Firefly Reports from Georgia
Selected by Donald Ray Burger
Attorney at Law

To submit your own report email
Please include your city/town and state, and the date of your sighting. Include as many details as you can, such as numbers of fireflies, location (rural/city/wooded area, etc), temperature, time, and so on. Thanks for helping with this project.

Below are reports from Georgia, listed in date order, alphabetically by city.


April 14, 2002: A reader writes: Hello - I find this all rather amusing. I also was struck several years back (having young children) with an aching desire to import fireflies to Vancouver Island. I see from your's and Lloyd's presence on the net that's probably quite impossible. So our solution was to move to Georgia. In winding our way down we once saw two fireflies one night in Green Lake, Wisconsin, but here in Acworth, Georgia, (north of Atlanta) our yard sparkles. They came out last night, first night this year, so we shut the lights and sat out on the porch to enjoy. I got on the internet last night because I was struck with curiosity over where those fireflies spend the winter. Restore fireflies to the habitat, and the habitat to the inhabitants, eh. But isn't Texas too dusty and dry for fireflies? Anyway, just felt moved to pop in and say hello.


June 28, 2001: Donna Fillman reports: I live in Houston, Texas, and had never seen a firefly until a recent business trip to Atlanta, Georgia.

June 17, 2005: Rachel Hale notes: I live in a small farming village in south Louisiana on a farm As a child there were fireflies all over the place. Now there are none. I mean I never see any! I assumed that perhaps it was because of the spray that the parish "mosquito man" sprays eliminated them. However, I'm visitig in Atlanta, Georgia ...smack in the middle of Buckhead and there are fireflies all over here. I know there must be a "mosquito man" here too. And this addresses your comment about the city lights. If you find any information about breading/raising fire flies, please let me know. Thank You
On June 28, 2001 at 9:00 p.m. (partly cloudy skies, 80 deg.), I was leaving a restaurant that was northwest of town. I saw what appeared to be fairies dancing in their lovely gardens. Needless to say, I was ecstatic!
July 10, 2000: A reader writes: I am so happy to have your web site to learn more about one of my favorite childhood experiences,hunting fireflies. I grew up in Atlanta, Georgia where every spring and summer it was a tradition to watch for, capture and play with the lovely little glowing creatures. Now that I live in Utah and we don't have fireflies here I miss them and am so excited to visit relatives back in Georgia and North Carolina to have my children experience the thrill of an evening catching and playing with the glowing bugs. This year we were visiting both Atlanta, Georgia and Raleigh, North Carolina, and had many wonderful nights chasing and playing with fireflies. It was between May 27th and July 10th. Oh how I am thrown back to happy childhood memories to watch the excitement in my children's eyes as they see the first blinking light from a firefly at dusk on a warm summer night. I hope to always have that tradition to pass down to children and grandchildren. I can see why you would like to bring them back to Houston. What a sad thing to miss out on that tradition that you once enjoyed.Let us know how it goes.
June 4, 1998: A reader writes: We have been out catching fireflies (they are released before morning), with our four year old, every night for about a week. We live about ten miles from the Atlanta city limits. Our lot is quite steep, and at the bottom there is a swampy stream area. Our hunt starts around 9:00pm. Though my husband and I are both experienced firefly hunters our skill doesn't seem to be getting us very far. We stay out for about an hour and only catch, at most, 10 fireflies. And they never flash once we get them inside. Hopefully we will have more luck soon, and good luck to you in getting them back to Texas.
June 14, 1998: A reader writes: We live in Atlanta, Ga. and I thought you might be interested to know that we have lots of fireflies every summer. They seem to have gone now (at least I didn't see any last night) but were here recently. While we don't live in downtown Atlanta, we are in a near-in suburb, so if light were the problem we wouldn't have them either. The climate of Atlanta is very similar to Houston. My hometown is Orange, Tex., so I am familiar with Houston (my brother is an attorney in Orange,also a UT alum). We don't have a mosquito spray program here in Atlanta, so perhaps that is one reason for the lack of fireflies in Houston.
August, 1997: A reader reports seeing lots of fireflies in a near-suburb of Atlanta. City lights are present. No mosquito spray program.


