Reports of Firefly Spottings Supplied by
Visitors to This Web Site

by Donald Ray Burger
Attorney at Law

To add your sighting e mail me! If you give me permission I will use your name. Information about the date, light conditions, description of the landscape and numbers of fireflies will be appreciated.

To see if I have a report from your state or country, click here.


March 30, 2014: A reader reports: Hi. I'm from Houston, Texas. We were coming back home from Lake Houston on March 29, 2014, and it was about 9:00 pm. We saw a bunch of fireflies. It was about 65 degrees and we had just had a rain storm the night before. It has been more than 20 years since I seen these beautiful fireflies.


July 10, 2013: A reader reports: Saw some fireflies last night right after dusk skimming through the corn on my property in Johnstown, Colorado. Thought it odd. Never seen them in the two summers I've lived at this house nor ever in the 8 years in Colorado. The farmer had not even started to irrigate yet. But we recently had some severe thunderstorms creating a humid environment for this area.

June 29, 2013: A reader notes: Last night had one perched on the outside of my glass door in south Fort Collins, Colorado. This was the second time I have seen fireflys in the area, as we saw a few near Boyd Lake a few years ago. This one was a vivid green, very bright, almost like a Gwen LED. Pretty cool!

June 25, 2013: A reader reports: Hello! This is for your firefly project. We saw three in our yard tonight at 10:15 pm, in East Preston, Nova Scotia, Canada, There were three greenish-whiteish firflies. We have woods and swampy areas in our yard. This is a full week before we saw them last year.

June 1, 2013: A reader writes: We spotted our first firefly of 2013 tonight, June 1, in our backyard in a suburb of Syracuse, New York. We have been seeking fireflies in both Rochester and Syracuse for the past couple of years. We have seen a couple of spectacular displays. But there is rarely more than a couple fireflies in my backyard.

May 17, 2013: A reader reports: I just saw fireflies tonight in my small backyard. It seems there are about ten of them roaming about at 8:30 pm when it was getting dark and the temperature is 71. I live in Pflugerville, Texas. Pflugerville is located between Austin and Round Rock. I think there were a lot less last year when we started developing our garden so I was pleasantly surprised to see more this year. We have a beautiful flower garden in our backyard that has been visited by several honey bees, butterflies, and a hummingbird moth (first sight this year) and now, the fireflies! There is a lot of wooded areas with a nice small creek and lake a little bit farther from our backyard. I hope this small piece of information helps with your fireflies project.

April 30, 2013: Alan Headrick notes: This is for Pace, Florida. We moved here in the summer of 2005, and I saw four fireflies; never had seen them before out west. It was so cool to see them and was looking forward to seeing them again. Well I never saw them again until tonight, 30 April, 2013. I saw a couple across the street and there may be more. It's a bit breezy out and 76 degrees. They blink twice with a white color and then about 30 second later they blink again, but sometimes 50 feet away. Still so cool I hope they stay around.


October 15, 2012: A reader notes: We have fireflies on and off from late spring through early fall. Just tonight I observed a dozen or so out in the front yard (5 acres really) here in Central Florida. We live in north Myakka City, Florida, in the middle of an old orange grove. Thank you for keeping records; it seems to us they are regaining population rather than being in decline. Thank you
August 13, 2012: A reader reports: Hi. I now live in The Woodlands, Texas, (north of Houston). I was out tonight around 8:15 PM and noticed a little blink/flash. Have lived in my home here for 10 years and only seen the firefly/lightning bug a handful of times. Had been doing a bit of quick yard work and had put my tools away. Went and checked the mail and when I returned to my driveway I noticed the flash. It was past dusk, starting to get pretty dark out. Think there were at least 3 or they were busy moving. I have a few large pine trees in my front yard and a huge oak tree. I would say they were at 5 feet high or less in this area. You just have to smile when you see them. Lived for 30+ years in southern California and never able to see one till we traveled cross country for a trip. Had to peek on the web to see what type of bug they are so I might be more welcoming of them during the daylight hours.
July 13, 2012: A reader reports: I saw my first Utah firefly. It was July 4, 2012, about 10:15 pm. It was a clear sky, around 89 degrees. We don't live far (approx. 5 miles) from Plain City, Utah, where I see they have been sighted before. There are no marshes around us, and it was in my back yard. The moon was out, with fireworks from the neighboring communities going off, and there in my own yard was the best show! Pretty excited to spot my first in Utah!
July 11, 2012: A reader reports: Punta Gorda, Florida. July 4 2012. Among vegetation bordering the Peace River in Charlotte Harbor, about 20 fireflies, flashing. Temperature around 90 degrees. Also spotted in Myakka State Park and other state parks where spraying for mosquitoes is not allowed.
July 24, 2012: A reader reports: I saw one in my back yard in Sugar Land, Texas, last night at 8:15 pm. Just getting dark.I have lots of butterfly attracting plants so here's hoping I'll see more some day!
July 1, 2012: A reader notes: Tonight, July 1, 2012, on an evening walk we saw two glowing movements as we walked over Fossil Creek by Trilby between Lemay and Timberline Road in Fort Collins, Colorado. We stopped and witnessed two fireflies moving along the creek that flows through a private open space. We marveled at the sighting first not being sure of just what we were seeing. We watched for about 10 minutes as they came within about 10 feet of us and then continued on their journey along the creek. Amazing!
June 18, 2012: A reader notes: I live in Hygiene, Colorado, and for the past few years have observed lightning bugs in the field behind my house. Dozens of lights can be seen after dark. This activity usually begins around the Summer Solstice and lasts for a few weeks. I've been seeing them every night for the past week. Very beautiful and magical--and nostalgic for me because I grew up in Ohio when lightning bugs were abundant all summer long. Thanks for this site!
June 10, 2012: A reader notes: Thanks for your website! I'm from Owensboro, Kentucky, and my husband, children, and I recently moved to Houston, Texas, in June of 2011. I haven't seen any lightning bugs since we moved down here, and I've been actively looking. Fortunately, we were back home in Owensboro during the first two weeks of May this year, 2012, and my children and I were thrilled able to see and catch several lightning bugs. We were staying with my mom, in the country, where wooded areas, ponds, deer, coyotes, and other such wildlife could be found. However, when living in Owensboro, Kentucky, my husband, kids, and I lived "in town" and saw them there too every night during early summer. We sprayed for mosquitoes and tried to rid our yard of standing water. We also lived next to a public facility where the lights stayed on until about 10 pm and the bugs came out anyway. It is just so much easier to see them when it is darker. I was always a little sad when driving at night and killing a lightning bug. For those of you who don't know, when they hit your windshield they continue to glow for several minutes.
June 9, 2012: A reader notes: June 9, 2012: I saw hundreds of fireflies here in Rochester, Pennsylvania, more than anyone in the family ever remembers seeing. It was around 10:30 PM, temperature 75, humidity 49 percent, barometer 30.02. Thank you Mother Nature for the amazing show! I wish I had a hammock to sleep on.
June 9, 2012: A reader reports: Hi. I just spotted my first firefly for 2012, in the front garden at dusk in Yorktown, New York. It’s two weeks earlier than last year’s first spotting.
June 7, 2012: A reader reports: Where: Southampton, New York. When: June 7, 2012, 11:30 pm. Male sighted- flying very high. White light. Not yellow green. Earliest sighting yet!
May 31, 2012: A reader notes: It's just past 9 p.m. on May 31,2012. My daughter and I just spent 15 minutes catching fireflies in Raleigh, North Carolina. All together we caught about 25 and put them in a large plastic see-through container that she is sleeping with tonight. It's a beautiful calm evening with high humidity and temps are in the low 80s. They are everywhere. The best spring of the four years I've been here. Never saw fireflies growing up in Southern California. Sent from my iPad.
May 27, 2012: Cathy Crump Vonderhaar notes: Saw a single firefly tonight. We were sitting outside at dusk and I thought it was a fire ember, but there was no fire around. I followed it into the woods. It was clearly a firefly. Had no clue there were any in this area of Perry Park Ranch, Larkspur, Colorado.
May 26, 2012: A reader writes: Tonight while walking with my daughter and her dog we saw one firefly in the wetland area behind our house. It was 77 degrees F at 9:09 pm in Aurora, Colorado, in the Auburn Hill Area. We have never seen them in Colorado before.
May 20, 2012: A reader notes: I'm not sure if your website is still active or if your still recording firefly sightings, but as this is the first I've ever seen fireflies (just moved to South Carolina from california) I thought I would email you. I saw them in Greer, South Carolina, (Greenville country) on 5/20/2012, at around 9 pm, It is 78 and a clear night, we are in city limits but its wooded and we have a creek that runs around our house. They were on the other side of the creek so I can't tell how many (and they move around) but there seemed to be a dozen maybe. Thanks!
May 19, 2012: A reader reports: Thank you for your blog. I just found you on a web search. I had been hearing that fireflies are disappearing in Fort Worth, and wanted to see what had been written, if anything. I was taking a walk with my wife on the evening of May 3, 2012, at around 9 pm, and took comfort in seeing the twinkle of fireflies throughout the wooded creek in Tanglewood Park here in Fort Worth, Texas. I cross my fingers every year and thank the Lord for this little bit of heaven. I estimate the density at one firefly per ten cubic feet.
May 17, 2012: A reader notes: This report is from Seminole, Florida. At 9:00 P.M. right off the backwater of Long Bayou we saw tons of fireflies as we walked back through the mangroves from a fishing adventure. We were amazed to see fireflies in Seminole! Temperature was around 78 F. This was actually the second time we had seen them, we saw them about two weeks ago around the same time. There were literally hundreds of them.
May 15, 2012: A reader notes: Hi. I saw a firefly last night in Charlottesville, Virginia. It was in my house, which is in a wooded area. I only saw one. It had just started sprinkling, and then there was a deluge of water. The grass has been very damp lately, with a lot of moisture. I don't know if you are still collecting data, but it was great to see my first firefly of the season.
May 11, 2012: A reader reports: On March 12, 2012, in Jupiter, Florida, located in Palm Beach County. They were between the road way and beach in highly vegetated area north of Juno Pier. There were over 50. They were flashing. Temperature was between 70-80 degrees F. It was around 10:00 PM.
May 11, 2012: A reader reports: On May 4, 2012 in Boca Raton, Florida, located in Palm Beach County. North east section of Whyman Park. Highly vegetated area around 100ft from ICW. There were around 20. They were flashing. Temperature was between 70-80 degree F. It was around 11:00 PM.
May 10, 2012: A reader notes: I just wanted you to know that here in Sugar Land, Texas, I have seen one or two lightning bugs in my back yard over the last week. I keep a lookout nightly, but usually miss them if there are any around. I am trying to introduce my two year old son to the magic of fireflies. My wife has yet to see one and we joke that I am either having a stroke or that I also see unicorns and Bigfoot in our yard. I have such fond memories of lightning bugs while growing up in Arkansas. It's such a reminder of the innocence and simple pleasures of youth. I sure would love to see the firefly population make a big comeback soon! Thanks and keep up the good work. Sent from my Iphone.
May 7, 2012: A reader notes: I saw your posts online when doing a search for lightning bugs in Florida. I saw a lightning bug in Indian Rocks Beach, Florida, on Saturday night May 5, 2012. This was the most unusual thing I have ever seen. I initially saw a bright concentrated light outside my stained glass door. My initial thought was that someone was directing a laser stick at my door. I quickly opened the door and saw that it was in fact a lightning bug or fire fly of some sort. It was very similar in size to a northern lightning bug that you would find around the Philadelphia area. The main astonishing difference was that this lightning bug was a bright fluorescent green. I wanted to try and catch it but I didn't want to take a chance of injuring it. I have been out last night and earlier tonight to see if I could duplicate this sighting. I sure hope I am not the only one who has seen a similar bug. I am not an entomologist but I am 100% sure of what I saw.
May 7, 2012: A reader writes: From April 26 to 28, 2012, we were camping at St. Joseph Peninsula State Park in Port St. Joe, Florida. state park. The weather was warm, but pleasant, with high 70s to low 80s. We were in campsite that backed up to vegetation leading over to sand dunes toward the beachside. There were many fireflies wandering back and forth all three nights. It was a great surprise. Like our own little light show. What a peaceful sight, reminding me of my youth!
May 7, 2012: A reader writes: With the unseasonable warm temperature of about 67 degrees on March 31, 2012, the wife and I were out in the backyard by our garden enjoying our nice little fire in the fire ring as twilight gave way to night. I could hear overhead the ocassional call of migrating waterfowl, Blue-winged Teal and Gadwall, overhead under the blanket of night. I had leaned back in my chair and was looking to the heavens watching the stars when near the top of our Bald Cypress tree was a glowing firefly in flight. We watched if for a few minutes climb ever higher until it stopped blinking or possibly went over our 1-1/2 story house and into the front yard. Our house is set in a pasture setting with an agriculture field across the street and the other side of the field is a slow moving river. Trees are limited in our six acre yard with two rows of pines lining the west side of the property line as a wind break to the house. Five Bald Cypress in front and back yard in a line as if part of an old fence row. One Honey Locust tree, several 18-20 foot Mulberry Trees and 3, 30-40 foot Sweetgums. Earlier in the winter (mild this year 2012), I do remember seeing the glowing of the larval stage fireflies (I think) in the grass. Our address is Bloomfield, Missouri; however, we're about five miles north of Bloomfield proper in what is known as Aquilla, Missouri, just north of the Castor River.
May 6, 2012: A reader reports: I live in the middle of the city in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and I just saw a firefly while watering my garden. I have lived here for 44 years and I can't remember ever seeing one. We travel to North Carolina several times a year and one of the things that we always look forward to in the summer time is the Fireflies. Up there we have them every night in the summer. I could not believe my eyes when I saw this little guy all the way down here. It was about 8:45 pm. Sunset was around 8 pm.


