concerned about ticks inhabiting your yard as a result of tall grass, consider allowing the grass to grow taller in the least frequented area of your yard and keep the rest of the yard mowed for your family’s wellbeing.

Landscape intentionally

Each variety of fireflies is drawn to certain native plants. To welcome them into your garden, you need to maintain as much of the natural habitat for them as possible.

Try to select a portion of your yard to keep wild, and perform only minimally necessary maintenance as needed.

Stop chemical pest control measures

According to Firefly Conservation, these glowing bugs feast on snails and slugs. If your garden is full of these slimy characters, let it be and cease all chemical warfare.

Using chemicals not only eliminates the firefly’s food source but also hurts your glowing garden guests. Instead, utilize nature’s pest control system by allowing the fireflies to dine on them.

Do not rake leaves

If you rake leaves and move them from your yard, you might be removing firefly larvae! Fun fact: firefly eggs and larvae glow too.

A magical garden: How to bring fireflies to your backyard

Create a snail hotel

Wet paper bags or cardboard and lay them down in the least frequented area of your yard or an area where you plan to garden. Keep them moist for at least three months, then you may remove and dispose of them.

This practice will attract snails and slugs, which are fireflies’ favorite feasts. This practice will also create ultra-rich soil perfect for planting a lush garden for these bugs and their prey to live in.

Turn off the lights

Minimize your outdoor lighting when you are trying to enjoy your garden at dusk or after dark. If your yard is flooded with light, it will make seeing fireflies more difficult.

Serve beverages for your garden’s guest

Every creature needs water to live. Fireflies are attracted to still water like birdbaths or other water features. Be sure to regularly change out the water to prevent mosquitoes from inhabiting their water source.

Take not hostages

While capturing fireflies in mason jars is a tradition enjoyed by many families, the more fireflies are captured, the smaller the population will become that resides in your yard and survives to breed the next generation of inhabitants.

Try to encourage children to enjoy watching the fireflies instead of capturing them, or find a firefly toy or firefly game for them to play with.

Final thoughts

To enjoy a garden full of glowing guests, mimic the firefly’s natural habitat as much as possible, and create a healthy garden that serves their favorite food of snails and slugs.

Provide them a cool beverage and reduce outdoor lighting. By following the aforementioned tips, in no time at all, you will enjoy one of nature’s most beautiful sights: a garden full of fireflies.