April 22, 1999: : A reader reports: Once again I saw three fireflies about 30 minutes after sunset here in Blakely, Georgia. We had a very brief rain. Our area is just now seeing peanut and corn crops coming up. This must be the year for lightening bugs here in Blakely.
March 1, 1999:
A reader reports: I live in Blakely, Georgia. I first saw the fireflies this year on March 1,1999. They were seen in the very early minutes of twilight. We only saw two or three but they were there. We are having a very early spring with little cold weather having occurred during the winter.

June 1, 1998:A reader reports: I live in Blakely, Georgia (very southwest corner) and saw your web site while researching hummingbirds. We had a bumper crop of "lightning bugs" as they are called here. I first noticed them on June 1 of 1998 late in the afternoon. We were at a creek surrounded by trees (on the outskirts of town). They were very brilliant (several colors) and abundant. We had a very mild winter and I have already seen several this year (1999). They seem to like wooded areas as well as watered areas. This is a rural farming community (mostly peanuts). Last year was the first time in several years we have been able to see any bugs. I will keep you updated on our "natural lights"!


July 24, 2002: Nadine Huval writes: After years of following your quest for the "Return of the Firefly to Houston," I finally have my own post-childhood story to tell about firefly encounters. Unfortunately, that encounter occurred in Canton, Georgia, instead of Houston, Texas. Canton lies about 45 miles north of Atlanta, in the beautiful horse-filled countryside of rolling hills and trees. I was visiting my best friend, Monica, whose home sits at the top of a hill on a 1-acre lot in a small cul-de-sac neighborhood. On my first night there, as I enjoyed the quiet dusk sipping a glass of wine on the back deck of her home, I sighted the flickering of lights in the woods immediately below. It took me a moment or two to realize that I was witnessing hundreds of fireflies doing their nocturnal mating dance! I fought the urge to telephone you then and there, because I knew that its just not the same as being there. For the five nights I was there, I spent each evening at dusk on the deck watching them glow and flit with a huge smile on my face. Most times it seems that I would watch a particular area for them to light up, only to see them out of the corner of my eye somewhere else. It was a visual chase just to keep up with them. It was magical! It was also my first encounter with fireflies since childhood. I'm glad to reaffirm that fireflies are still around, even if they choose not to make Houston their home. And you can be sure that I'll be looking for them again on my next visit to Canton.


June 15, 1999: A reader offers: We live in Doraville, Georgia, an immediate and adjoining suburb of Atlanta. I do not think that major population light pollution is a determining, or maybe even contributory factor in populations of fireflies. We see large numbers, upwards of 30+ lighting at one time, in our backyard. Granted, we have an excellent location. Our backyard is heavily wooded with hardwoods and abuts a wooded area. I am more inclined to believe in the mosquito spray program theory. Our daughter lives in Beaufort, SC, where a major spray program exists, and she has not seen fireflies in years. As far as the humidity theory, we have had 2 or 3 days of rain. Seemingly, the moister the backyard, the greater the numbers of fireflies rising in the evening. Good luck in your search! I would be interested in the results.


June 13, 1998: A reader writes: I sent you a firefly report last summer from here in Dunwoody, GA - a suburb on the north side of Atlanta. We have had a drastic change of habitat due to a tornado on April 9 that took down all our trees (relatively minimal damage to our house, thankfully). I want to report that we still have a lot of fireflies around dusk and later every evening. We have observed them in the front yard which still has some smaller ornamentals and in the back yard which was previously wooded and now has no trees at all. I wonder if they will be back next year.

Fayette County:

April 7, 2004: A reader notes: New house... have been hoping and watching for fireflies. Have had deer, hummingbirds, over 15 types of birds thus far, butterflies, squirrels, our own opossum... but no fireflies. Until tonight! There were hundreds in the backyard & into the woods! Finally. I had to leave the Braves game to stand out on the back porch and watch as they flitted about the yard. I was amazed at the numbers. It's going to rain later tonight, temperatures in the high sixties. Fayette County, Georgia, just south of Atlanta, Georgia.


July 11, 2000: A reader notes: We see fire flies in our back yard just about every night. We live in Kennesaw, Georgia, about 20 miles north of Atlanta. Part of our back yard is very heavily wooded and most of the fireflies sited are around that area. My 3 and 5 year olds always complain that our neighbors across the street always seem to have more fireflies than we do (possibly due to the creek in their back yard). So moisture seems to be a factor here. I was looking for info on fireflies in general for my 5 year old and stumbled across your site. Good luck.