July 21, 2011: Michelle Abney reports: I read about your firefly tracking website in The Eagle this morning. I live in College Station, TX and have never seen fireflies in town. However, my kids had quite a treat in Navasota, Texas, this spring. There were several, I'd say about 15 fireflies, at the Bovay Scout Ranch off Hwy 6 during our Cub Scout family camp out May 7, 2011.
July 20, 2011: A reader notes: We live on a farm in north Fort Collins, Colorado, and tonight around 9:30 pm we saw a single firefly along one of our ditches. It was glowing a very bright amber color and stayed there, hanging out on a piece of tall grass while we watched for a few minutes. We have NEVER seen a firefly in Colorado before. So cool.
July 16, 2011: A reader reports: Hello. I was fishing from a raft last night on the Animas river about ten miles south of Durango, Colorado, and we saw fireflies! Western slope of Colorado? Highly unusual. I have lived in this are for the last ten years and this is a first. Temps were in the high 50s; time about 9:45 pm, easy westerly breeze, full moon/partial clouds. Two of us saw about 30 fireflies. Have not seen these insects in Colorado, I thought it was a mid-west thing. Well, they are now in the very dry southwestern corner of the state.
July 14 2011: Donna Merrill reports: Tonight, around 9:15 pm, I saw a firefly next to Trapper's Point Lake in Fort Collins, Colorado. Temperature was the mid-70s. It was slightly cloudy. There was a very slight breeze. This was the first firefly I have seen here at my house.
July 11 2011: A reader writes: Hello there Donald! Great to connect with like minded persons with a common interest in preserving firefly habitat. I do see a lot of fireflies each year during May/June at River Legacy Park (along the Trinity River) here in Arlington, Texas. . Keep up the good work and thanks for keeping this blog!
July 3, 2011: A reader writes: Tonight, July 3, 2011, in the midst of fireworks going off I spotted some fireflies in my neighborhood in west Greeley, Colorado. About 77 degrees tonight. Last year we spotted them in a field near our house and none of our Colorado friends believed us until we took them out to the field one night. Our kids were able to catch a few last summer. I caught one tonight to take a picture and then let it back outside.
July 2, 2011: A reader notes: Hello. If you are still logging sightings, we saw about 20 fireflies tonight in our wooded yard at 10:00 pm. Dusk. We went outside to see if we could catch the Canada Day fireworks from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, and witnessed a better lightshow! They were all white/pale green.
July 2, 2011: A reader writes: Hello. Mike from Fort Collins here. The last three evenings at least there have been THOUSANDS of fireflies in a field near Laporte, Colorado. It is just a hay field fairly near the Cache La Poudre river. It has been mid 80s and dry this week, following one of the bigger rain storms I have seen in 25 years in Fort Collins.
June 27, 2011: A reader writes: It was about 1:40 am on June 26 in Kissimmee, Florida. My girlfriend and I were in front of our home when she first just spotted a single firefly. I quickly turned around and saw it light up and fly away over our house heading northwest.
June 27, 2011: Tina Williams notes: I live in Lakes on Eldridge North in Houston, Texas, in the Eldridge and West Little York area. I have seen fireflies in my back yard in the spring of this year and last year. There are only a couple – but so exciting to see. By the way: I do have a mosquito misting system (using pyrethrium). I have no mosquitoes in my yard, but do have a few fireflies now. So nice to see your web site. I have all different sort of plants in my yard. I also have butterfly bush and butterfly weed,although prior to reading your article I was trying to get rid of both. Thanks.
June 26, 2011: A reader notes: I walk my dog almost every evening in Houston, Texas, in Terry Hershey Park in West Houston between Dairy Ashford and Eldridge. Around dusk almost every summer evening I see fireflys along the trail in the bushes that border the Buffalo Bayou. This year the numbers seem lower which I attribute to the dryer conditions but who knows. I have fond childhood memories of fireflys during the summers in Wisconsin. I appreciate your site.
June 26, 2011: A reader writes: I just saw the news story about your tracking sightings. I live in Houston, Texas, near West Sam Houston and Terry Hershey Trail. I noted “lightning bugs” on my calendar March 12 this year. I believe they were hanging around the old holly bushes in front of my plate glass windows; it was about dusk or a little bit later. I remember being delighted at an early sign that we’d have a glorious spring. I don’t use any fertilizers. I no longer have Terminix spray my exterior sills, etc., against roaches. My neighborhood hires a pest control company to spray mosquitoes at night (!) but my house is pretty distanced from the street. I’ve generally observed the fireflies most years from inside my house as they flash against one plate glass window or another.
June 25, 2011: Nate Lovator writes: At 9:25 pm in Fort Collins, Colorado, . I would guess the temprature was between 75-80 degrees. It was very dry, saw one here, one there, and no more than three at once. It was amazing. I had never seen a firefly before. I did not know we had them in Colorado.
June 25, 2011: Kristen Varner notes: I grew up in Trinity, NC (outside High Point) and remember catching lightning bugs as a kid in the summer around dusk and then they would somewhat disappear by dark. I purchased a house in Trinity, North Carolina, three summers ago and have witnessed the most amazing lightning bug show every summer. We notice it begin every year a little before the summer solstice. They emerge around dusk and fly through the yard where they can be caught then, by 10 pm, there are thousands in the trees blinking. It looks like the stands at the World Series. We have an area of woods and a creek that passes through it behind our house and the trees in this area are just full of lightning bugs. It is like no place I have every seen and it is only in a relatively small area. It is magical and beautiful and I can see it all from my back yard!
June 24, 2011: A reader writes: I have lived in Lafayette,Colorado, since 1979. Tonight, at dusk, in our back pasture, for the first time ever, there were hundreds of fireflies hovering over our marsh. It was so incredibly delightful. I grew up in Illinois catching them nightly. When I was very young, I did what many others do, put them in a jar. And every morning when I got up, they were gone! It took me awhile to figure out my parents let them escape when I fell asleep.
June 18, 2011: Vicki writes: I'm currently in Tallahasse, Florida, and we went out looking for fireflies tonight. We found a few flying high in night sky in very wooded areas. The time was around 9 pm. The temperature was about 83 degrees. Clear sky. Humidity is at 68%. We were not able to catch any, but enjoyed watching them fly about the trees. The best part was that my daughter got to experience fireflies for the first time ... She loved every minute!
June 8, 2011: Shawn Kendall writes: One firefly sighted at Enterprise, Florida, at approximately 9:00 pm. At my residence, deep in the swamp woods, but borders a canal on the northeast side of Lake Monroe. I'll keep watching for more!
June 8, 2011: A reader notes: Milton, Ontario. James snow between Louis St Laurent and Derry Road. My cousin and I were walking about 9:30 pm, on a very hot humid night. We saw hundred and hundreds of fireflies. It was almost like fairy dust over the tall grasses. They seemed to hover just around the top. Some brave ones were higher and were very acrobatic. It was a magical sight. We've never ever seen such a sight. Stunning, to say the least.
June 3, 2011: A reader notes: Firefly sighting last night. A nice calm evening and they were everywhere in the forest surrounding my home on an acreage 5 minutes from Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada. I believe that this is earlier than last years sightings and seems to coincide with millions of smaller sized blue dragonflies. We have a ‘lake’ close by as well.
May 30, 2011: A reader reports: Sighting was at 3:00 am in Waxahachie, Texas (30 miles South of Dallas). It's about 75 degrees outside, humid, and a bit cloudy. I went outside my front door to let my cat inside when I noticed a bright, firefly-like, light flashing. The unusual thing, besides that it was just one, is that it moved faster and it's light flashed brighter and faster than I'd ever seen before. Almost like an LED strobe light. It was at the end of my sidewalk and moved towards me then up and over my house. Anyone else seen this type of firefly?
May 14, 2011: A reader writes: At approximately 8:00 p.m. in Huntington Beach State Park, South Carolina, off US 17, Murrells Inlet, Horry County, coastal South Carolina: On the two or so mile-long, paved pedestrian path known as the "Straight Path" by the nature observers who congregate there. (Runs directly west of Atalaya, the home of Archer and Anna Hyatt Huntingtons when Brookgreen Gardens was under construction.) I was shocked; I had no idea fireflies occur in South Carolina. Number observed was about 50 in the space of five minutes.
May 13, 2011: Captiva Island, Florida 9:11 pm. Temperature about 75-78 degrees. Not that humid. A really nice night. Our house is on the bay but directly across the road is the beach. Our lot is wooded--dense vegetation on either side. Very dark at night, which allows us to see them flashing all over the backyard area. When trying to catch one they move a lot faster than they did when I was a little girl. Their lights also seem more of a green glow not the yellow that I remember as a kid. What a great night to remember one of my fondest memories of childhood ... Catching fireflies! Priceless!
May 7, 2011: A reader reports: I just found your site when I googles fireflies in Florida. I am a native and had never seen a firefly in South Florida until yesterday evening (10 pm) and again tonight (around 9pm) in Hialeah, Florida. Similar to the report from the person on Key Biscayne, these have 2 lights, very bright and green, above the wings. I have never seen a similar lightening bug and these were longer (+1.25 in) than those I am familiar with from the mid-Atlantic and Northeast. The insect body was longer and thinner but the coloring of the body and wings and the wing structure and movement - slow and drifting - were very typical. Thanks very much for the site.
May 6, 2011: A reader reports: Don't know if you are still tracking their whereabout but here is: Miami, Florida, 33155 -tropical park area. I saw a few fireflies in our neighborhood tonight. My husband caught one for my daughter and we were able to put in a glass jar to examine it for a few minutes. Same as the one seen on Key Biscayne on June 5 2010. It has two green dots one of each side at the base of its head or above the wings. The body is black or dark brown and elongated. It's the first time I have seen those here.
April 22, 2011: A reader writes: Crystal River, Florida, 2:35 am, 62.6 degrees F. Approximately 1 mile east of the Gulf of Mexico, backyard, approximately 100 feet from a heavily wooded area. I saw only one firefly but I have waited three years to see one on this property. Growing up in central Florida they were plentiful. I hope this means I will see more. This one was very close to a window hovering around a red and yellow hummingbird feeder filled with a mixture of 1.5 cups of sugar mixed with 4 cups of water - no coloring.
April 15, 2011: I was walking on a nature trail in North Port, Florida, and back into the woods, where there is a ton of bushes and along a little canal I spotted a firefly at about 8:30 pm. As I kept walking through the trail I came to a bit of open field around 9 pm and counted at least 10 other fireflies flickering all around me. It was probably 75 degrees out, no clouds, just moon light and they stayed above head level. I've spotted them before in Sarasota, Florida a couple years ago and also in Englewood Florida, but I haven't seen them in a great while until tonight.
April 11, 2011: A reader sends from Homosassa, Florida: Hello: I stumbled upon your site when I was wondering about fireflies on the nature coast of Florida, Homosassa to be exact. We just moved to this area and I was so excited tonight to see a firefly hanging around my sliding glass door. I turned off my lights and looked out into a wooded area by my house and saw lots and lots of them! Very cool. We just moved here from East Texas and I never saw them there. I grew up in the Florida Everglades and never recall seeing them there, either. So, being a good mom, I got my kids ot of bed so my boys cold see their first ever firefly. Anyway, if you're still keeping up with your site, I thought you'd enjoy it.
April 4, 2011: A reader writes: My wife and I were excited to see 6 fireflies from our back yard in DeLand, Florida, at about 2130 this evening (April 4, 2011). There are several acres of second-growth dry/upland forest, mostly oaks with some slash pines (with a palmetto/mixed-shrub understory) just on the other side of our back yard fence. We live in the Glenwood subdivision of NW DeLand, almost in DeLeon Springs. Hope the fireflies are in flight wherever you are.
March 23, 2011: A reader writes: I always check your website for hummingbird sightings. I also noticed your Cherokee links and tonight your firefly information. For the first time since I moved to Houston in 1990, my husband and I saw several fireflies in my neighbor's yard - in one area near some plants - last night. I always wondered why there weren't any here. I just read your note about fireflies and thought I'd write to let you know we saw some right in Houston, Texas! We were walking our dogs and passing our neighbor's house, we saw about 5 fireflies on March 22, 2011, around some bushes in West University Place around 7:30 p.m. and again around 8:15 p.m. in the same place. I'm going to go back and take a closer look at the bushes and flowers and see what ones they were. We did not see any other fireflies on our walk of about 12 blocks that night and have never seen any in our neighborhood before.


October 4, 2010: Linda reports: We have noticed fireflies on our property near Magnolia, Texas, in Montgomery County North-West of the Woodlands and Houston. We have 12 + acres that backs up to a large wilderness area with ponds and creeks. We have replanted natives plants and trees and most of our neighbors are mow-a-holics with only wasteful lawns. In an acerage estate neighborhood We have the only yard with fireflies since 1998. We also have frogs, foxes and other wildlife absent from the other yards. I have seen the fireflies rise from the ground in the floodplain in a slow spiral to the sky as the darkness decended. We use no pesticides or herbicides or other toxins in the yard. So, God rewards us with fireflies sometimes starting as early in the year as February, flashing along with the spring peepers, the frogs of winter here. Thank you for caring about these delightful lights of our lives.
September 13, 2010: My husband saw a firefly on September 11 and September 12, 2010, in our backyard in Kingwood, Texas. It was just one single little guy, but was very exciting. We woke our three small children to come have a look.
August 16, 2010: Gloria Valentine writes: I have had fireflies around my home in Wesley Chapel, Florida, which is just north of Tampa in Pasco County, for the last 2 months (mid-June to now, mid-August, 2010). They are not numerous, but they shine with a quick, bright white light. My yard has a pond with lots of woods behind it, and that's where they like to hang out. I am originally from Maryland and am accustomed to seeing many fireflies in the summer. I have been in Florida for almost five years and have never seen any here until recently. These fireflies blink rapidly, faster than the ones up North, and their light is brighter and white rather than yellowish. The weather here has not been anything out of the ordinary; hot, humid days with thunderstorms/showers in the afternoons.
July 13, 2010: M. Nicole Morrison reports: I was in Westport, Connecticut, this past weekend, and the fireflies were out in full force around sunset on Saturday and Sunday. I, too, wish we had them in Houston. Do you think pollution in the area has anything to do with their absence? Thanks for maintaining this website. Take care.

July 12, 2010: A reader writes: I have seen fireflies in Ft. Collins, Colorado, a couple of weeks ago, the third week of June. I was in a field along a bike path just west of Taft Hill Between Laporte and Vine streets, there's a little cattail marsh there. I was out in this marsh at about ten pm, and I saw one (only one) flying around, lighting up the area. And now, this night of July 12th, I was out there again and saw a full dozen or so of the glorious creatures. I grew up in the east where we had them in abundance every summer, and now I get to share with my children one of my fondest memoies of childhood, for truly there are fireflies in Ft. Collins, Colorado.
July 8, 2010: A reader reports: My husband and son have seen lots of fireflies along the Terry Hershey trail/Buffalo Bayou between Dairy Ashford and Kirkwood in June and July in Houston, Texas. And I have seen them in my front yard.
July 5, 2010: A reader reports: We were fortunate enough to see fireflies out at our RV Resort West of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Lake Arnault is about 45 minutes west of Edmonton. We have seen them on a number of occasions there this year. End of April , May 24 weekend and on June 12. if my memory serves me right. April was cool, 12 Deg C, about 10PM and +/- 150-200 lights in about 1 hour. May was warm, 18 Deg C, about 10PM and +/- 1000 lights in about 1- 2 hours June was warm, 22 Deg C, about 1130 PM and +/- 500 Lights in ½ Hour The ones in May were considerably brighter then the other times. It was amazing. I have been out there a couple of weekends since June, and didn’t see them. It was just 1 block from the lake. Wooded with poplar and spruce and in each case humidity was a bit high. They were from about 6 feet off the ground to as high as 60 feet. I am looking for more info on these fireflies; that’s what I was looking for when I found this site. Cheers.
June 9, 2010: A reader notes: We are seeing very few fireflies here in North Alabama. Just a few flickers each night. Not even enough for my five year old son to catch. I live within the city limits though where they regularly spray for mosquitoes. I am guessing that pesticide is killing our fireflies too. So sad! A few friends on FaceBook say that they live way out in the country and still have lots of them, but most friends are saying that the numbers are way down from when we were kids ~ 30 years ago.
June 8, 2010: A reader notes: Tonight at 6 pm 85 degrees in Searcy, Arkansas, we saw 20-25 fireflies lasting 20 minutes between mid-dusk and dark. Small town with heavy brush on property. Thanks.
June 6, 2010: Chris Biggar reports: We have seen fireflies in Limington, Maine, tonight at 9:30. We were sitting in our hot tub and for about 10 minutes we saw about 10 fireflies. Our property is 3 acres of field surrounded by acres of woods on the top of a hill 30 miles north west of Portland, Maine.

June 5, 2010: Darin Phillips notes: After a storm blew through the island tonight on Key Biscayne, Florida, we finally saw our first firefly. It had two glowing green spots on each side above the wings instead of a single large glowing underbelly. Large ants on our porch were eating another one that had died. We have lived in this condo near the end of the island for 2.5 years and this was the first time we have seen one. However, we have been unable to find out what species it is.
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. June 4, 2010: Nancy Greig reports: I was walking the dogs around my neighborhood in Houston, Texas, just now (9 p.m., June 4), and to my delight saw about a half dozen fireflies in the bushes at the back of an abandoned lot on the south side of Queenswood Drive. There is a little tributary of White Oak Bayou that runs back there. I have seen fireflies in the same vicinity in past years - didn't notice any last year, perhaps because it was so dry. Anyway, there they were. It gave me a little frisson of pleasure to see them again.
June 4, 2010: a reader reports: I was sitting in my I saw a firefly, I am from Bethlehem , PA and I would see them all the time growing up and miss them. My husband had told me when he came from work last night that they do not exist here. But that was not the best part, we were sitting in our living room at around 10:00 pm my husband looked down at the floor, and there was a firefly WALKING on our floor, lighting up! To me, it was almost surreal. My husband picked it up and set it free outside. This was the first time (and I have been living in Florida for 17 years), that I have ever seen one, let alone one walking in our living room. Needless to say, my husband is a believer now. I am from Plantation, Florida. The term that best described seeing it was MAGIC. Also, we live in the acres, so we are on an acre of land with surrounding trees and bushes and are about 10 minutes away from the everglades.
May 31, 2010: a reader reports: We live in near Terry Hershey Park in Houston, Texas. We started taking the children on "Firefly Walks" at dusk (+/- 8:30). This evening it was partly cloudy, warm and humid. We saw quite a few in the bushes and flying low to the ground. We were on the trail between Highway 6 and Memorial Drive, right along Buffalo Bayou. I believe the first day I started seeing them was Friday, May 28.
April 26, 2010: A reader notes: Last night was the night of a wicked storm, which turned out lightning and wind in extraordinary amounts – the lightning alone being called “historical.” It was actually so bad it was like a strobe light was going off ‘outside.’ We live in Wesley Chapel, Florida, and this occurred on 4/26 in the wee hours (storm started around 7:30 on 4/25) – it should go down as worse than “No Name Storm of ’93’(?)”) I can’t tell you for sure the temperature, but would have been somewhere in the 70s, at least around the time the bug was noticed. Anyway, after an explosive lightning strike, we were unable to sleep and got up to sit on the couch to wait the worst out (about 12pm) and my husband noticed a lightning but on the ceiling just behind us (inside the house). I have been in Florida since late 70s and don’t recall seeing any since before then, when I lived in Ohio. I read a book about them purporting them in New Orleans at the time of Katrina, but I don’t know if that is true or not. If so, perhaps there was something to do with that that moved them back (perhaps with the amount of people who came to Florida after Katrina – and brought them with them - or through some other atmospheric conditions). My husband is a truck driver, and I asked him if he had been anywhere where there were lightning bugs (in the event he somehow “brought a bug home”), but he said it isn’t time yet in the northern areas (i.e. Chicago) where he was, and he hadn’t seen any. I don’t recollect when they used to start, only – like he said – they seem to be more of a summertime bug. In any event, we have had more rainfall this winter and spring than usual, and then this terrible storm, which went across the Gulf Coast, to this wonderful bug in our living room. I don’t know what to make of it. It would be nice if they were coming back – of course preferably in their own environment. Is there any hope that it’s not just limited to strange sightings or certain habitats?
April 15, 2010: a reader reports: I was am excited. I had gone out back to take my dogs out at about 8:36 pm for their last potty before bed, and there it was: a firefly. I followed it through our yard and tried to catch it, but was unable to. We live in Palm Bay, Florida. I just wanted to let you know.

Last night was the night of a wicked storm, which turned out lightning and wind in extraordinary amounts – the lightning alone being called “historical.” It was actually so bad it was like a strobe light was going off ‘outside.’ We live in Wesley Chapel, Florida, and this occurred on 4/26 in the wee hours (storm started around 7:30 on 4/25) – it should go down as worse than “No Name Storm of ’93’(?)”) I can’t tell you for sure the temperature, but would have been somewhere in the 70s, at least around the time the bug was noticed. Anyway, after an explosive lightning strike, we were unable to sleep and got up to sit on the couch to wait the worst out (about 12pm) and my husband noticed a lightning but on the ceiling just behind us (inside the house). I have been in Florida since late 70s and don’t recall seeing any since before then, when I lived in Ohio. I read a book about them purporting them in New Orleans at the time of Katrina, but I don’t know if that is true or not. If so, perhaps there was something to do with that that moved them back (perhaps with the amount of people who came to Florida after Katrina – and brought them with them - or through some other atmospheric conditions). My husband is a truck driver, and I asked him if he had been anywhere where there were lightning bugs (in the event he somehow “brought a bug home”), but he said it isn’t time yet in the northern areas (i.e. Chicago) where he was, and he hadn’t seen any. I don’t recollect when they used to start, only – like he said – they seem to be more of a summertime bug. In any event, we have had more rainfall this winter and spring than usual, and then this terrible storm, which went across the Gulf Coast, to this wonderful bug in our living room. I don’t know what to make of it. It would be nice if they were coming back – of course preferably in their own environment. Is there any hope that it’s not just limited to strange sightings or certain habitats?

September 26, 2009: Hi ! I saw lighting bugs here for the first time in years. I'm a front porch setter. It's September 26th of 2009. I saw 3 out tonight; it's pouring rain. I live in Thomasville, North Carolina right outside the city limits. It was about 8;30 pm. There were lots here in early June thru August. Didn't see many after that until now. I would to keep as many as possible here, but I don't know how. I have learned this year to how to invite the hummingbirds and to be thankful for our dragonflies. Thanks.
September 24, 2009: Randy Constan, alias "Peter Pan," reports: I had to run to my computer to type "fireflies in Florida" into Google! I've been in Tampa since 1995, after living most of my life in New York. I'd never seen any fireflies here in Tampa, Florida, nor heard of anyone seeing a single one. Then, tonight, September 24, 2009, around 10 PM, cluttered around a big "floating mat" island in a pond bordering my backyard, hundreds of them! Really fast blinking ones too, like little electronic LED flashers! They'd flash about 3-4 flashes per second, about 7 or 8 flashes in a row, then pause. The whole mass of them looked really magical! I can't help wonder if there's some greater meaning, and all those other fun things to think about. :-) In any case, VERY KEWL!!!!
August 1, 2009: My family and I were fortunate to see Lightening Bugs/ Fireflies quite by chance on Saturday, August 1, 2009, in Mena, Arkansas. We were coming out of Spinelli's Restaurant looking back toward a wooded area and I saw the telltale blinking lights. We drove back to our motel - The LimeTree Inn - and sure enough behind the motel in the wooded area there were blinking lights everywhere. I found your site when I got back home to Texas and was wondering, "Why don't I see lightening bugs here anymore?" I live north of Dallas in a rural area and I haven't seen them since I was a kid. Any spottings that you know of in the North Texas area?
July 4, 2009: On July 4th (2009) we were guests of some friends near Yadkinville, North Carolina. As the day turned to dusk, fireflies began to show up in great numbers. It was great fun seeing them. Of course, there isn’t much light being generated from a city and the temperature was mild. My grandchildren enjoyed chasing them, just as I did growing up. Just wanted to let you know that there are still fireflies in the country!
June 21, 2009: A reader reports: Tonight, while sitting in my hot tub outside in the dark I saw fireflies for the first time. We are located in Colorado Springs, Colorado, towards the area known as the Black Forest which is higher and cooler than the city proper. I have lived in Colorado most of my life and have never seen them locally before. Very happy to see them!

June 21, 2009: CJ Johansson writes: Hi. I found your website trying to find out if fireflies lived around here after seeing one last night. I live in Malta, Montana. On June 20, 2009, at approximately 11:00 p.m., with just a bit of light in the sky, I saw one at the edge of small wooded area in rural farmland area. I didn't know fireflies lived here. I'd seen them in Indiana when I was in college, but never this far west. I've lived in this area for three years, but have never seen fireflies until last night. Just a single insect, flying. Light was three or four short flashes, which is different from the longer flashes I remember from Indiana (that was 25 years ago, so I may not be too accurate on what the Indiana fireflies were like). Hoping to see some more in the next few nights.

