Twinkle Twinkle Little Star: How to Attract Fireflies to Your Back Garden
There is something very magical about fireflies, and having them in your back garden adds a whimsy that fairy lights can't compete with. Of the 2,000 varieties of fireflies, 25 can be found in Australia, mostly from Sydney to south-eastern Queensland. But, how do you get fireflies to come to your garden? Read on for some ideas that will attract fireflies to your space, something that will be good for two reasons, as not only do fireflies help make your garden look more magical, you'll also be helping out the firefly population, which has been diminishing in the last few years.
1. Create the right environment
Fireflies love an environment that is lush and moist, with a mix of shrubs, high grass, and ground cover. As they are nocturnal, during the day fireflies like to take shelter amongst the various plants, so make sure your garden is a place where fireflies want to flock. This means mowing your grass fairly long, so if you like the look of a well-maintained back garden, a haven for fireflies may not be for you. After all, if you're cutting down grass, you're also cutting down sheltering fireflies.
2. Turn off your lights
The way fireflies communicate and locate each other is by flashing their light, so artificial light can really confuse them. Therefore, be sure to switch off any outdoor lights at night and let them create their own natural light show.
3. Grow lots of flowers
Some varieties of fireflies get their nourishment from pollen and nectar, so be sure to have plenty of flowers in your garden.
4. Ditch the chemicals
If you use insecticides to ward off mosquitoes, those same chemicals will kill or deter fireflies as well; they are not selective. Therefore, if you want to create a haven for fireflies, ditch the insecticide and stick to wearing insect repellent instead. Skip the chemicals in your soil as well; firefly larvae are born underground, and any harmful chemicals in the ground will mean they are less likely to survive. It's time to go organic with your gardening and give the fireflies a chance to blossom.
5. Leave the slimy bugs alone
Firefly larvae get their nutrition from slimy insects like slugs, snails, and worms, so be sure to give them the opportunity to snack on their victims by leaving any slimy bugs alone. That way, you'll have a lot more pretty fireflies to enchant your garden once they're fully grown!