June 14, 1999: A reader notes: Fireflies have just started coming out in my yard, maybe just over the last 3 or 4 days. I live in a Lilburn, Georgia, a suburb of Atlanta. There are not a lot of lights nearby, except for one streetlight in the front.


May 23, 2005: A reader writes: This past May 28, in Lyerly, Georgia, I went outside and saw thousands of flashing lights in the sky and near the ground. The only thing I could think of was lightning bugs (fireflies). I had an 80 year old relative with me and claims he had never seen such a swarm. Neither had I. They were there for several days.


June 15, 1999: A reader reports: I would guess that we are seeing about 30-50 fireflies around our flower beds and under the trees. We live in Milledgeville, Georgia on Lake Sinclair. These seem to have more a yellow "light" compared to the ones we saw in Italy whose "lights" seem to be whiter. Perhaps it was the wine!
June 13, 1999 A reader notes: Good news. I have fireflies in the yard! They started appearing a couple of days ago. I would guess that we are seeing about 30-50 around our flower beds and under the trees. We live in Milledgeville, Georgia, on Lake Sinclair. These seem to have more yellow of "lights" compared to the ones we saw in Italy (see report of 6/10/99) whose "lights" seem to be whiter. Perhaps it was the wine!

Northern Georgia:

July 22, 1999: A reader writes: I have enjoyed reading your firefly page and used many of the links. I live in northern Georgia and have fireflies in my backyard and my fiance and I enjoy sitting our back porch and watching them in our yard. We just moved here from Savannah, where they are less common, so this has been a new thing for us.


June 2, 1998: A reader writes: I have lived in this house for ten years and this is the first time I have seen fireflies. I saw at least two at about 9:30 pm, just after dusk. I had a flood light on but the wooded part of the yard where I saw the flashes was fairly dark and there isn't a lot of light pollution here in Snellville, Georgia ( East of Atlanta and Stone Mountain). From reading my Funk and Wagnall and some of the links on your page, I am assuming that they were both males since the flashes were moving and in the air. My lot slopes upward from the street and the last third of the yard is densely wooded and brushy. Although there are some woods and a creek behind the houses across the street, my outcrop of trees is the only island of trees for over a block and is on the highest point for several blocks. I don't know if this affects fireflies. It has proved to be a huge draw for a large number of bird species.

Stone Mountain:

June 18, 2005: Julie Miller writes: My husband and I have five children 2, 4, 6, 8 and 9 years old and we live in Anderson, South Carolina. I grew up here in the upstate of South Carolina and my husband grew up about two hours away in Stone Mountain, Georgia. We were surfing the internet to see what fireflies eat. Our children caught about fifty fireflies each last night in Stone Mountain, Georgia, . We had no idea or had never thought about it, but catching these little night lights for our bedroom night stand is a common activity on summer nights both here in South Carolina and in Georgia. It was a joy for us as children and a joy for our children now. Our older two have said they would catch them and send them to you so you could too enjoy the light show. We also found out the life expectancy was only a few days to a week. So, I don't guess they would travel too well by mail. As a side note, we don't live in a big city and do not have city bug spray trucks. However, Stone Mountain is a suburb of Atlanta and they do spray for bugs. Hope this information is useful.

S. Fulton County:

June 5, 2010: Elizabeth notes: On thirty acres in S. Fulton Co., Georgia. Unbelievably still rural. High 80's and humid humid humid . . . wish it would just go ahead and rain. Please. Most fabulous year for blooms. Have had several earlier random sightings of fireflies. Tonight, 9ish, stumbled down the hill to the pass-through path from the barn to the mill. It is low land under a hardwood canopy draining down to the creek . A tunnel of magic. Females a-glitter. Siren song of twinkling light. Wonders of a life lived in the south. Memory fails as to how often there has been this full a display. Childhood in Buckhead when it was just a neighborhood. Young adulthood in Inman Park when it was just a neighborhood. Once before here, between the last two droughts. Tonight! Tonight! Tonight! Who could have thought such a thing up? Wonderful.

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