June 20, 2009: Mr. & Mrs. J Fortin note: We live on the Bow River near Fort Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, and we spotted two fireflies this evening. It is the first time either of us have seen fireflies in the West.
June 19, 2009: Brian Scrivens reports: From 2003 to 2005, I lived in Mount Airy, Maryland. While there I discovered a field where a “firefly competition” is held. There were literally thousands of fireflies flying in a field of tall grass in a valley with a creek running through it. The field was about 200 yards wide X 800 yards long and used as pasture for dairy cows. Most of the soil appeared to be soft and wet, almost a wetland. The field was bordered by the road on one side and woods along the opposite side. This field was just packed with fireflies and I was in awe at the sight. I have brought my wife out to see them on several occasions. It is mid-June now and I am beginning to see many fireflies in the trees along the roads, so I’m thinking they should be peaking soon in the area. My wife and I will go out to that field again this weekend to begin checking on this year’s display.
June 17, 2009: karen kebarle reports: A firefly flew to the screen of my window last night in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, at about midnight. I heard a buzz and then saw a green light winking and moving across the screen. I got up and saw it was a bug with a glowing patch on its abdomen. It glowed fluorescent green. It flew away when I turned the light on to look at it more closely.

June 15, 2009: A reader writes: Just outside Perdue Saskatchewan yesterday (June 14th). There had to be at least a thousand in this farmer's field across from this six foot deep standing body of water almost like a giant puddle in the middle of the gravel road grid. It was plus ninteen and around 10 to 11 at night and they blinked almost like sparkles There wasn't a steady glow to them and the light was almost like an LED light blinking off and on.

June 15, 2009: Chris notes: My husband and I were sitting on our front porch 4 nights ago (June 11, 2009) and both of exclaimed that we saw shooting stars. The next night however we were on our deck facing our woodland behind us and realized that those can’t be shooting stars, way too many and some zinged past pretty close. Lo and behold they are fireflies! We haven’t seen fireflies since our honeymoon in Costa Rica. We are located 2 minutes east of Sherwood Park, Alberta, on a fully treed acreage lot 300 m from a large body of water. Sherwood Park is in the County of Strathcona, or 20 minutes east of Edmonton in the province of Alberta. It has been very dry here for the past 3 weeks and just recently the evenings have been quite warm (lows of 15 C), with daytimes of 23-28 C. What a wonderful sight they are. We can’t tell how many there are but more than forty at least as the trees are quite constantly twinkling. Do they click during the day, I’m hearing a lot of clicking on my trail walks lately?
June 10, 2009: A reader reports: After not seeing fireflies for several years, this spring they are back with a vegeance. I have seen them on Lake Hamilton in Hot Springs, Arkansas, and in my own backyard in Glenwood, Arkansas. I thought they were gone from this area for good. Could there be more because of the extremely wet spring?
June 9, 2009: A reader reports: Last night there were a large number of fireflies near our home. We live in Perry, just south of Brigham City and they were in a marshy area just making little lights like crazy.
June 9, 2009: Stephen Dehart reports: Last weekend at Brazon Bend State Park, in Texas, it was dry out there ( no rain in about 2 weeks ). Still quite a few flashes, but I noticed instead of an individual bug flashing every five to seven seconds , it ran about every seven to ten or more. This made it hard to get good photos of the flashes. I hope to go again after a rain, and before the season falls away. Also noticed one flashing repeatedly and frantically (gone full auto) under a red buckeye leaf, in fits of a minute or more, off and on for an hour or so, then flying off. Checking briefly under the leaves afterward, I found no obvious sign of egg laying, eating, or what the big deal was, but it was dark and late and I didn't exhaust every possibility. I never noticed it joined by another individual either.
June 8, 2009: A reader writes: I've been very heartened by the reappearance of fireflies in my backyard over the last two years after their virtual disappearance for the last ten! One thing that I do now during "Lightning Bug" season is that I turn off my outside lights: it seems to encourage them to congregate in my backyard... MOST IMPORTANTLY, I turned off the motion-detecting sensor in my carport, because it is very confusing to the males.
June 5, 2009: A reader reports: I moved to Pagosa Springs, Colorado, from Missouri. We had fireflies there but I did not think we would see them here in Colorado. But last night, at the elevation of 7079 feet, there they were in a field! Pretty cool.
May 31, 2009: Stephen Dehart reports: Mr. Burger: At the risk of telling what you may already know: Plentiful fireflies along the east side of Brazos Bend State Park, in Texas, from Hale Lake to the Brazos River. But most who care may already know that spot. Anyhow, I've been photographing them at night, and the high season appears to be in May, as long as there has been enough recent rain. Memorial Day weekend was very good there. They got between me and the cameras. This weekend, less so, which I attribute to a dry week, virtually no rain there in about eight or nine days. I have seen occasional, solitary flashes as early as February, and as late as October or November. I wonder if that's even a firefly, and not some predatory lantern beetle thing I've heard about. In the 1980's, the rice and cotton fields along FM 762 and 1462 were alive with flashes, streaking by the car at night like the stars on the old Star Trek viewing screen. The retreat of activity in the Park itself, over the last few years, has been ever eastward toward the Brazos River, and thus into the less-frequented areas of the Park. It might be a good place to study them, if some qualified person could devote the time. The ranger/naturalist informed me of five species identified there. What might I do to help?
May 23, 2009: Mel and Sharon Hixson write: A few fireflies have appeared nightly following thunder showers starting yesterday, May 22, 2009. We are located on a ranch between Kerrville and Fredricksburg, Texas.Very exciting for us to see as we recently moved to Texas and were wondering if we'd see any fireflies at this location. It's great fun watching them from the deck. This species seems much larger and faster flying than those we remember catching in other states when we were children.
May 23, 2009: Trish B. writes: Hello from Milton, Florida. We saw our first firefly here tonight. I am from the Midwest and used to seeing thousands, but since we have been in Florida we hadn't seen one. Well tonight we saw exactly one. My little girl was over the moon with interest as she has never seen a firefly. It had rained a great deal today and cooled off a bit this evening. We spotted him in the wooded lot that is adjacent to our property and watched him for a few minutes before he disappeared. It truly was a beautiful sight.
May 22, 2009: A reader notes: The past two nights, March 20 and 21, I have seen three and up to five or six fireflies buzzing around in my yard in Houston, Texas. . Dusk till 9 PM. One more thing and then I'll stop "bugging " you about this From the web: "Many species can be found in marshes or in wet, wooded areas where their larvae have more abundant sources of food." I was at someone's house that has buffalo bayou at its backyard and she said she sees a few fireflies, but she lived in Houston a long time and remembers lots of fireflies when she was young, when they used to spray for mosquitoes, actually, in a marshy less developed area of town. I wonder if the secret to my success is the half finished pond project in my backyard, a pond with no liner that I keep somewhat filled most of the time anyway. Maybe the fireflies need low lying watery areas, the kind that people naturally want to drain because these pools are thought to cause mosquitoes. (Of course if you have a strong dragonfly population that helps solve the mosquito problem.) The more "civilized" and well drained an area gets, the more difficult it is for the fireflies in their muddy / watery larval stage? This would also explain the vast numbers at the state capitol grounds in Austin, in the middle of a city, since a creek with many slow flowing pools is nearby, and it would explain why people who have well-lined ponds don't have fireflies, because the larvae can't move back and forth from the soil to the water. But larger bodies of flowing water like bayous won't help because fish or minnows would eat the firefly larvae. I'd be interested in your thoughts on this.

May 5, 2009: A reader notes: Tonight, while out for an evening walk, my girlfriend and I saw some fireflies. We live on what used to be Clear Lake Golf Course near Johnson Space Center in Texas. We were quite amazed to see fireflies here, as neither of us could remember the last time we actually saw some in our area. There are some wooded areas that line the drainage ditch in our area, and the fireflies were swarming around one of these areas. There were very many, easily two dozen or more. The thing is, these fireflies are unlike any we've seen before. The flashes are mostly white in color and strobe very quickly (around a tenth of a second, I would guess) making it difficult to track a particular insect. When I was a youth, the fireflies I remember flashed green and for nearly a second. We were so surprised to see them that when we returned home, we actually started searching google to find if there was information on how common fireflies are in Houston. We stumbled across your page and an article from the Houston Press that referenced you as someone who might like to know. If you'd like to know more, let me know.
May 3, 2009: A reader notes: Don't know if your firefly report is still up, but I found it on a search. We just saw about four or five fireflies in our neighbor's backyard tonight! We live in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. (May 3, 2009) What a shock! We heard they were extinct in Coastal South Carolina and miss them since we had gazillions in the Northeast where we lived. We even shipped some overnight down to our grandson here in Mount Pleasant South Carolina and they lived a few days and he let them go. We were hoping they would pro-create. Tonight we were so excited I called our daughter and she said she saw one on her way home tonight, but didn't say anything to the kids or her husband because she thought she would be laughed at. She was so excited when I told her that we saw them just after they left to make the three mile trip to her house from ours. IS THERE A RETURN TO COASTAL SOUTH CAROLINA??? Sure hope so! Anyone know out there?
April 29, 2009: Nancy Borrell reports: I was walking Thursday evening and saw a flying blinking light, but it wasn't yellow, it was more of a bright white/blue light! It flashed a couple of times and I tried to get close to it but it stopped blinking and I lost it! Was it a lightning bug? I have lived here in Saint Lucie West (Port Saint Lucie), Florida, for seven years and have never seen one. Also I have lived in South Florida a total of 24 years and have never seen one. I am from New Jersey and we had tons of them up there but they have yellow lights.
April 27, 2009: Stephen Barker writes: I live in the panhandle of Florida. Pace, Florida, to be exact. And tonight about 8 pm I noticed at least two fireflies in the back yard. Currrent weather is 71 F. Clear, U V Index: low humidity at 61%; barometer at 30.28. This was the first time I saw any firefies in Florida. It was awsome.
March 31, 2009: Jeff Easter notes: Saw your firefly website and thought I'd contribute. I've lived in Merritt Island Florida, for five years and have never seen a firefly until last night, when one lonely firefly briefly buzzed around our backyard and flew off. He (or one of his fellows) reappeared briefly tonight before disappearing off into the darkness. We live in a dense new subdivision so it is awfully nice to see nature making a stand here.
March 17, 2009: Cody Zapp writes: Hi, I'm 22 and I live in Cypress,Texas, which is not far out of Houston. We use to have these fireflies all over the place when I was a kid, but sadly they disappeared. Heck, the last time I saw them I was six or seven, at least, and it was up at Double Lake. Last night I was staring up at the stars (noticing that I can see alot more stars than I use to could) and noticed a strange little streak of light. I kind of thought I had seen a shooting star or meteor of some sort. But no, it was a firefly! I couldnt believe it. He was just shooting along and flicking here and there. I thought, I bet I won't see that again for another 20 years. The temperature was around 67 degrees. Tonight, around 9 p.m., I was sitting out on my back porch and out of nowhere I started seeing hundreds of firefl[es! All sorts of colors too. Some were kind of green and some looked like red and yellow. I bet there were atleast 200 or so flickering everywhere in my back and front yard! I tried to get some videos of it with my camera, but it wouldnt pick it up. I live in a semi-wooded area. We have some woods behind us and that's about it. I wouldn,t call us rural but I wouldn't call us city either. I wonder if we got them from Hurricane Ike. I wonder if they got blown in with the storm. It seems we get a new critter every year out here and if this is a sign of the fireflies returning I hope their here to stay because I love them!


May 4, 2008: Michale Worley reports: We're in a rural area south of St Augustine, Florida. Approximately 2000 hours with a temperature of around 77F. I noticed one firefly toward the tops of a stand of oak trees next to our house. Thought I was seeing things as we have been in Florida since 1997 and I have never seen one firefly. After a bit of observing, several more showed up. I would say that in total there were at least a half dozen fireflies. My wife also witnessed the sightings. It was a real treat for me, as I have not seen any fireflies since 1977 in New Jersey.
April 24, 2008: Hello. I was looking for information on fireflies and found your website. My husband and I live in Sealy, Texas, – about 50 miles west of Houston. Our a ranch is about 6 miles south of Sealy. In the past 7 years since we moved out here, we occasionally see a few fireflies. It is always such a delight to see them – reminds me of when I was a child in East Texas and they were plentiful. One night about two weeks ago, I went out to the barn after dark and got a wonderful surprise. There were dozens of them in our pastures! Since that night I go out after dark for a few minutes each night and usually see a few. The experience made me wonder if they migrate and we just happened to be in their migration path that night. I, too, would love to see lots of fireflies. Tomorrow, my grandson is coming for a visit. He is 12 years old. I don’t think he has ever seen one and I’m so looking forward to sharing that experience with him.
April 9, 2008: A reader reports: Large bugs and plentiful in Clear Lake, Texas. Using Google Earth, I can see that northwest of Space Center drive there is a large drainage channel that runs parallel to the road. The field in-between the road and channel is full of flashing bugs. Space Center Dr. runs "behind" Johnson Space Center NASA.
April 7, 2008: A reader reports from Birmingham, Alabama: I am already seeing fireflies. I saw them as early as 3/28/2008. Isn't that unusually early?
March 16, 2008: I live in between Crosby and Huffman, Texas, near FM 2100. I've been seeing lots of fireflies for the past week. In fact, this is the most I've seen in the 15 years I've lived here. They're most active at nightfall. What a treat to see them.


Reports are in, but awaiting processing.


June 19, 2006: Greg writes:I came home from work and found a firefly in my apartment in the Bronx, a densely-populated borough of New York City north of Manhattan and Queens. He/she was shining away as proud as can be in my kitchen. I live across the street from an 800-acre park (which contains a major zoo and botanical gardens) and there are a lot of trees in the neighborhood. My apartment building surrounds a large courtyard with trees but no water except when it rains. It will probably be happier in the park.
May 3, 2006: A reader writes: My wife and I saw a firefly flying above the wall in the backyard of our house in the Lakeside Forest subdivision in west Houston, Texas. It was just after dark @ 8:30 pm on 5/02/06. We saw several fireflies while camping in Bastrop State Park during the MS150 weekend. I have seen several fireflies after dark in along the bayou in Hershey Park during the spring and summer months.
May 3, 2006: A reader notes: We live in Clear Lake, Texas, (just south of Houston, not far from NASA JSC) and we saw two fireflies in our backyard about two weeks ago, I think around April 22. I was so excited - I've lived in the area for nearly 15 years and have never seen them here! I'm originally from Maine and grew up taking fireflies for granted, but now I consider it a special treat! And in our own backyard! It was fairly late in the evening, perhaps 10 - 10:30 p.m., so quite dark. Our backyard has several different varieties of plants, and I have (I think) a pair of hummingbirds that frequent my Mexican sage, honeysuckle, and other flowers. We also have monarchs all the time. Our house backs up to a nature preserve/bayou-ish area. I haven't seen them since, but an abundance of snakes this year are keeping me from enjoying the yard as much as I would like! Do you have any tips on keeping snakes out the yard?
May 1, 2006: Diane Pallot reports: I live in a small town near Titusville Florida called Mims, Florida. I sent in a firefly report on April 11 about fireflies in Mims, Florida. I have made a new discovery in Yankeetown, Florida. We have a cottage over there and we have discovered them in some adjacent woods. They seem to like areas with hardwood trees and low lying shrubs and grass. Glad they are there as well.
May 1, 2006: Marietta McCall reports: I wanted to share with you that I was watering my herb garden last nite about 8:00 P.M. and I saw my first firefly for this year. I saw only one but was surprised at that. I live in Boerne, Texas, and have shared my sightings with you in the past. We have Acorn Bed and Breakfast and our back yard has been designated a Backyard Habitat by the National Wildlife Federation. We have a brook and a pond (great water sources for birds,butterflies and insects) and we garden for wildlife,birds, and butterflies. I shall keep you posted when I see more fireflies. I should mention that I grew up in New Jersey and we always called them "lightning bugs". They are really an experience to behold you cannot describe what they are like to someone who has never seen them. I treasure the wonder of them each time I look for them in the evening around dusk.
May 1, 2006: A reader notes: A week ago, I saw a firefly in the Oak Lawn area of Dallas, Texas, in an apartment complex. And yesterday evening I saw two of them in a residential area of Round Rock, Texas, just north of Austin. Prior to this, the last I had seen of them was in Houston, back in the late 1970s. This is an encouraging sign for our little friends, I think.
April 23, 2006: Michelle B. Stein writes: I just came across your site looking up fireflies because my dog just found a firefly inside my house. It's only one but I was so excited about it. I haven't seen a firefly in a couple of years. I'm only 22 but when I was younger my family used to go camping and we'd catch them in jars, I didn't even realized it was so long ago. I don't think I would have realized it was a firefly if my dog wouldn't have been sniffing it. It was glowing while she was sniffing. But I just wanted to report my one firefly sighting in Garyville, Louisiana. It's a really small town in south Louisiana. But I just wanted to let you know because if there's one, there's more.
April 20, 2006: Carl Freeman notes: I live in Magnolia, Texas, which is about forty miles northwest of Houston. One of the things we heard when we moved here from California was that there were not any fireflies. However, since moving into our home, we have had sightings every night. Now, I don't know how rare it is, or how to support their growth, but I am really happy they are here. It makes sitting on my back porch even better!
April 11, 2006: Diane Pallot reports: I live in a small town near Titusville Florida called Mims, Florida. In my development I live adjacent to a wooded common area; however, that is not where the fireflies are. They used to be across the street in two vacant lots. The lots were wooded and lots of long wild grass covering most of the ground. The first year I spotted them was 1996. I never saw anything as beautiful. The entire wooded lots were lit up with what seemed to be thousands of fireflies. It looked as other people have described as small Christmas lights twinkling on the ground. Green in color, they would blink just after dark and kept on until 10:00 or 11:00 p.m. My block is a mile long with other woods, but the fireflies seem to be in primarily one spot on my block. As the years have past the two lots have been developed. One neighbor left most of his woods; the other (this is where they mostly were) was clear cut. I told the owner of the land that he ruin a beautiful thing. Now I see them in my backyard which also has the underlying grass . I believe this grass may have something to do with their survival. There is very little lawn on my 1 acre, mostly natural woods. We have screech owls, turkeys, hogs, raccoons, armadillos, opossums, flying squirrels, and gray squirrels….behind my backyard woods is my neighbors woods so there is plenty of area for our fireflies to court one another. They always come at the same time every year, the first week in April and stay for two or three weeks. It is now the 11th of April and I can see them already starting to disappear. I don’t believe I will ever see thousands as I did in the past near my property but I am glad that they did not disappear all together. There is still some across the street where the neighbor who kept his woods lives. However they are just not as many. I do not spray any pesticides on my lawn or any fertilizer except Milorganite. This year we are having a drought so I do not know how this will affect their breeding. I feel blessed to have them.
April 3, 2006: A reader reports: Didn't know if you are still taking sightings of fireflies. I have three. I recently moved from Houston to North Austin, Texas, one year ago, April 2005. About mid April our front yard and back yard were swarming with fireflies. It became a twilight event to sit in the back yard on our deck and just watch them. This lasted until about September as they gradually faded till there were none left. I am anxiously awaiting their arrival this year. I have started to sit on the deck at twilight, they haven't shown up yet. We live in neighborhood that is backed by a ravine and greenbelt. Although the ravine is mostly dry during the year there are a lot of trees and brush. The entire neighborhood has them, as well as the main road that leads to highway183. These are a large golden variety. In Houston, actually Friendswood, Texas, which is about 30 minuets south of Houston and 20 minuets north of Galveston there is a park where fireflies still flourish. Frankie Randolf Carter park off of FM 2351 at twilight is teeming with lightening bugs. If one looks down into the trails as the sun goes down one can see what look to be blinking Christmas lights in the trees and hovering about the trail. We discovered the fireflies in about mid May. They only seem to be around for a month or two in Friendswood, but they are there. These were a smaller golden variety. In Heritage Park subdivision between Friendswood and Webster, Texas, there are a few, but not many little green phosphorous bugs that will show up in June till August. Usually we would only see a handful at a time and it was very inconsistent that they would be out. It was very hit or miss. These were seen in the back portion of the old Heritage Park neighborhood off of Bay Area Blvd. Next to what is now a Super Target.
April 2, 2006: A reader reports: Today, April 2nd, 2006 I saw a firefly in the front yard of my home, located on the north side of Lakeland, Florida, which is in Central Florida. I live in a suburb area on the north side of Lake Gibson. It was around 9:00 p.m. and the temperature was around 70 degrees. It has not rained here in several days and I had the sprinkler running. I did not see any others, just the one.
March 20, 2006: A reader reports: I live in Wellington, Florida, which is in Palm Beach County. I have seen hundreds of fireflies in the past few days behind my house. We live on a natural preserve and there is some water separating our house from the preserve. It hasn't rained in awhile, but the nights have been really nice and in the 60's, and there isn't much humidity now. Mostly all of the fireflies stay in the preserve, but a few show up in my yard. By the way, it's March 20th, the first day of Spring!
March 17, 2006: Doris E. Sinclair notes: I am happy to report that here in Naples, Forida, which is in southwest Florida, we have a fine supply of fireflies and have been observing them for at least the past 5 years. And their numbers appear to be increasing. We live in a more rural area on 5 acres of our own, plus the 5 acre tracts on either side of us are not developed. Our fireflies seem to prefer the woods. The first one was sighted at the end of February and since then they seem to be more plentiful each night. It is pure joy to walk in the woods with them twinkling. Thanks for providing a venue where this can be shared!
March 2, 2006: A reader writes: On March 2, 2006, I observed fireflies in Lacombe, Louisiana. I saw them from ~2035 to after 2200 hours. I observed maybe six flashes/ minutes, about 20 to 30 feet off ground with woods as background. Air temperature was 68. The high today was 78, last night low was 50. The area is Rural, light population. ~5 miles north from Lake Pontchtraine



July 9, 2005: Ellen L. Ramsey notes: Greetings. I enjoyed all the information on your website about fireflies. Here's a firefly description to add to your collection. We live in Chester County, Pennsylvania, and as part of our celebration on the Fourth of July weekend, we drove out to Lancaster County on the evening of July 2nd and had dinner at the Bird in Hand restaurant. We drove back home at twilight, and the countryside was flooded with fireflies--they were flying up from the cornfields and cow pastures, and from around the ponds. The lower branches of the pine trees looked like they were sparkling with hundreds of blinking Christmas lights. It was most magical. Even more fun than fireworks! I noticed Nancy Herman's description about seeing so many fireflies in Merion, PA, this year. I have no idea why there might be so many, but it's magnificent to watch them in the evenings.
July 8, 2005: A reader writes: I live in Adams Township, Butler County, Pennsylvania. I have lived 35 miles north of Pgh. in a country area for the past twenty years and have never seen as many "fireflies" as we are seeing this year. Does anyone know why? I mean, driving down my road at night is like warp speed in Starwars.
July 8, 2005: A reader writes: I live on a lake in the northwest corner of New Jersey. About two weeks ago my brother was visiting and we went out on the deck by the lake at around 10 PM. Now, we had grown up here as children and I moved back about nine years ago, so we are no strangers to fireflies, but this night was like no other! Just off shore there is a small (60 foot by 15 foot) island. When we looked out towards the island we saw thousands of fireflies. The amount was odd enough, but they were lighting up and staying lit, leaving streaks in the night like meteorites. As I've said I have seen fireflies all my life, both here and in Queens, New York, where we lived during the year, but nothing like this. Over the next week they continued to appear, at about the same time but the amount lessened each night. The number, the brightness and the time they stayed lit made it look like Christmas lights twinkling in the sky. We have been looking for information about this ever since. Was it a mating ritual? Or some other natural event? If anyone knows anything about it, please let us know, as it was so beautiful that if it occurs at a given time each year we don't want to miss it next year. Also, in researching fireflies I read that they fly about one and a half feet off the ground. Around here they can be seen in the tops of trees 35-45 feet off the ground.
July 7, 2005: A reader writes: As we placed our chairs along the edge of the one acre pond in the middle of the public park my fiance pointed toward the right. We had never seen so many fireflies anywhere. It was the Fourth Of July and there were dozens of people and dogs and lots of noise. As the kids ran around with sparklers and the occasional small firecracker went off it seemed as though the fireflies were completely undisturbed. It was as if watching a pre-fireworks display. As we watched the twinkling - akin to those icicle lights that people hang from their rooflines around Christmas - we realized that describing the actual amount of fireflies would be difficult. The fireworks began and then we had our description. The firefly display was like when one of those really big fireworks goes off and starts to dissipate, as it drifts toward the ground there are a million twinkles of light. That is what we saw in Olathe, Kansas, on the Fourth Of July. During the last week of June we spent some time in Almont, Michigan. There were lots of fireflies, they had a rapid blink - blink - blink to them, unlike at home in Kansas where they just give off the occasional single blink at a time. The color of the blinkers in Michigan was also more of a green compared to the yellowish blink of the Kansan fireflies. In Michigan we were in a tree-lined yard surrounded by farmer's fields. No water within a square mile, unless you count swimming pools.
July 7, 2005: A reader writes: Hi. We just moved here and there are a lot of fireflies out each evening. We live in Glasgow, Kentucky. Each night and more then we can count. We live on almost four acres in a city rural area. lots of large lots, with a wooded area on the property. It is very humid here and hot, 54% and a temperature range of 81 to 95 degrees each day, and it goes down to 60 degrees at night. The date we arrived was 7/4/05 and have seen them each evening.
July 5, 2005: Kay Gelvin reports: I have been haunted by your plight! It has been on my mind constantly, since seeing it on the internet last week. I have some information which I think could be useful to you. This season, I've seen more fireflies than I have in a very long time. It is mind boggling to think I've seen so many. Let me set up a few facts. I live in the southeastern corner of Michigan, a mile or so from Lake Erie. We have had half the normal amount of rain this year and does it show! I live next to a farmer's field in a small subdivision and it is all clay around here. It has been a warmer than normal season but last summer it was the most mild I can ever remember. I have experienced three incredibly bad winters in a row. This I measure by the damage to my roses and lavenders. (Excessive cold. Extreme cold/warm days in spring and too darn wet. The snow stays on the ground for months.) I grow herbs and specialty (heritage-type) roses. I use both in culinary ways, so I don't want to spray. This year, I am expanding my herb beds and I am spending a lot more time outside than I would normally. From early morning to dusk, I see fireflies. Everywhere! I probably see more of them than any other bug! (Well, maybe not. I've got an awful lot of hornets around here with all that clay!) Anyway, the fireflies are very active during the day. I have a tendency to be a lazy gardener so I usually don't deadhead my plants unless someone important comes for a visit, and even then I have to be motivated. Well, this year, since I've seen so much damage to my roses, I decided to nurse them along with pruning and deadheading. And I'll tell you they have so many little fireflies visiting you would be amazed. If you asked me on any given day to go out and collect 25 in 25 minutes I know it would not be a problem, and I bet I could do it in a lot less time than that! Here's the thing. The fireflies seem to be sweeping the spent roses with their mouths. Over and over again. Some of the most popular (according to the fireflies) roses I have are Alchemist (only blooms once but it is spectacular), New Dawn (repeat bloom), Rugosa roses (repeat bloom), Jacques Cartier (repeat bloom), all of which have quite good scent. Because I don't spray, I have other bugs as well and it is quite obvious from the damage to the leaves. I think it's safe to say that adult fireflies do indeed eat! Since they spend so much time on the decaying flower, I've decided to halt the deadheading and continue to watch their habits. I know there are roses in Houston, but how many people have them, just for the fun of it, and don't use any sprays, powders, or systemic treatments? I do not and will not plant Hybrid Tea roses. They require too much attention in a climate such as this. I have the hardier and more robust roses and my biggest problems are aphids, not Japanese beetles. Is it possible that you could try growing any of the roses I suggested? (My first choice would be Alchemist.) The trick would be to grow these and not use chemicals. My guess is if this is something that makes my yard special, then it may take a few years for the cycle to establish itself. I also have several rosemary plants which I put in the ground in spring and then dig up and bring inside in the fall to winter over in a south-facing bay window. Three years ago, I had a firefly come out of the soil from one of these plants at Christmas. Luckily enough, it was warm enough that he was taken directly outside to fend for himself. I hope this can be of some use to you. You have my permission to use my name and should you want daylight pictures or other information on this, please let me know. I wish you all the very best in your quest. I find your mission to be extraordinary and I applaud your efforts.
July 5, 2005: A reader writes: In the lower east side of New York City, New York, , in a rare section with much greenery, fireflies were sighted over three consecutive evenings (after an evening of rain). The second night there were many fewer. On the third night there were even more than the first (maybe thirty?).
July 4, 2005: A reader notes: We regularly see fireflies in our area, 45 km. east of Edmonton, Alberta. The terrain is wooded with some water near by. We generaly see them from June to September.
July 4, 2005: A reader writes: I live in rural Felton, Minnesota, and it is July 3, 2005, at about 11:30 pm and I have never seen a firefly, but I recently moved to this area and I saw a single firefly in my back yard. It is about 75 degrees and we have had lots of rain recently, lots of thurder-storms, and tonight many people are setting off fireworks. I wonder if the flashing from the fireworks attracted this firefly and why I only saw one. I watched him for about 5 minutes and when he went into my garden, I didn't see him flash anymore.
July 3, 2005: A reader writes: Absolutely confirmed! I was invited out by the observer of the previous Plain City, Utah, report and I verify there is a healthy population of fireflies! We watched them (my first ever!) for about 45 minutes. Thanks for the referral to him to make this possible. It was a great thing!
July 1, 2005: Nancy Herman writes: I live in Merion, Pennsylvania, right outside of Philadelphia and I have never seen so many fireflies as I have this year. I am 67 so that is quite some time. I was wondering if anyone knows why. I have noticed there don't seem to be any bats around. Could that be it and, if so, where are they?
July 1, 2005: A reader writes: We have had a place on the lake in the southwestern British Columbia, for 14 years, with never a sighting until the 29th of June, 2005, at 11:30 PM. We have had an extraordinary amount of rain this year. Our cabin is on a small lake , the forest in primarily spruce, pine, poplar and aspen. The lake is in a valley. Our elevation is 3400 feet. There is a lot of red willow, marsh grass, a few hay fields. The night of the sighting there was a cloud cover. We had the Christmas tree lights on at the edge of the lake, to add to the ambience! There were about 6 fireflies! I felt I was part of a fantasy! I had been so envious of my friend who had seen them in Japan. I truly have been moved by this experience.
June 29, 2005: Paul Lowry writes: Hello. Many fireflies here in the city of Omaha, Nebraska, in the last couple of weeks, about 30 to 40 per night, all very active and flashing regularly. I have seen many of them mating in the bushes next to my deck. They always seem to appear at the same time, about 1/2 hour after dusk. This week has been cooler (about 85 deg F.) and less humid and they do not seem to be as active as last week when it was in the mid 90's. As for lighting conditions, my backyard faces a busy street with street lights and is never completely dark, but they don't seem to mind. They also seem to react to lightning flashes in the sky, lighting up seconds after a lightning strike as if they were flashing back. Hope this helps
June 29, 2005: A reader writes: I was walking tonight at dusk under the elevated trian platform in Bushwick, Brooklyn, New York, when all of a sudden I noticed a stange familiar glow. I don't think I had seen a firefly since my childhood in rural Maine. I held out ny hand and the beetle landed in my palm and stayed put while I walked all the way home . . . about a fifteen minute walk! I put him in a jar with a fresh marigold and he was flying around and blinking enthusiastically for about ten minutes but then all of a sudden stopped moving and seemed to be playing dead. I became concerned and freed the firefly in my window box of alfalfa sprouts where he is still resting. I hope I haven't hurt him! Does anyone know if fireflies may be poisoned by marigolds? It's just the change in his behavior was very sudden and I only handled him with the gentliest of care. :) Brooklyn NY June 28, 2005 9 pm 80 degress, humid. One firefly, black with red head, blinking happily...
June 29, 2005: A.P. Belcamino writes: We were thrilled to read your info on fireflies. We are having the best year that we have ever had . We live in Litchfield, New Hampshire. Our Spring was wet and now the humidity is high. We are spending every evening watching the light show. Thank You for ENLIGHTENING us!!
June 27, 2005: Greg Price reports: While driving from Waterloo, Iowa to Cedar Rapids, Iowa - between 10:00 PM and 11:30 PM, and after a thunderstorm, I observed thousands of fireflies in the corn and soybean fields adjacent to I-380. Stopped twice at rural road exits to watch away from the highway and was amazed to see literally thousands of sparkling lights per acre of farmland. They were clustered in the grass median at the overpasses and a dozen or so were collected by my windshield and left brightly glowing smears which dimmed after about five minutes. This is my first summer in firefly country and I must say that these creatures are one of nature's treasures.
June 27, 2005: John Jackson writes: Just how far up do these fireflies fly? My husband and I saw at least 20 to 30 bright flashes of light on June 26th in Hardin, Texas. We watched them until about 10:45 and they never stopped. These lights moved very fast and came off and on. They flew as high as the airplanes and never came close to the ground. Every minute or so we had flashes of what appeared to be distant lightning, but skies were clear and all stars visable. On any given night many planes pass over head, but not on the 26th. About 20 minutes into these sightings, a large plane(or jet) passed over using the biggest, brightest light beam we have ever seen. The aircraft was very loud and seemed to be looking for something. Then about 10 minutes later anouther large aircraft flew over using lights but not the big, bright beam. These bright lights flew very fast and so high I can't imagine a firefly being that far up and it be so bright, as well as the lack of planes that are usually in our skies. Hardin is in southeast Texas, about 50 miles east of Houston. Anyone else see these strange lights and/or large aircraft with the bright beams? Or maybe an airforce base doing something?
June 27, 2005: A reader reports: I live in Arlington, Massachusetts, and for the past seven years have been viewing fireflies at the marsh opposite the Belmont Country Club, on Concord Avenue as it runs from Belmont into Lexington towards Waltham. It's a very reliable place to find a good number of fireflies, and they have been out this year for about two weeks. Also, I have recently found that the marshes in Concord along the Battle Road in and near to the Minuteman National Park, have very plentiful fireflies. Last night, while a thunderstorm with lightning passed along the north side of Concord, the fireflies & their flashes went absolutely crazy! Have never seen so many in this area. Another great place to find them is the "cow pasture" (that's what the sign says!) next to the Concord River where the launch site for private canoes is located, just outside the center on Lowell Road. (My best firefly viewing was in mid-Pennsylvania, Ohio & Indiana - I've never been south to Florida or Georgia at this time of year.) Thanks for keeping up the great, resourceful web page.
June 27, 2005: Bill Harris wonders: My wife and I have lived in Issaquah, Washington, since 1987 and have not seen a single firefly until early Sunday morning, June 26, 2005 (we moved from Bellevue, Nebraska where there are plenty of Lightning Bugs). However, we've recently moved into an area, that has a wetland (on our property 1.47 Acres) and observed a single blinking light in the grass... could it be possible that we've spotted a Lightning Bug? Are they in the Seattle Area?
June 27, 2005: C. M. Hill notes: In the little town of Montpelier, Louisiana, there is a place on the Tangipohoa River where the fireflies are so numerous until they fill the sand with their lights. As they rise at dusk, you can't tell them from the stars. They fill the air and trees and the sand.
June 26, 2005: Paul K. Smith writes: Last weekend I was visiting my parents in Missouri City, Texas, near Houston (the Quail Valley Neighborhood), and I saw one or two fireflies along one of the golf courses there.
June 26, 2005: A reader notes: Thought I saw one out of the corner of my eye but not sure. Here in Irving, Texas, I rarely see any fireflies, maybe one a year, if I'm lucky. I have lots of flowers and tropicals and woodland shrubs. Lots of shade in the neigborhood, but no creeks nearby.
June 26, 2005: Nikki King notes: We live in Lakeside, Texas, west of Fort Worth. The fireflies come out by scores every night. It is like a mass meeting of little fairies. Beautiful. The cicadas also live here, as well as the wasps that hunt and kill them.
June 24, 2005: Lynda McLeod notes: We live in Ajax, Ontario, near Carruthers Creek about one mile north of Lake Ontario. Every year we see the fireflies June 12-13, and this year no exception. The area near the creek bed has several old trees lining the banks, and then opens up to a natural grass area. We see them floating over the tall grasses and as high up as 10 feet after 9:30 at night. Often the males carry on for hours, because I have spotted them glowing as late as midnight. Unfortunately the windy weather and damp weather does seem to affect the numbers, as we don't have as many as we used to have.
June 23, 2005: Jim Pelletier reports: I've been watching fireflies for the past 4 nights. Locations: Jaffrey and Rindge, New Hampshire. Sighting times: 9-9:30 pm. Density: Fireflies have been sparce. High density of fireflies tends to be around the 4th of July. Great site. Thanks for creating it.
June 23, 2005: A reader reports: Just saw an article on the web about your curiosity of fireflies. I used to live in a condo in the city of Chicago. Last year, I moved into a suburb of Chicago, Illinois, and had a lawn and my own backyard for the very first time. It was at this time that I discovered native plant species to my local area. I started planting them in abundance from forbs, to grasses, vines, shrubs and trees. Then, this year they came. At dusk, I have fireflies flitting about my yard. They go about their lighting display for about one half hour and then there's silence. I have not seen them in my neighbors' yards so I can only assume that they like the native plantings I provided (or maybe they're attracted to the other beneficial insects that now inhabit my yard). I highly recommend this avenue if one is truly interested in attracting these magnificent miracles. Also provided are shallow puddling pools that I scattered throughout my yard. I took the bottom saucer of a planting pot and filled it partially with sand. Every morning I change the water for the insects that may come to visit me. This may also be a useful tool. Good luck!
June 23, 2005: Mary writes: I live in Gainesville, Missouri, and there are hundreds of fireflies there. They live in the hedges and come out at night. They fly low and even at times seem to fly right in front of my husband and myself as if they are looking to see what we are. Even our old dog enjoys watching the fireflies in the evening. They seem to loose altitude when their little light blinks on. They fly over the lawn. We enjoy watching them.
June 22, 2005: Joe Salas writes: Hi. I live in a subdivision called Lakewood Estates, Texas, which is between Lakehills and Pipe Creek, Texas, at an altitude of around 1300 feet. I have been seeing fireflies for the past month on my property. I am about a mile from Medina Lake as well. Sometimes there are two or three fireflies and at other times there could be a dozen or so. I have not seen masses of them yet like I used to see in San Antonio where I grew up in the 1950s and 60s. There are no more fireflies in the city but out here in the country they are making a comeback. The area is not isolated because there are quite a number of homes but lots of woods as well. There is an increasing amount of hummingbirds as well. There have been reports of badgers as well, but I have not seen them. I don't even know what they look like. It is such a pleasure to see the fireflies return. It is even more exciting to see them blink in synchrony even though they are all apart by some distance. How do they do that?
June 21, 2005: Nancy Greig reports: The fireflies are back in my neighborhood! I saw at least a dozen of them the other evening. They hang out in a "wild" area (grasses and trees) around a little ditch/arm of White Oak Bayou that runs behind Queenswood Street in section 5 of Timbergrove Manor in Houston, Texas. It is always quite thrilling to see them!
June 19, 2005: Adrienne Keener reports: Good Evening!! I came across your web site tonight after doing some research on the ever fascinating fireflies. I am from Palm Beach, Florida and have never seen them until I moved to Jonesborough, Tennessee, last June. I have a six year old little boy that is very fascinated by these little buggers!! Last night (June 18) we were sitting on our deck and watch in amazement on how many there were (it looked like billions) in the pasture behind our house. It looked like Christmas lights dancing in the wind. It was about 9:30 PM, clear skies and dark. I sure am sorry that you are unable to see what my son and I are seeing. I sure hope one day everybody will get to experience what we are getting to see. Good luck in your search!
June 18, 2005: René Becker writes: Last night we saw three fireflies in my friend's backyard in Roermond, in south of the Netherlands. The yard is rather light, even at night. It is close to water, though. Two or three of the bugs were flying around and another one was having a rest (at least, it was lying still). We picked the last one up, put it on the table and shot some pictures of it. We hadn't seen any before and we were quite surprised to find them here in the Netherlands.
June 18, 2005: Terri Jalbert writes: Hi from Biddeford, Maine, on June 18, 2005. While looking out the second story window of my home, I observed about 18 different flashes in the field in front of the house. The field the fireflies occupy is natural (not cultivated) and is usually wet, but is very wet this year, due to the rainy spring. The temperature is about 58 at 10 PM. We have lived here since 2001, and have observed the fireflies every year. They are a wonderful sight and I pray they continue every year.
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.
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
June 16, 2005: A reader writes: Hey. I had quite a few fireflies flying around 2 weeks ago in my back yard. I live in Hollywood, Florida, in an urban setting. Just wanted to let you know. We have a golf coarse behind the house and some watery area. They tease me when I try and catch them. They're hard to get and I don't wanna do any damage to them so I try and just sit back and watch them do their thing. I know what you're talking about with the levels going down. I'm only 20 and even 10 years ago I remember places at night being swarmed with em. Now only the occasional few will grace the area if we're lucky. I'm sure global warming and the low water levels can contribute to their decline. As they can be contributed to the decline of many species around here, along with over-development and apathy among the people. Anyhow, I was wondering if you're aware of any good spots around South Florida where one might be able to do some firefly watching, maybe take some photographs or just play around. Anyhow, I'd love to know. Thanks for the great info on the website. Good luck with your research. I'd love to stay updated on how our populations down south are doin! Take care.
June 15, 2005: A reader writes: I am from Sonoma County, California, and I have identified a glow worm. I have never seen one before. It is a fascinating little creature! Are they suppose to be here?
June 14, 2005: A reader writes: Hello there. I moved to the US from Ireland last summer. My boyfriend is from this area and told me that there are fireflies here and that sometimes they came into his room at night time. We were living in Plymouth, Massachusetts, at that time. I was very excited to hear this, as I had only ever seen fireflies in cartoons (animation). So one night last August, I saw something flashing up towards his bedroom ceiling at about midnight. Transfixed and excited, I sat up in the bed and watched it for about two hours before I realized it was the light flashing in his smoke detector. You can imagine my disappointment as I threw myself back under the pillows, not relishing the thought of getting up for college at 6.30 am. There were no sightings of anything remotely luminous in Plymouth after that. However, we recently bought a house in Plympton, Massachusetts, which is about 15 minutes from Plymouth. It's the smallest town in southeastern Massachusetts, and it's all horse farms and cranberry bogs. Behind our house we have just under two acres of young woodlands and then about eight acres of cranberry bog. And in the last week (beginning of June) we have started to see actual fireflies in the back garden. We went into the Museum of Science in Boston on Saturday and they had a huge model of a firefly and a little bit of information on why they glow and the fact that the frogs tummys will also glow after a good feed. Last night I got out of bed at about 1 am and sat on the deck to watch them. I saw about ten dancing around the garden. I looked up at the night sky and saw one meander across the top of the pine trees, quite a height for a small winged one to accomplish. There was another that just sat on the same flower for the entire hour that I was out there. Growing up in the countryside, I always knew better than to disturb any kind of nature. But last night my curiosity got the better of me and I crept across the lawn to get a closer inspection of the stationary one. He didn't fly away when I brushed him into my palm. When I brought him inside I saw that his wing is all twisted around and looks broken. So I drilled some holes in the lid of a jam jar and he stayed blinking beside my bed all night. I came on to this website here, looking to see if there was anything that I could feed him, and it seems there's not a lot. We're having a blanket of pollen cover the garden at the moment. Maybe I could brush some off the hood of my car and sprinkle it into the jar? I might just do that. Maybe that will fuel his luciferin? Maybe I'll wait and see if his light is any duller tonight, and then give him the pollen tomorrow and see if the light gets any stronger? Anyway, I think that your website is brilliant (no pun intended). It's good to see people appreciate the little things that make America such a fantastic and wonderful country. Getting the time and energy to initiate and maintain a website like this is something that a lot of people would put at the very end of their to-do list and prioritize other self indulgencies over and above what is essentially a public service. I think that your local government's environmental office should sponsor your efforts and support your endeavors. If not, you should rest easy in the knowledge that you are doing some good in the world and this will be a bonus on your slate. The very best of luck to you.
June 14, 2005: Kat Jordan writes: Hi. My husband and I moved to Wilmington, North Carolina, two months ago. Back in southern New Jersey we enjoyed watching dozens of fireflies blink across our lawns on sultry summer nights. That was nothing compared to the firefly magic we have here in Wilmington! Our backyard ends where a large pond begins and a forest of trees is beyond the pond. Last night we were breathless at the sight of not just hundreds, but thousands of fireflies twinkling in the trees! I have never seen anything like this! This morning I sent an email to all my family and friends to tell them about this treat that nature provided us; it is soooo beautiful! We sat for a hour on our back porch, quietly watching the magic before us... how peaceful that hour was...
June 14, 2005: Steve Tibbs notes: A bunch of Lampyridae here in Mount Juliet, Tennessee. Ten or so can be seen at anytime.
June 14, 2005: Zoe writes: Hello! I found your site while searching for more info on these lovely glowing flies! I had never seen them in real life before moving to New Jersey two years ago. I grew up in southern Ontario but never saw any there. It was a breathtaking moment when I saw my first live firefly last summer. I fell in love! So, last night in Montclair, New Jersey, which is in Essex County about 10 miles from Manhattan/NYC, I saw about 10 fireflies at dusk ­ (8:30-9:00 p.m.). It was still really hot out (in the 30s in Celsius, in the 80s in Fahrenheit). They were hanging out on the front lawn of a couple of houses on a not-so-busy side street. There were trees and bushes. If I had more time I would have hung out more with them too. Thank you! I'll pop you another email if more of them come out to play. Thanks for your great Web pages!
June 13, 2005: Dave Chalmers writes: We have fireflies around our house located in the country, just outside Barrie, Ontario, 1.5 hours north of Toronto Ontario Canada.
June 13, 2005: Christina writes: I live in Acton, Massachusetts. It's about 45 minutes away from Boston. Acton is more country, with grassy fields, tree lines, trees, and many ponds. On Sunday, June 12th, my significant other and I went out to look to see if fireflies were out. We went to a grassy field with a forest tree line. We saw many of them blinking from dusk (8:30pm) to 10pm. Half were flashing green light and half were slowly dimming with a firey orange yellow light. On our drive back home they were in spots all over the place--even a single one would be wandering late at night. Where we live the nature seems to be well preserved and protected that we still get firefly activity. I'm sure were getting them all over the place in the country part of Massachusetts.
June 12, 2005: A reader reports: Just a quick note. I bookmarked your firefly page several years ago because we only had a few on our 20 acres in Doyline, Louisiana, and I wanted to learn how to promote the habitat. We have more water available for them now, and last night when I got home from work (nurse) at 1 am, there was a lovely surprise! Not a huge light show, but at least 20-30 flashes a minute. HEAVEN! We are hoping this is a sign of future increases in the population around our home and area. Have you learned anymore about what they eat? Just thought you would find this encouraging. Someday I will take the time and tell you my "best-lightning-bug-night" story. It was life altering. Kindest regards.
June 11, 2005: A reader reports: I just saw the first firefly of the year in Morgantown, West Virginia! They always remind me of my childhood days of catching them in the yard. Of course, I always released them! The sighting was of one lone firefly in a neighbors tree right in the middle of Morgantown. It's a very humid evening, with about 77 degrees at 1:00am on June 11, 2005.
June 11, 2005: A reader reports: Tonight I took my children out to see the fireflies. What a kick! It's been years since I went to see the little buggers. I live in Cheyenne County, Nebraska. Dalton, Nebraska, is my home town. Northwest of town there are natural springs and the headwaters to Greenwood Creek. I know it sounds crazy to have conditions for fireflies in a desert, but come on out, we'll go see them. Today is June 10 and we didn't see more then a dozen or so; however, I have been there on other occasions and have gotten quite a show. To the best of my knowledge they have been there forever, even though we definitely live west of the Missouri River
June 11, 2005: Nikki Muntz notes: I live in Hamilton, Ohio. Tonight (6/11/05) my children and I caught about 40 fireflies. We live on a 1/4 acre corner lot, considered city, although we're not by any means a major city. We are about 20 miles from Cincinnati. Last week we only found 5 fireflies, to our disappointment. The weather this week has been in the 80s, humid, with pop up showers. I don't know if that has anything to do with the increased number found or if it's just that time of year. We let loose all the fireflies we find the following morning so they won't die and maybe we can catch them again for more fun the next night. I hope my three girls will always remember spending summertime catching fireflies with mom.
June 9, 2005: Mary reports: We moved to Magnolia, Texas, a year ago around the middle of May. We have 3 wooded acres and the house sits right in the middle. The woods completely surround the house and are about 20 feet from our back porch. That September, we were delighted when we discovered that we have fireflies! We first started seeing one here and there, and then masses of them each evening. They would start around dusk and the darker it got the more there were. It looked like a magical fairyland. We thoroughly enjoyed sitting on the back porch and watching them every evening. They start out low to the ground back in the woods. Then they start getting closer and sometimes even come all the way up on the porch. Eventually, they start rising higher and higher in the trees until they look like the trees are strung with hundreds of Christmas lights! It is so awesome. Our friends and neighbors would all come and bring their children to witness this "wonderland". This spring they came back around April but there didn't seem to be as many and they weren't around for long. I'm hoping to see an abundance of them again at summer's end.
June 7, 2005: A reader writes: I haven't seen any fireflies in my Northwest Florida Panhandle yard in a few years. This past weekend I went home to the Tennessee Valley - Quad Cities area of northwest Alabama, and saw dozens of fireflies each night at my father's house, near where I saw them when growing up. On the last night, I secured a gallon jug, complete with air holes punched in metal cap and captured by hand (only) at least 16 (maybe two dozen) fireflies. I let them "overnight" in the garage outside. The next morning, a couple of them looked dead and like they were on their backs. Nevertheless, I decided to take them home (in the floorboard of the car - not the hot trunk!). After a five hour drive home, I immediately 'dumped' them in a back corner of our acre lot near some trees/shrubs just outside our butterfly/hummingbird garden. They all seemed alive, and a couple took flight. I don't know what I expected but I have been more than rewarded thus far. That first night, near dusk, I watched where I had 'dumped' them, and lo and behold, flickers appeared and I counted at least a dozen separate fireflies. They had stayed in the area, dormant I presume in the afternoon, and now began their area tours. They fanned out across my backyard, eventually over my house and six foot fence into neighborhood yards and highways. After about 45 minutes, there was not a single flicker left in my yard. I supposed that was the end of it, and hoped they would live and survive in our neighborhood, despite bats, frogs, and windshields of vehicles! But, nevertheless, the second night at dusk, I again stood vigil. Sure enough, as I watched several fireflies gradually lit up (maybe 8 - 10 separate ones) and again scouted out my back yard and soon were out on the neighborhood, with not a flicker remaining in my back yard after about 45 minutes. Tonight is the third night and I just came in, and there were at least 6-7 fireflies who had returned "home" to the back corner of my lot last night. I will keep watching each night and see how many return each day. I hope that they have had time to lay eggs for larva for next year. Now, I suppose everyone would have told me that I am crazy to try this experiment, and no one is more surprised than me that it has lasted three nights so far. It has been very entertaining and I hope to 're-introduce' fireflies to my yard and neighborhood. I obviously can't say "it worked" yet, nor further that it might work for you, but I have had a ton of fun (like I was a little kid again) welcoming my friends back home each night at dusk, and bidding them safe voyage as they head out exploring my neighborhood. It has already been well worth the trouble and time it took to arrange the experiment.
June 6, 2005: Larry The Painter writes: The annual "Dance of the Fireflies" is commencing in Springfield, Missouri. This year there is a preponderance of the bright yellow ones that fly a straight upwards oblique line as they flash. It was a mild winter and this species obviously flourished better than the bright chartreuse j-patterns we usually get. Last weekend was priveleged to see electric blue near Table Rock lake. Thought those were extinct since most folks haven't seen 'em in years.
June 6, 2005: Michael W. Blaise writes: During May and June, in Manvel, Texas, along Chocolate Bayou (about 25 miles south of Houston), I have seen fireflies for the past 5-6 years. Fortunately, they are increasing in number every year. To encourage them, I have placed sources of rotting wood along my properly line with the bayou.
June 6, 2005: Charles Wagner reports: I could not believe my eyes. We were camped on Conchas Lake, New Mexico, midway between Santa Rosa and Tucumcari, this past weekend, June 4th and 5th 2005. Right at dusk, I looked up a grassy draw that drops down to the lake and saw the flashes. I thought I was seeing tower beacons shining through the trees at first, but after several more flashes, I realized I was watching lightning bugs. We must have seen 20-30 of them. I was raised on Long Island in New York and haven't seen lightning bugs in years except for visits back east. I have NEVER witnessed them in New Mexico. It was a remarkable sight!
June 6, 2005: Tammy writes: Hollis, Oklahoma. June 5th, 2005. A warm, balmy night. Hail storms surrounded several counties close to our town. We had no rain or storm of any kind. I noticed several lightning bugs late in the evening (about 9:30 p.m.) as I was walking across the road to take out the trash. I have several large fruitless mulberry trees on the side of my house, which make the darkness of the evening appear more black than actual. The bugs were flashing off and on brightly, reminding me of Tinkerbell. I went into the house to get my daughter to come out and see the bugs, yet they suddenly decided to disappear, as if they caught a case of stage fright. Later on that night, my daughter woke my husband up to report something in her room. She said she initially thought the flashing lights in her room were car lights passing by, then she realized they weren't. One brave little lightning bug had made it inside our house. I guess he decided my daughter deserved an encore presentation, even if only a small one.
June 6, 2005: Terry Pettijohn reports: I grew up 35 miles N. of Lubbock and thought I had seen fireflies there in the 60's, but I have talked to my friends and they all assure me that they did not see any there. While searching to find out if their habitat extended to the area I found your site. For the last couple of weeks I have spotted 3-5 fireflies blinking in 2 areas. The 2 areas are in south Garland, Texas. Of course, it is difficult to tell if there are many fireflies since we would only see the blinking ones, but I have the sense that it is only a few. The first is in my back yard, which has many trees and has natural drainage that runs down to the lake about half a mile away. The other is in a creek bottom that is Audobon Park. I usually see them at a little past dusk. I saw them tonight (June 6, 2005) around 9:30PM.
June 5, 2005: A reader writes: Hello. Here is a firefly sighting report from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Location : close to a small river inside the city limits (address is South Pollard Parkway, Baton Rouge 70808). It is well within the city limits, but in a wild place at the end of a relatively new neighbourhood. Tall deciduous trees (sweet gums, live oaks) and pretty dense bushes. Number of fireflights : several dozen at least could be seen flying among the bushes between the ground and 15 feet high. Weather: 3 days after Thunderstorms, nice day with fair sky and no wind, temperature around 85-90 F. Date and time : 6/4/2005 at 19:30 (i.e., still in day time). Note that although spring has been pretty dry this year, I have had plenty of slugs and snails, i.e., plenty of potential food for fireflies larvae.We are coming from France and this is a delight to see fireflights here. In France they are pretty rare and you usually only see the females on the ground, their light over there is weaker, greener and more continuous that the fireflies seen in Baton Rouge.
June 4, 2005: Mike Newcomb notes: Tonight, June 4th, 2005, is the 4th consecutive year that I have seen fireflies in Plain City, Utah, located just west of Ogden City in Northern Utah. There are many marshes in this area, about 12 miles east of the Great Salt Lake. Like last year, it was a clear night, with an evening temperature of about 60 degrees. These same marshes are noisy with leopard frog serenades. Last year, I saw thousands of fireflies between June 7th and July 18th. Tonight, I was thrilled to see their return with about 15 or so sightings in these same marshes. These wetlands weave around residential areas and homeowners only have to sit on their back porch at dusk for the light display. Last year, I saw these light guys in five different areas in an area within 1/2 mile of my home. I don't know the species, but they are very similar to the lightning bugs I've seen in the Birmingham, Alabama, area. I told an entomologist friend who works for the Forest Service about the fireflies and he told me it was a fluke. "They aren't suppose to be west of Kansas." With four straight years enjoying them, I'm beginning to wonder.
June 4, 2005: Alfreda Nash notes: In Southeast Missouri, we always called them lightning bugs. Anyway, my parents' yard had a beautiful display on June 3, 2005. It has been very dry there for two months. The yard does need mowing. It was about 8:30 in the evening - just after sundown. I used to see them there all summer, but this is the first time for a while. They said that they see them a lot. They live in the "bootheel" in Pemiscot County, Missouri. I have been living in Houston for 40 years and do not remember seeing any here.
June 4, 2005: Peggy Borrer notes: I live along Clear Creek in Pearland, Texas, (near Galveston County and across the creek from Harris County). We have been having a truly magical lightning bug show in the late evening along the bank of the creek. The area is scheduled to be cleared for flood control, but so far, Mr. Yost has been very co-operative about leaving my yard alone. I grew up in Memphis, TN, and was used to having lightning bugs every summer, so I'm thrilled to see these. I wonder if we have so many this year because of destruction of habitat up-stream. I have enjoyed looking at your information on hummingbirds, too. Thanks!
June 4, 2005: 11 year old Nate reports: On June 1, 2005, at around 9:00 to 9:30 p.m., in northwest Austin, Texas, near a creek in a very wet area watered by a lot of sprinklers at an office park where my Dad works, I saw lots of fireflies.
June 3, 2005: A reader notes: My back yard in Knoxville, Tennessee, has about 50 fireflies lighting up the grass. It seem as the years go by the numbers seem to get smaller here in the city. As a child living in Maryville Tennessee the numbers were so much greater. But the kids still catch them and put them in a jar, just like the generation before them.
June 3, 2005: Christine Sadzak notes: The last 2 nights (June 1 and 2) I have witnessed fireflies in the wooded rural area that I live in. I live in Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada, which is in northern Alberta, and have never seen any up here before. There were enough fireflies to light up parts of the bush behind my house. It hasn't been raining at all but it has been about 25-30 deg C for about the past week.
June 2, 2005: A reader notes: Although I too was under the impression that Houston was influenced by some condition which inhibited fireflies, my wife and I have nightly seen fireflies for the past month in our back yard and the woodlot, behind the rear of our home. We live in Spring, Texas, in a new subdivision off Cypresswood, about two miles east of the Hardy Toll Road. Despite the presence of street lights and a mosquito spraying program we have seen dozens of insects about two hours after dusk. The neighborhood is densely populated south of Cypresswood; however, the woods to the north of us are undeveloped. We are also very close to a bayou which drains into a water treatement facility, which may be a contributing factor.
June 2, 2005: Paul K. Smith notes: I live in Austin, Texas, in a neighborhood with many fireflies. I have noticed that during the day they like to rest on the crepe myrtle trees in my condo complex. I have a theory that they eat the sap of those trees. So maybe planting more crepe myrtles in Houston might help support fireflies?
June 1, 2005: A reader writes: I am writing you in response to the article I read on your website concerning fireflies in Houston. I live just south of Beltway 8 in Brookside Village, Texas, on the north side of Pearland, and first noticed fireflies in my yard, and primarily the vacant lot adjoining my lot about May 11. They have become even more plentiful in the past few days. I grew up in Houston, off Edgebrook, and have never seen fireflies in the area. I was used to traveling to relatives homes, about 60 miles south of Nashville, Tennessee, where they are a staple of every summer evening. In fact I took my daughter there two years ago to introduce her to that spectacle. I was excited to discover them here in the Houston area and am hoping they have been thriving in my location, as this is my first summer at this home.
May 31, 2005: A reader writes: My family and I went on a walk this evening to our local park here in Frisco, Texas. It is May 31, 2005, the temperature was 78 with a light breeze and partly cloudy skies. To our amazement, we found hundreds of fireflies flitting about. My son found another treasure in a snake skin. 7 flies apiece for the two kids, will be released later into our yard in hopes that they may find a home. Thanks for your site, we will post next time.
May 29, 2005: Lola Mensing notes: I live in Bryan, Texas, and have seen fireflies for the first time in almost 50 years. I am not native to this area, but to Southern California where these insects are practically non-existent. The last time I was able to see them was on a family visit to rural southern Alabama when I was nine. Our home is inside the city, but our backyard is like its own nature preserve where we have observed owls, a fox, squirrels, raccoons, and many species of birds. Because, in the past few weeks, I have seen the fireflies in my backyard, I started searching the web for information about them and came across your site. After viewing an excellent photo of fireflies from the Ohio State website, I noticed that the Crepe Myrtle trees in the parking lot where I work seem to be a feeding/resting place for them. If the beetles I have observed in these trees are truly fireflies, they also seem to have the ability to "spit" into the air surrounding them. I say "spit" even though the minute moisture particles appear to emanate from the anterior region of the beetle. I was hoping that you would be able to confirm my conclusions regarding the beetles I have seen by either acknowledging that unusual activity or that Crepe Myrtles may be a preferred food source for adults. I have enjoyed visiting your website and reading about other sightings. May 26, 2005: A reader notes: As a kid in Kansas I remember chasing and playing with "lightning bugs." Now I live in Costa Rica. The only times I've seen them here they are almost always alone. I never see them in groups as I did back in Kansas. I guess I shouldn't complain though, at least I always see one. Pura Vida!
May 25, 2005: Eric Livingston notes: I live in (and grew up in) San Antonio, Texas, and although I remember seeing fireflies when I was a kid in open fields, I can't recall seeing fireflies until tonight. We just recently bought a house that backs up to McAlister Park, which is a very large city park just north of the airport. I'm sure that without the nearby park, we wouldn't see them; however, since most of the park is dense woods, it is like we are close to nature, yet still in the city. I was over there this evening after we closed on the house and was pleasantly surprised with more than a few of the little lightning bugs flying around the yard. To provide you with some unscientific data, today was May 25, and was an exceedingly warm day (about up to 95 F). Humidity was probably around 50%. The fireflies were seen around and just after dusk. I can't wait to get settled in the house so I can teach my 4 year old how to chase and catch the neat little bugs. Thanks for your site.
May 25, 2005: A reader notes: Spotted numerous fireflies last night as we drove thru the Sabine River bottom on Hwy 43 from Marshall, Texas, to Henderson, Texas. It is wild land. Even though the river is low, the fireflies were numerous. We stopped by the side of the road and just enjoyed looking at them.
May 25, 2005: Chris Moser writes: My family and I spent last week in Castell, Texas, on the Llano River. Plenty of fireflies came out at about 9 pm each night on the heavily vegetated slope leading down to the river.
May 24, 2005: A reader writes: I live on the Gulf Coast of Texas and never see fireflies here but have a sister in Austin, Texas, who has them this time of year in her back yard. She does have a pond and there are many trees in the neighborhood but she also lives about 6 blocks off Interstate 35. I'm hopeing to import fireflies to my own back yard as I have a pond, trees, and many flowering plants. So far have not found anyone selling fireflies.
May 23, 2005: A reader writes: Hello. I live in Charlotte, North Carolina, in the city no less. We do have fireflies, and I would love a whole lot more. It is difficult to find out anything on the firefly - life cycle, food, etc. If you have any information I would greatly appreciate it. Fireflies and Humming Birds are, well, things I would like to have more of in my back yard.
May 23, 2005: Wendy Di Pietro writes: I spotted my first firely last night in Cedar Park, Texas, and then, about two hours later, my husband got to see it too. Seemed to be a solo fella.
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.
May 23, 2005: A reader reports: From Cedar Hill , Tennessee. It is a full moon. We have six acres of grass cut about eight inches tall, and we are surrounded by old growth forests on two sides, and open fields. No lights, but the thousands of fireflies that seem to be at full peak. We have enjoyed their light show display each night.
May 23, 2005: A reader notes: Hi! I just wanted to let you know that we have abundant fireflies in our backyard here in far north Dallas, Texas. Our home is a new home and is near a creek which runs in the back, but we are also close to a very busy street in the front of the property. Many of the homes on the other side of the creek are older (60's and 70's)but we have been so pleased to be treated to their light show every evening for the last three weeks or so.
May 23, 2005: Jack Drobisch writes: Don't know if you're still counting but we had a few fireflies last week and tonight, 5/23/05, the magic started. They are in good numbers and I am looking foward to the weeks ahead when they get real thick. I was born & raised in Florida and saw them as a kid but they seem to have disappeared in the early 60's. I now live in Penrose, North Carolina, and love to see them in June. A friend from Florida is sending his youngest son (12 years old) up here to the mountains to spend two weeks with my wife and me and I think I'm more excited than he is because he has never seen fireflies. They were so thick last year they looked like white flashing Christmas lights. It's 65 degrees and 9:30 PM. We live in a valley at the base of Jeter Mountain. There is pasture in front and forest behind us.I have the jars ready.(Memories in a bottle.) Thanks for your site!
May 22, 2005: A reader writes: Being a Houston native, I had not seen a firefly in years; we are talking a lot of years. Our home was in Houston's east end in the early nineteen fifties, fireflies were a fairly common occurrence, and we often had firefly lanterns. They lent much magic to our childhood. Our home was approximately four blocks from the Buffalo Bayou. I had assumed that these lighters of the night had become extinct; that is, until we moved to our new home. I currently maintain an office in Houston, but I now reside in LaGrange, Texas. Wonder of wonders the fireflies are alive and well. Last night we had the privilege of introducing our grandsons and son to the thrill of the fireflies. Last year, and this year as well, we have been well entertained by these little beacons of brightness. We live approximately five hundred yards from the Colorado River. Looking down from our bluff towards the river there is a light show, that is unequaled by man. Thousands of these tiny insects virtually light the river banks and surrounding areas. Have faith. They have Houston surrounded.
May 22, 2005: A reader writes: We just went to Brazos Bend State Park in Texas, and I saw my very first fireflies! They were amazing! I came across your website when I first moved here to Texas from California two years ago and I was bummed that there didn't seem to be many firefly sightings in the area because I so wanted to see one after seeing the display about them at the Butterly Exhibit at the Natural Science Museum. Well, let me tell you that we hiked at dusk around the large lake at Brazos and they were in the brush lighting up so nicely. When it grew dark we went to the Observatory and they were there too! Unfortunately we saw some boys that had caught some in a jar and I just wanted to tell their parents to teach them to appreciate nature better. Anyway, here's the info about the sighting: 5/21/05, around 8 pm or when it was starting to get dark, large lake - about one firefly every two feet (in the brush/trees along the right side of the hiking path, not the side where the water is), path to observatory - a handful of fireflys (on both sides where the little bridge crosses the water). According to my partner, who has seen tons of fireflies in Virgina, our sighting had a "medium amount" of fireflies.
May 21, 2005: A reader writes: There weren't any fireflies when I moved to northwest Austin, Texas, six years ago. There are fireflies, though, in the other parts parts of the city and in outlying areas. About four years ago a friend of our neighbor caught some (maybe ten or so), and released them here. Now, the firefly population has grown so that we can spot several in everyone's yard. If you want fireflies in your yard, try to see if there are a few in a nearby town and drive them over. Have patience and perhaps the following year you'll be pleasantly surprised.
May 21, 2005: L. Langee writes: There weren't any fireflies when I moved to northwest Austin, Texas, six years ago. There are fireflies, though, in the other parts parts of the city and in outlying areas. About four years ago a friend of our neighbor caught some (maybe ten or so), and released them here. Now, the firefly population has grown so that we can spot several in everyone's yard. If you want fireflies in your yard, try to see if there are a few in a nearby town and drive them over. Have patience and perhaps the following year you'll be pleasantly surprised.
May 21, 2005: Chris Peyton writes: I was doing a search for Fireflies on the Web and found your site. I am happy to report that for the first time since I was a kid (I'm 44 yrs old now), I'm seeing Fireflies all over my neighborhood. I live in a little community close to Medina Lake, Texas, here in Lakehills. There are not as many as I saw when I was young, but just seeing them again has given me hope that they are coming back again. I think a big part of this is that there is not as much chemical use in lawns. I know that I stopped using any chemical sprays or spreads about 5 or 6 years ago for this very reason. Insecticides kill not only unwanted bugs, but all the bugs. And for that matter all little creatures like lizards and such. So anyway, I just wanted to send you this happy e-mail about the Fireflies. Or as I've always called them . . . Lightning Bugs.
May 21, 2005: Andrew Barney notes: I read a report on fireflies in Wisconsin. The person writing thought it was too hot and dry here for them. If you are priviliged like me, you might see a few near the river on the bike trail here in Loveland, Colorado.
May 20, 2005: Judy Kitchens reports: I moved to the Hoovers Valley, Texas, area along the Colorado River between Inks Dam and the upper reaches of Lake LBJ in 2003. I saw my first firefly in the summer of 2004. I only saw one, and it was only here for a short time, late twilight to dark. I saw my first one in 2005 about May 8, and have been seeing 3-5 nearly every evening. Two of the fireflies have have been directly in front of my porch where I built a flower bed, heavily mulched, over the winter. I do not know if this area, which is moist and shaded during much of the daytime has attracted them. I do not have fire ants. One has flown up under the eaves of my porch and rested for a period of time on several evenings. I have 1/2 acre, mostly grass. I have a huge live oak tree in my back yard, and a pond and waterfall system. I also have a garden. I am about 250 feet from the river, and about 35 feet above it.I was very interested to read the comment from one observer about the fireflies on his okra. I have not planted any before, but will do so next year.
May 19, 2005: A reader reports: Saw lots of lightening bugs at my farm in Shelby County, Texas, (between Center and Garrison) last weekend. They were in my pines and also my hardwood forest. It was Saturday, May 14, around 7:00 pm.
May 18, 2005: A reader writes: A reader reports: Houston, Texas: Just saw a fair scattering of lightening bugs at Mercer Arboretum and Botanical Gardens where I work, this evening around 8 pm, back by the lily pond, in the woods.
May 15, 2005: I went to your website concerning tomatoes in Houston, and noticed the article on fireflies. I have always enjoyed fireflies when visiting relatives in Tennesee, about 60 miles south of Nashville, where they have always been very plentiful. On Wednesday, May 11, 2005, I was suprised to notice a number of fireflies in my yard and the vacant lot adjoining it in Brookside Village, Texas, on the north side of Pearland and just south of the beltway. I am a native Houstonian, having grown up in a neighborhood near Edgebrook and the Gulf Freeway, and have never seen fireflies in this area either. I am hoping that this will be an anual event, I just moved into this house in February, and was very happy to discover them.
May 15, 2005: A reader writes: I live in Fort Worth, Texas, and have the only yard in my neighborhood that has fireflies. The neighborhood kids come to my yard to try to catch the fireflies. The only thing I can attribute it to is no fertilizer or pesticide since I moved into my house in 1981. I first noticed the fireflies had arrived in about 1989-91 which is about the same time that I roto tilled the yard and planted fescue grass seed. They were not around prior to that time. I cut the grass long (4-5 inches) this time of year and resist mowing as long as possible. I think the cutting kills the fireflies by vacuming them out of the grass. Right now there are 15-20 fireflies working in both the front and back yards. The yard is well shaded by fruitless mulberry trees with, on average, 4-6 inch deep grass.
May 14, 2005: Belinda Kirkhuff writes: I just found your site and think it’s great!!! Thank you for working to save the fireflies. I’m writing this on May 14, 2005, and this happened last night just before sunset and lasted just about three hours. Our backyard is mostly grass, with a few trees and vines and borders a very busy street where traffic is pretty heavy around dusk, but, thank goodness, it doesn’t seem to bother the lightning bugs at all. My father and I have just recently moved here to Round Rock, Texas, from California and I have never seen a lightning bug in my life before. As we were sitting in our backyard just before sunset we started to notice little sparks of light, flashing in the air. It was so beautiful that I wanted to see one close up. I was able to walk right up to one and closed my hand around him, put him in a glass and get a closer look. It brought to mind stories that I used to hear as a child about children running around and catching these bugs in glass jars. They are just as you have described them. Not like flies at all but like small narrow beetles and that belly!!!! It actually flashed while we were looking at him and it was the most beautiful neon green color that you can imagine. We took him back outside and let him go, where he promptly flew away, flashing, trying to find his mate. I am a 52 year old woman and this made me feel like a young child, watching these wondrous creatures. Thank God that He gave us these beautiful little creatures to watch and be entertained by.
May 12, 2005: A reader writes: Along the greenbelt at Wilcrest off Memorial drive in west Houston, Texas, there are several fireflies each evening (I see around 10-12 per night). Great Site.
May 12, 2005: Claudia Springer writes: Hi. I live in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, and haven't seen fireflies here in over 10 years. I've been told it was the chemicals from the golf courses that are creating a problem for fireflies. The past week, however, I have seen fireflies in my back yard again! For the most part, the weather has been beautiful each night of the sighting, about 68 degrees, clear as a bell, 8:30 pm. Same scenario each night. I live in a suburban neighborhood, but my yard is landscaped with mature viburnum, ptysporum, and lots of honeysuckle - however, as before (nearly 10 years ago), the fireflies seem to like the viburnum. It seems unusual that they should be seen this early in the year and also with our weather so unusually cool right now. Even as a kid I remember loads of fireflies in July, and especially after a rain. I've only seen two at the most but before dusk today (May 12), I watered the yard in hopes that tonight's sighting would have more fireflies. Yep, I was right! Same time: 8:30 pm, about 68 degrees, clear, saw 5 fireflies. Hope this helps.
May 12, 2005: Cyndi A. Franz writes: In our wonderful Fawnlake Subdivision in Katy, Texas, (77493) we have several fireflies. My children and I set in the backyard and watch them quite a bit. I was worried that the mosquito spray that the city of Katy does may be the reason why we do not see as many of them as I would like to. Is there something I can do to increase the population?
May 12, 2005: A reader notes: We just moved to Temple, Texas (north of Austin, south of Waco). We built a house in a golf course community - we back up to a dry creek and a thin strip of woods. Beyond that is an open meadow. Last night I saw a flash in the woods and thought someone was there. Then, another flash. . . again. . . more! I sat down and watched for about 10 minutes. In that time I saw over 100 flashes - the area the flashes covered was about 30 yards wide. Incredible! I'm from California and had never seen a firefly. Can't wait for it to get dark so I can watch again!
May 12, 2005: Marietta MCall, owner of Acorn Bed and Breakfast writes: I live in Boerne, Texas, and on Sunday, Mother's Day, we had a terrible storm. We got 3 1/2 inches of rain in about 2 hours. That night at about 8:30 pm I saw my first fireflies for the season in our back yard. We live in the Texas Hill Country and our back yard is a designated backyard habitat ,very green and lush with bird and butterfly gardens, babbling brook and fishpond. You can see pics by going to I saw about 20 fireflies Sunday night and every night since then, I continue to see them about 8:30 each night. I wonder if I am first to report a sighting for 2005. I shall keep you posted about more sightings and if the numbers increase as time goes by this Spring. Warm regards.
May 11, 2005: A reader writes: Last night we observed "hundreds" of very young fireflies. This was very exciting for both of my older children. Description of land, location and time of day/ night: wooded area, dry sandy soil, wild honeysuckles nearby-interesting, dusk dark, located on Mobile/ Washington County Line in Citronelle, Alabama. If my family can be of any further assistance to you in your tracking or observing fireflies in our area, please let us know. Good luck with your endeavors.
May 11, 2005: A reader notes: I live in Hilliard, Florida, and have a 40 acre farm mostly woodlands. Happy to say that the fireflies are thriving well here at Country Day Castle and Stable. We offer all kinds of activities here and one thing for sure, you will see plenty of fireflies starting April through October.
May 9, 2005: A reader reports: I don't even know if you are keeping track anymore but I just wanted to let you know that last night May 9, 2005, around 9:30 I saw about 10 to 15 fireflies. I live in Deer Park, Texas, really close to Highway 225. There is a empty field and a tree line between my back yard and 225 and they were flying in the tree line. I managed to catch 2 of them. They were close to an inch long and lighting up like crazy. I have lived in this house for five years and this is the first time I have ever seem them here. Last night the weather was a warm and sticky. I was every surprised to see them here since I am so close to Shell Chemical Plant. Thank you for your time.
May 9, 2005: Dave and Janet Griffiths write: We have just come back from a stroll along Buffalo Bayou in Houston, Texas, between West Belt and Wilcrest. We were walking at about 8-8:45 pm and saw literally thousands of fireflies in the vegetation close to the bayou. Most were up to about six feet above the ground, but quite a few up to 20-25 feet. We've been making this walk for the past 25 years, and I believe these are the highest concentrations we've seen.


April 22, 2004: A reader writes: Hi. Are you still taking these reports? I live in Gainesville, Florida. It is April 22, 2004, and 77 degrees. I saw what looked like a large firefly, 9:30 pm, flying just beneath the tree branches. It's flight pattern reminded me of a butterfly; the light regularly pulsed on and off and was bright. When it caught my attention, I first thought it was something else. I did not see any others. Seemed odd, it made me curious about fireflys, they see so rare anymore.
April 12, 2004: A reader reports: On March 27, 2004, about 1930 hours 3 miles south of Magnolia, Texas, we saw about ten fireflies at an elevation of about 20 feet. Conditions: Wonderful evening with a slight breeze, just tested all sprinklers and yard was moist, good stand of rye remaining so grass is rather high, heavily treed yard. I was remarking to my wife about having seen the small group and recall how thick they were 35 or 40 years ago when we were children in eastern Oklahoma. They have even disappeared there, as have the horned toads. I've often wondered where they all went and attribute the loss to insecticides/pollution etc. Light pollution is acute about these parts. I see no burning need to light the night like the day nor to light the sky when a hood on fixtures could focus the light downward where it is desired by some instead of lighting the heavens like a searchlight. Thanks, and when you find a source for repopulation let us know.
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.
March 15, 2004: In the first report for 2004, a reader notes: I have not seen fireflies for about 15 years in south eastern Canada. I have been in south Texas for those last 15 years and just last night in Corpus Christi, Texas, after two days of light rain, at about 7pm - 8pm I saw fireflies flickering, rate about 2 per 100 square feet. I called to my wife "remember the fireflies up north?, they are here too." I just thought they were a northern insect. Anyhow, sparking my thoughts, I decided to look on the web to see where they travel. I found your site and make this report.


June 1, 2003: A reader notes: I moved here from North Carolina and had given up on seeing them again (they were plentiful in the summer in Raleigh NC) but I did see a sparse few here recently where I live in Melrose, Florida. Since I was not aware of your website until now I cannot give you any exacts other than that it was in March or April of 2003. They were hard to spot and didn't come at night but right around dusk. I also live in a very rural wooded area. I will keep on the lookout and keep you informed.
May 31, 2003: A reader writes: I left Massachusetts over 20 years ago. I had not seen fireflies since then until now. I had heard of legends of these magical creatures in a cow pasture on the north side of Brigham City, Utah. I found it hard to believe until I drove down an old dirt road to investigate it . . . and there they were sending messages while the rest of us were making hay. I brought a truckload of giggling teenagers to the site and they immediately became silent with awe as we watched the carefree little lights dance across the meadows.
May 30, 2003: A reader notes: We have seen a few, although not too often. We moved up in the woods, East of The Woodlands, Texas, and tonight, May 30th, 2003, from the Hot(cool) Tub, we witnessed a couple of fireflies moving about in the trees and above the grass over the flower beds. This was near 8-8:30 PM and not too much additional lighting was present. Their little lights flitting about were a sight to behold and my wife commented where did they all go, from when we were children in this area. I remember way back, in Arkansas being with my friends while parents were barbequing and socializing, all of us kids would run the yards and the woods behind the houses, catching fireflies. I look back now and wonder, did I help to cause the very few sightings we have now. Enjoyed your site. You have several interests that greatly intrigue me. I also have a Cherokee heritage and would like to pursue it. Will use your links to begin. Thanks for sharing.
May 29, 2003: A reader reports: I live in Columbia, Maryland, which is a planned community of about 95,000 southeast of Baltimore. Columbia is essentially the eastern half of Howard County. We have a few strips of "wetlands", where the developers could not build due to creeks and brooks, and most of them have bike/walking paths. In that they are near water (most of the year) and it is usually warm here, we have fireflies. They are a little late this year, but I just brought in five for my grandkids to mess with. We will let them go in a while. These are still larvae, and they give off a greenish-white glow. I was surprised (sort of) to read in your treatise that they eat snails, worms, and slugs. They start flying in early July normally, and disappear in September.
May 28, 2003: A reader writes: We live at Struther's Lake (30 miles southeast of Prince Albert , Saskatchewan , Canada). Tonight at our house there were around 200 fireflys or more , this is not uncommon . Just about every night we get a light show unless it is windy . They will be around here till late fall . We like them.
May 27, 2003: A reader writes: Living in Chesapeake, Virginia, I've noticed over a 14 year span that some years they are abundant, while other years there are few out and about, so to speak. It seems like every 3 or 4 years a whole bunch pop up then the next year they diminish somewhat. the year after even less then bam, they are back in the millions.
May 25, 2003: A reader notes: Round Rock , Texas. In my back yard
May 23, 2003: A reader writes: Serendipity. My wife and I were just discussing why there are no fireflies in Houston. While searching the internet about fireflies I found your site and thought how funny that there are others with the same concerns. We now live in Katy, Texas, just next to George Bush Park and have been upset that we haven't seen any out here either in the past two years that we have lived here. As the park is very large, if you are not familiar with it, and very dark at night and seems to be a perfect area for them and we figured we would see them. We even wondered if there were a way to "seed" the area by getting a fair amount of the little buggers and transplanting them in the park. Who knows? My wife even mused it would be interesting if there were a firefly farm for just that purpose. Well tonight I was outside and happened to see one single solitary one. It actually startled me at first as I boggled at what the light source was, definitely not expecting a firefly ( I thought it was some kids with a pocket flashlight playing around in the field ). I then ran in and got my wife and we watched it till it flew up to a tree just next to our house where I was able to inspect it closely. I am excited and hoping it is a sign of more to come but as it was all alone I began to think maybe it rode in on someone's car or the like and was just misplaced. Let's hope not. George Bush Park is just due west of Highway Six at Westheimer (behind West Oaks Mall). I am not sure of the acreage but we are on the far west side which I believe is approximately seven miles west of Highway Six down Westheimer Parkway and I thought you may like to know they (or at least one) has shown up here. As it is only May 22, I will bookmark your site and let you know if I see more. I was curious if you have had any other reported sightings in or close around Houston. Maybe Bear Creek Park or Memorial Park? Hoping to see more.
May 23, 2003: A reader notes: I applaud your efforts to encourage more fireflies in the city. I now live in a semi-rural area between Red Oak and Ferris Texas, south of Dallas. I have tons of fireflies in my yard and all along my street. I've noticed that they prefer damper areas, like creek banks and drainage ditches. On one side of my property is a large undeveloped area, wooded and also some fields, and I don't see so many in that area. The other side has a seasonal creek and the fireflies really like being on that side of my property, although they don't get "in" the ditch, necessarily. Maybe the softer earth is easier to lay eggs in and burrow out of. My personal opinion is that the repeated application of pesticides in suburban settings, along with the lack of native weedy type plants has drastically reduced fireflies and other wonderful critters. I wonder if Bt can also harm them?
May 23, 2003: Peggy Milam writes: We are seeing more fireflies this year in our Crestwood neighborhood at Birmingham, Alabama. I believe it may be because the milkweeds have been allowed to grow in a couple of lots in our neighborhood. I counted only about 15 tonight in a 200 foot area but I''m glad to show those to our 3 year old. Over the last 5 years, I'd say this is the strongest they've been.
May 22, 2003: A reader writes: Hi there- What a great website! I live in Spring, Texsas. I found a small bend in Cypress Creek near Stuebner Airline that must attract all sorts of wonderful creatures. In the past week I have seen a Whooping Crane wading, numerous bigger-than-life swallowtail butterflies, and then this evening a small herd of fireflies glinting around the bayou. There were maybe ten flashers, but what a sight! The area is also heavily infested with fire ants, as well as all kinds of butterflies and vegetation. The creek is easily accessible through Cypresswood Park for those in the area. I also saw a medium-sized dark blueish/black bird with a gull-shaped wing (like a boomerang) that needs some identification. It had a thick neck, light-colored beak, and could not have been a crow. Male kestrel maybe? Anyway, thanks for the opportunity to express my appreciation for fireflies and their neighbors.
May 19, 2003: A reader notes: Doing some surfing about lightning bugs and came across your delightful web site. Well done! Couldn't hardly be a better project for our fair city than yours. I'm emailing because we live in Friendswood, Texas, and have started to see scads of "lightning bugs" again. Live up against a creek, and I used to chase them with my kids, now all grown, and only one grandchild, who is still too young to scamper across the lawn, dancing with the remarkable lightning bug. They are a charming manifestation of a wondrous creation and I applaud your endeavor. For the record, there are dozens and dozens of flashes around us and have been for several days now....I was just up in Austin, visiting a married son, and while we're sitting in his back yard dozens of sparkling fireflies begin to launch from the grass into the air! Once again, what a delightful critter...I wish you well
May 19, 2003: A reader writes: I saw a single individual near Houston on my property in Brookside Village, Texas, again tonight. One thing I notice is the weather was quite warm, humid and the wind was unusually calm compared to the other nights I was out and didn't see any fireflies. I occsionally use the internet to predict visual satellite oportunities and I spotted the firefly just after I had spotted the UARS satellite overhead and the firefly was down rather close near my feet. The firefly seemed timid and was flashing rapidly and was emitting short flashes almost like a fast frequency aircraft strobe. It did this for 5-10 seconds then stopped.
Time: 21:45
Dew Point: 74°F
Humidity: 87%
Visibility: 6.0 miles
Pressure: 29.94 inches and rising
May 17, 2003: Melody Townsel reports: Hello, there: Tonight in North Oak Cliff, Dallas, Texas, Sadie, my three-year-old, and I were sitting on the porch when we spotted what initially looked like 3-4 fireflies, but what turned out to be a large group of about 40 of them buzzing around our yard and several others on our block. This was the first time my daughter has been able to see a firefly, and to be surrounded by so many was magical! She chased them around the yard screaming, "Come back, come back!," and then began doing a little dance number she called the firefly ballet. We'll definitely hit the porch tomorrow night to see if we're able to spot more!
May 16, 2003: Lisa Onizuka writes: We encountered our first ever fireflies (saw 3 or 4) tonight in Round Rock Texas, along Brushy Creek on a trail behind our apartment complex. Along this creek there are oak trees and an impressive variety of understory bushes, grasses and flowers. I don't know what all the plants are, but if it would be helpful I'd be happy to key them out. Thank you for your conservation efforts!
May 15, 2003: A reader notes: We saw quite a few (hundred) of them this evening around 8:00 in northwest Dallas, Texas, at the creek near Royal Park. Very woodsy-looking along creek. (Ryan was very good at catching them.)
May 14, 2003: A reader writes: I live in a rural area between Crosby and Huffman, Texas, and am seeing fireflies right now, especially in the tops of the trees. I've found they like okra plants and are seen clinging to the stalks during the day. When I first moved to Houston in 1965 there were hundreds to be seen every night. Ditto for the middle of New Orleans in the 50's. I have not seen a firefly in New Orleans in 35 years. The most I have ever seen were in Vermont. Good luck with this project; if we lose fireflies forever it will be a sad day.
May 13, 2003: A reader notes: This is the second sighting I've registered for Pearland, Texas. I see from my previous posting that I saw one in May 9th of last year. This year it's May 12th, and virtually the same time, conditions and location, and again only one flying individual. Thanks for doing this. I think this is amateur science at its best and it helps the "real" scientists by providing a database for further study.
May 12, 2003: A reader reports: Sighted lone firefly in Buffalo Bayou Friday night, May 9th around midnight and Monday night around 11 PM. Exact location: East end of Post Oak Timber Drive just outside of 610 West Loop on the bayou, Houston, Texas. I hope to see more.
May 12, 2003: A reader reports: We live in Fort Bend County, Texas, just west of Pecan Grove, very near the Brazos River. Yesterday, around dusk we were in our back yard and saw at least 2 fireflies braving a rather stiff breeze. I hope they come back!
May 12, 2003: R Adams writes: I live just North of Houston, Texas off Hwy 105 about halfway between Conroe and Cleveland, Texas. I see lots of fireflies around my property every night about this time of year (April - May). Part of my property is well lighted, while most of it is in the dark. I noticed that the fireflies do tend to stay in the darker areas of my property.
May 10, 2003: A reader writes: I just came across your site this week, and was thrilled to see the interest in fireflies. I was seeking information on these charming little creatures, worried that I may have harmed the ones I have on my property by spraying with an herbicide. It is still early to tell , but as of tonight I don't think any real damage has been done
I will begin by telling you of the sightings we had late last spring. As we walked around our garden one evening in the latter part of May as I recall, looking around in the brushy areas I was astounded to see what appeared to be hundreds of fireflies. So many that at first glance I thought my husband had put out strings of chasing Christmas lights! After living and gardening on this site for 22 years and seeing only a few scattered fireflies, this was a truly amazing site to behold. We invited friends for several evenings to come and enjoy this phenomenal display. No one could recall ever seeing so many; of these little creatures in one place at any time in our lives. Most of us arein our mid 40s, and all have memories of catching fireflies in jars as children, now we are quite content to sit on the patio and watch the amazing light show they provide
We live in Natalbany, Lousiana. Along the East Ponchatoula Creek, just a few miles from Tickfaw, a site previously posted on your site. Our garden sits beside a small creek surrounded by pines and oaks with under brush. At the time of the sighting, we had a very wet spring, but had begun to need to water and I attributed the increase in fireflies to the use of sprinklers that had watered the area well, who knows. The display of the hundreds of fireflies only lasted for a few days and after that through out summer there were not as many to be seen, probably 20 or so noted in an average evening.  Some one posted a question about seeing them high in the trees, I have noted that they start out the evening from the underbrush or from the leaf cover of the ground, but as they fly around they will go higher into the trees
Back to this evening, it is May 09, 2003, and I have just returned inside after checking to see if the fireflies have emerged in full force. I have seen a few for a couple of weeks of so now, but have not had the chance to check them at dusk when they first emerge, until this evening. As expected the underbrush has started to come to light! I have counted approximately 200 synchronized flashes. Some are still a little further back into the brush than noted last year, but I will be checking to see if they come in and begin to emerge closer in as they did last year. At this time the display seems to be a little sparse compared to last years sightings. I will e-mail you again in a few days to give you an update. As I write this my husband called me into our living room, exclaiming "There's a lightening bug in here!" and sure enough, one had followed us inside and was sitting on a chair flashing quietly
May 9, 2003: A reader writes: We live in Weston, Florida, (Broward County) Our backyard is filled with fireflies. We live on a lake, have lots of flowers and butterfly gardens, and use no pesticides. It's really nice to see them out there.
May 7, 2003: Mary Schaad notes: I was watching the fireflies in my back yard last evening. Seems to me there are a few more this year than last and earlier too. Our neighbor does not have a porch light burning and I noticed the insects congregate in her yard more than ours; also they fly very high into the tops of the trees. We live inner city but amongst lots of trees in Tallahassee, Florida. We have four large butterfly bushes in the back yard. I was looking up information on what I can do to provide a stable environment for the fireflies to thrive in. There is something so peaceful and romantic about seeing them!
May 6, 2003: A reader writes: My kids and I delighted in the sighting of fireflies in my mom's backyard in San Antonio, Texas. She lives on the northwest side. I remember seeing large numbers of them as a kid in this same location, but we saw far fewer today. My kids were fascinated as they had never seen one before. I hope you are successful in your quest to bring them back in larger numbers. Thank you for your efforts.
May 4, 2003: Jennifer Frazier notes: Location: Point Barrow Road, Beach City, Chambers County, Texas. Around 8:00 pm I saw fireflies. Only saw a handful; caught one and realesed him. Last year I bought the home where I grew up, and as a child, there were millions. At that time, we were the only house on the road, secluded by miles and acres from any "progess." Now we back up to a neighborhood, have about 15 neighbors, but on our little 4 acres, we are lucky to have a large gully on the east border of the property that feeds out into Trinity Bay about 25 feet behind the south border of the property. The gully provides a natural habitat and if any scientist would like to study the habitat, feel free!
April 30, 2003: Shirley Kubin reports: Tonight, around 10 pm, I went out on the front porch and saw a single firefly above some tall grass in a pasture area in the front of our property. There is no pond or stream nearby. The only source of water is the chlorinated pool. I doubt fireflies would like that. We live in Crosby, Texas. We sometimes see a few fireflies, but nothing like I remember when I was a growing up.
April 30, 2003: Steven D. Selbe writes: We live in Kingwood, Texas, and moved to a new house, closer to the lake last year. Although the move was less than 2 miles or so we had never seen fireflies at the old house (lived there for 7 years). Our new house is bordered on two sides by greenbelts and the other side is the end of a cul-de-sac which is also undeveloped. We saw fireflies on several nights just about this time last spring (never more than 5 or 6 at a time-I thought my wife was seeing things when she first mentioned it) and have seen a couple so far this year. They seem to fly higher than the fireflies I remember as a kid.

April 27, 2003: A reader notes: I was researching lightning bugs and came across your page! I have a sighting report to add to the ones you've already collected. I was walking with my wife and little girls tonight in Oyster Creek Park in Sugar Land, Texas. Some of the trails go through open fields, and some go through wooded areas with lots of foliage near Oyster Creek. In the wooded areas we saw many lightning bugs. I caught a few and show them to the girls, then let the bugs go. We didn't see any in the open fields. They were also in the foliage along the parking lot which is next to the creek. I remember seeing Lightning Bugs in Indiana when I was a kid visiting my grandparents. The bugs were always in the high grasses near their house. So maybe the bugs like high grasses and/ or foliage. That would explain their absence on short grass manicured lawns. Take care.
April 26, 2003: Ron Ferris reports: My son and I just came in from walking the dog as we do most nights, but tonight we saw many fire flies. They were in the wooded area near the bayou or gully that runs along Cedar Drive in Dickinson, Texas. We both counted as many as 12 simultaneous flashes, and quite rapidly one group after another. I have not seen fireflies like this since I was a kid in Iowa. There were a few in the woods farther from the water, but nothing like the numbers we saw closer to the water. It was fun.
April 18, 2003: A reader reports: For the past week or so I've seen fireflies in my yard here in Nashville, Tennessee. They stay high in the trees, but they are flying from tree to tree. Any ideas about what kind of firefly I have? There are not nearly as many as in the summer. Thanks
April 16, 2003: A reader notes: I was watching tv when I saw a small light flashing by the front door. To my surprise it was a lone firefly. When I showed it to my wife she remarked that its been 10 years since we had seen one. We live in Spring Hill, Florida. The temperature was about 67 degrees. There was low humidity, and it was very dark outside, but the firefly seemed to be attracted to low light from inside our house. It stayed for about 45 minutes. The flashing was constant. The really nice part was that it would sit occasionally on the glass pane of the door and you could see it light up inches away.
April 13, 2003: A reader notes: I first spotted fireflies on April 12th, 2003 which seems very early in the year. I live in in the rural part of Niota/Athens, McMinn County, Tennessee. It was 57 degrees out. The time was approximately 9:30 p.m. Spotted only a handful. On April 13th, I watched at least a dozen or more lighting up the night. The area is partially wooded with open fields.
March 9, 2003: A reader writes: We have been out every evening the past week in Kingwood, Texas, and have been keeping an eye out for the fireflies, which usually appear around this time of year. We have now spotted the first ones of the season on March 9th. There were only about half a dozen, but historically the numbers increase for a few weeks, then taper off and they're gone before summer.


December 9, 2002: A reader reports: Re fireflies in Bali - small green bioluminescent lights every 1 second at 21' Celcius, Humidity 69% Our location is 1000 ft altitude (AGL), rural outskirts of Ubud, Bali, Indonesia. Lat 8' S, Lon 150' E. Regrowth uncultivated jungle unchanged for the past 20 years. Artificial light - nil Habitat - lower valley/sparse rice paddies, hillside tropical undergrowth, local tree canopy 20 years ago 2 to 3 fireflies per night each of 2 bedrooms, now 1 firefly every 30 days nett. Conclusion: no habitat change, diminished firefly population, possibility of increased application or accumulation of pesticides newly introduced here. Any thoughts as to firefly attractions welcomed.
November 3, 2002: Odie and Marie Asscherick write: While conducting a guided night hike at Armand Bayou Nature Center in Houston, Texas, during the summer we noticed lots of fireflys along the Marten trail. It had been during a brief non-rainly part of the month of June 2002.
November 2, 2002: A reader notes: I read about you're request in the Houston Chronicle. I'm finally going to reply. My husband, Larry, and I live in a new town called Brazos Country, Texas. It's on the way to Sealy, just across the Brazos River. We love to sit outside just before dusk & watch for them. We see more near the wooded areas. It's one of the things that make us love living here. We're located in a subdivision where no-one can build on less than an acre of land. It's not the big city. We left Alief 12 years ago, and never saw fireflies there. We also never saw deer, armadillo, skunk, raccoon, and the various birds of prey. Someone even saw an eagle here. I think they like to live in the thick brush. I'll find them on my shrubs when I'm out working in the flower beds. Hope this helps.
October 17, 2002: A reader notes: We live in Boling, Texas, in Wharton County. We have lightening bugs. In the spring there are a few and their population seems to increase as summer progresses until July or so when there are quite a few (or maybe that's just when the heat and mosquitoes get so bad, I stay indoors more). I saw a few just last night. I too have memories of "swarms" of lightening bugs in Houston as a child and my brothers and myself catching them in jars (trying to see if we could get them to all glow at the same time) and have spent some time trying to figure out what happened to them. Since this is a rural area, many people here spray crops, yards, etc., and they use some pretty harsh chemicals AND crop dust! There aren't very many flowers or shrubs out here (at least, not like you'd find in a Houston subdivision, with all the landscaped yards). Most houses are small, yards larger with lots of pecan trees and some cedars...egg farms, grass farms...cotton and maize crops...a few horses, lots of cattle...and lots of stars! We just bought this house a year ago (and commute to Houston to work each day!) and I've been trying to start a "cottage garden", so I've been planting butterfly bushes, stocks, lavender, roses, irises, lilies, delphiniums, torenias, mums, geraniums, plumbago, snapdragons, larkspur, verbena, impatiens, etc., butterfly and bird baths, and a vegetable garden. However, the lightening bugs were here when we got here; I'd love to discover what to do to see them increase. Does anyone know if the carbon dioxide mosquito traps attract and trap the lightening bugs too?
October 17, 2002: Janet and David Griffiths report: We checked out your website after seeing Brenda Beust Smith's Oct. 12th article in the Houston Chronicle, having never given much thought to fireflies before in all honesty. It interested us and we went to see what we could find. We live off Buffalo Bayou in Houton, Texas, and over the past 25 years have often noticed fireflies along the bayou path at dusk. So, tonight we walked the roughly mile and a half path at 7 pm and counted 53 fireflies, among those probably some repeats . In case it's important, the bayou meadows either side of the path were mown yesterday and it rained 5 days ago. The stretch we walked is east of Wilcrest, off Wycliffe at Boheme, and goes as far as the sewage works just before West Belt. There are houses along the bayou path and some have bug zappers which were working. We are a Backyard Habitat and avoid pesticides, etc. but we don't recall ever seeing fireflies in the garden.
October 16, 2002: Deena Poteet reports: I read about your interest in fireflies in the Houston Chronicle and I just had to write. My husband and I moved to Rosenberg, Texas, about five years ago, and we noticed right away something we both hadn’t seen in a very long time; fireflies! We were so excited. It seems like in late spring they start coming out at dusk in large numbers, and when it starts getting really hot, their numbers decrease. We live on the very west side of Rosenberg in the “country”, so we are away from all the lights and get a great view of the little critters! Last week I was outside at dusk and saw some fire flies out. Usually when it starts getting colder the fire fly population diminishes. It reminds me of when I was a little girl and used to catch them on my Grandmother’s farm in Simms, Texas near Texarkana. Thanks for your interest in bringing back the firefly!
October 15, 2002: Marilyn Matney notes: I am writing in response to your request in the Chronicle concerning fireflies. Although we have not seen them recently (we saw hundreds of them summer 2000), we have seen them in the city. At that time we lived in a Houston community near Webster, Texas, (right off of I-45 between El Dorado and Bay Area Blvd.) in which our backyard looked out over a utility easement. This utility easement eventually connects with a long strip of Gulf prairie and marsh land alongside the freeway. We lived in that house for almost 8 years and saw fireflies periodically, but never anything like the summer of 2000! It was such a beautiful sight, with fireflies flitting about all over our backyard and up and down the utility easement. Bright city lights didn't seem to be a problem because our neighborhood was illuminated by I-45 freeway lights. We have since moved to Clear Lake City, where it is darker, but we have not seen a single firefly.
October 13, 2002: A reader writes: I love your Web site! Eclectic! I was raised in Arkansas and many summer nights were spent outdoors chasing fireflies and putting them in jars with holes punched in the top. We called them lightening bugs. I've lived in my home in Spring, Texas, for 16 years and the past couple years I've begun to notice a few fireflies. I have one in my front yard that I see almost every night, and sometimes spot one or two driving home on Cypresswood. I live east of 45 very near Mercer Arboretum. I have always followed organic gardening/composting principles. A worthy goal to bring back these beauties. Thank you!
October 13, 2002: A reader notes: There have been fireflies in Highlands, Texas, east of Houston, off and on all summer. We see them about three to four feet off the ground, hovering at the edge of the overgrown foliage as the hill starts down to the San Jacinto river. There have been more this year than in the last three or four years. I would love to see them all over again! Good Luck on your informal study!
October 12, 2002: A reader notes: I was so excited to hear about your website. We're at the Beltway and West Bellfort, 1 block south of that triangle formed by 59, the Beltway, and W. Bellfort in Houston, Texas. We have seen them since about June. Our property is heavily wooded, and we thought it was because we've been using lemon-scented detergent and ammonia as our bug spray - less toxic. We've seen quite a few and they were here all summer. I haven't seen any lately, but my significant other says he has.
October 12, 2002: Jeff Walker reports: I read in the Lazy Gardener article in today’s Chronicle of your interest in fireflies and wanted to let you know of a single firefly we recently spotted near my home here in Houston, Texas. We saw it at about 8 pm while riding bikes in the Willowbrook Subdivision just outside of the 610 loop. It was in a neighbor's yard with streetlights nearby and the landscaping seemed typical for our neighborhood, that is, nothing special. I suspect that if there was one, there must be others around. Our neighborhood borders a very large vacant field that apparently was once used for grazing or farming but has been allowed to go wild for decades. The field is now covered with trees, shrubs, grasses and wildflowers and attracts a variety of wildlife, particularly birds such as herons, egrets, hawks, neotropicals and finches at different times of year. Perhaps this is where the firefly came from, as it was spotted just a few blocks from the field.
October 12, 2002: Ginger Marshall writes: In today's Lazy Gardener column in the Houston Chronicle, Brenda Beust Smith mentioned we should contact you if we have fireflies in our area. I live in Village Grove East in Pasadena, Texas. This is a new subdivision, and we moved in our home a year ago. My backyard backs up to what I call the Fairmont Woods. This area will soon be the home of Pasadena's newest Hike and Bike Trail. It is my understanding the woods are to be kept in-tact and mostly undisturbed. But back to the fireflies. We have had many of them all year. In fact, I tell my grandchildren that the fireflies come out of the woods at night to dance with us. They are a beautiful sight. I hope this information is helpful to you.
October 12, 2002: Windy Wiedemann writes: I just read about you in the Lazy Gardener section of the Houston Chronicle. I noticed fireflies for the first time this year. I live 40 miles outside of Houston in Dayton, Texas, but thought you might be interested. I am an organic gardener, so maybe that's one of the reasons. One thing I do have, and am not proud of, is Kudzu. It is fast making inroads into the Houston area. Quite a shame and vitually impossible to contain. Well as Brenda would say, "tip of the trowel" to you and enjoy this bright October day.
October 12, 2002: Doyle and Maris Reynolds write: Such a coincidence! On Wednesday, Oct 8th, we ordered a Dominos Pizza, and when the delivery man came to our door, he was so excited to see fireflies around our front door . He lives in Fresno and hadn't see them in years. They are quite common here in Missouri City, Texas, especially in the Quail Valley/Lake Olympia area.
October 12, 2002: Jeanne writes: I read of your interest in fireflies in Brenda Beust Smith's column in today's Chronicle. We see fireflies in our yard every year in the late winter/early spring (Feb., March). They are only present for a few weeks. Our next door neighbors have installed "Moon lights" which they leave on all night long. I don't know if this will affect the fireflies. There has also been increased spraying because of the West Nile threat, although I never use pesticides personally. We are located in Kingwood, Texas. Our acre backs up to a section of the local branch (creek) and a green belt is on the other side of that, so it's quite wild. Our property has been left mostly natural as well, with only a small portion near the house actually planted in a more-or-less planned manner. It seems to me when I was a kid in the northeast (Virginia, Maryland and up-state New York) the fireflies were around most of the summer and were prevalent in the lawn areas. We don't have much lawn, and our lightning bug concentration tends to be thickest in the tree tops. If you have any other questions, feel free to e-mail me back, and I'd be interested in what you find out from others.
October 11, 2002: A reader reports: We had a sighting in Brazos Bend Park, Texas. . There were scatered sightings around the lakes and along the trails.
October 11, 2002: A reader notes: Kudos on your web page. I have enjoyed your page over time and we have the same interests. A couple of months ago I noticed a lot of fireflies in the Bear Creek Park just outside Houston, Texas, at dusk, some 300 yards west of the intersection of Clay and Eldrige. Fortunately I live outside the city limits and we are fortunate to have a healthy number of all kinds of flying creautures around here. We only lack bats.
October 7, 2002: A reader reports: Just last night I was on Kirkwood near BriarForest in the woods at the Bayou in Houston, Texas. I saw lots of these little creatures around 7 pm. Nice to see them again.
October 5, 2002: Adam Kittle notes: I live in Converse, Texas, a satellite town of San Antonio (about 15 miles northeast of downtown) and have seen lightning bugs in increasing numbers since early September. In fact the night after I first spotted them, one actually landed on my backward patio and flashed for several minutes as if to say "WE'RE BACK!" At first I only spotted one or two a night, but their numbers have slowly increased to the point where I'm seeing them in groups of four or more (every direction I look) between sundown and 11 pm. I have even seen one as late as 3 am. A drainage creek runs through part of the neighborhood, and it's also in an area that's not so congested - I'm guessing that's why they're here. I lived in Texas between 1991-1999 and never saw a single lightning bug during that time period. It's nice to see them again - I remember seeing them by the hundreds and even thousands growing up in Virginia and how mesmorizing they were.
October 2, 2002: A reader reports: I went to Trinity Church which has a huge field by a swamp in Ripon, Wisconsin. In Mid June through early July I use to go to the field around 9:00 pm when they would start to come out. I would catch about six dozen fireflies each night and put them in an aquarium and would replace them every three days. The population got lower as July progressed, but I am looking forward to seeing them next year.
September 18, 2002: Iris Black notes: Good Day. I love your site. We live in Paris, Texas. Beginning in early summer (June), we have an abundance of fireflies, and surprisingly enough, just last week, we saw a firefly. I have never seen one this late in the year. We are almost overrun with fire ants, so the theory of fire ants diminishing the production of fireflies does not hold true with our area; however, I think it does with the whippoorwill. There are none. Early last summer was the last one I heard. So sad. I enjoyed your site.
September 16, 2002: Pamela Clements reports: High. Enjoyed your site about fireflies. I grew up in Tampa, Florida, and when I was a kid we always sat on the porch and watching the "lightning bugs." Tampa, however, grew into a big city and the fireflies disappeared. I then moved to Sarasota, Florida and no fireflies there either. But 5 years ago I moved to Dade City, Florida, a tiny town 35 miles northeast of Tampa, and it is loaded with them! In fact, I see insects and wildflowers of all kinds not seen since I was a kid! But as to the fireflies, I live in a wooded area near many lakes and ponds - also, when it rains hard, they don't come out, and in years when we've had droughts they have been almost absent. I see more of them in darkened areas rather than neighbors homes which are lit up. Thanks again!
September 15, 2002: Barb notes: Hi. I just found your site. It's great. I just moved south of Cleveland Heights, Ohio. It 's an old suburb with houses built mostly between 1910 and 1920. I have seen lightening bugs the past few summers in my neighborhood - even though we are not at all rural. But there is a creek that runs thorough our neighborhood which is more like a storm run-off creek. It is an old creek and thus it is in a steep, narrow ravine. People don't visit the creek much and I suspect there are snails there, as it is very shady. Also the neighborhood is heavily treed and I know I have a lot of slugs in my backyard, which I am always battling. I usually don't have to water my yard much, but this summer was a little dryer than usual, so one evening I watered my front lawn. By dark, when I went to shut off the water, I was enchanted to observe a dozen of them dancing in the spray of the sprinkler. I now have a home on the Peace River upsteam from Punta Gorda, Florida. It is somewhat rural here, but I have not seen any lightening bugs after being here for a month. I wonder why.
September 6, 2002: Susan notes: When I was growing up in Channelview, Texas, during the 50-60's we had loads and loads of fireflies. Like you, I have wondered what happened to them. I read the theories on your site and one I've heard, but didn't see there, is that the chemical companies play a part in our current lack of "night-lights". I now live in Seabrook/Taylor Lake Village, Texas, and for about the last month we have had a few entertaining us in the evenings. I know it's silly but I was so excited when we saw the first one, I just hope maybe they'll stick around for a while! Thanks for your site, I enjoyed visiting it.
August 18, 2002: A reader reports: Hello there. To my surprise, in the past few nights we have been seeing fireflies here in League City, Texas -- not like when we were kids, but still. While sitting in the jacuzzi tonite, there were 2 fireflies. Friday night at my neighbor's house, there were quite a few. This is so exciting. If there's anything you have learned about how to create the perfect space to encourage fireflies, please let me know. My daughter has never seen them and doesn't understand how exciting it is to spot these guys. Thanks for your efforts.
August 18, 2002: A reader notes: Although I am using my daughters computer, I was sitting outside with my Grandaughter a few nights ago and was watching the fireflies when she ask what they were. She is 11 years old and had never seen a firefly. So we watched for a while. There was only one, for several days, but tonight we saw several. We live in Pasadena ,Texas. I haven't seen them for years; it sure brings back childhood memories!
August 11, 2002: A reader reports: Hello,I Live in Exeter, New Hampshire, and I am happy to say I have many. I can look out my back window at night and they are everywhere. Swarms of them, if I go out to take the dogs out or to just get some air there are so many they will even land on you. I have brought them in the house by accident before. It is fun to be lying in bed and see them flying in the dark in your own bedroom. We see them during the day a lot also. I do live in a wet area {swampy area behind my home}. I also love to garden, so there are many plants and flowers around, we have many dragon flies as well. Not many butterflies {yet}. I am planting more this year. I just wanted to share with you that in Exeter we are well lit in the evening by the tantalizing tails from our firefly friends.
August 11, 2002: A reader writes: Hi, On a recent trip to Malaysia I visited a place called Kuala Selangor, Malaysia, that had millions of fireflies (although I must admit that I didn't count them all). In any case, their habitat was a mangrove-like swamp that was hot and humid year round, suggesting that a place like Houston would be suitable habitat for them (except for all of those nasty petrochemical plants). Hope that helps.
August 5, 2002: A reader notes: Love your site! I've never before seen firefly's in my area, but was completely mesmerized one night (mid July/2002). It was magical! I didn't think that fireflies lived in my region so was very surprised. I had spied some lightning in the distance late one night and decided to drive away from the city to a remote place. It's a nature habitat on the edge of Red Deer, Alberta, Canada, called "The Duck Watch". There's a large swamp/pond there. I saw many fireflies, perhaps 50-100? Just a guess, though. There were lots. Maybe it's the extreme dryness we're experiencing here in Alberta and the extra long periods of high heat, too... maybe that's why the fireflies are present this summer(?). You're most welcome to add this entry to your sightings page if you'd like. I think it's a wonderful idea that you're trying to conserve the firefly population around your area.
August 4, 2002: A reader reports: Hello. A quick note about fireflies in San Antonio, Texas. I live on the near east side of town just one lot below a spring that is drained by a drainage ditch. My lot is bordered on two sides by empty lots, the one to the south borders the ditch. They are shredded off a couple of times a year, other than that, pretty much left alone. To the west (uphill),the spring has allowed some really big old cypresses and cottonwoods to survive. I have lived here for 12 years and when we first moved here we would see the occasional firefly, but not many. Then for a number of years there were none. This year, for the first time, they are more numerous. People who have lived here 30 years say that they are about 1/4 the number that were here when they were young, but compared to none there are quite a few now. I remember reading something recently that connected firefly larvae to snails...(they eat them?)... at any rate I have about 60 LARGE pots in my yard with tomatoes, small trees, etc in them and a lot of really big snails which I do not try to contain because I like to watch them. Other low lying areas right around here with water do not seem to have as many fireflies. Hope this helps.
August 2, 2002: A reader writes: I live in Lufkin Texas. Our house is located in the country. I grew up in a neighborhood in town that was moderately populated. I believe we have more fireflies now than we did growing up, although we did have a lot then as well. We do not have a lot of outside lighting. We always thought they preferred the dark because towards the woods they are more plentiful. They have just always "been there" and we have always loved them!
July 31, 2002: A reader notes: I saw hundreds of lightning bugs in a grass field near the north end of Lost Creek Park in Sugar Land, Texas, along Oyster Creek at around 8:00 p.m.
July 31, 2002: A reader reports: We live in Lytle, Texas, about 25 miles southwest of San Antonio. The fireflies in our area have been spectacular this summer. The stars in the sky get jealous at night when the air begins to twinkle and glitter with these wonders of light. We live in what may be described as a subdivision with 1-3 acre lots with lots of old live oak trees and a small creek nearby. In addition to the oaks, our front yard has 3 old sycamore trees and huge plantings of carolina jasamine and various other types of foliage and plants In past three summers we have seen a few fireflies. I realized I haven't seen any since my childhood in East Texas, some 30-35 years, when my father used to catch them for me and my four sisters and make "rings" for our fingers.
July 31, 2002: A reader notes: Hi, My husband and I have recently bought a home in Baltimore, Maryland and I can't say that I have actually seen many fireflies in my area of Baltimore. However, my mother lives about 10 miles south of us in Pasadena, Maryland, (not far from Glen Burnie) and that area is loaded with them! Her and I couldn't believe how many we had seen a few weeks ago throughout her neighborhood. Growing up in Pasadena, Maryland, I knew when summer was definitely here. The first night that I saw a firefly (or a lightning bug as we call them here) I knew the cool weather was over and the hot summer was here...I would usually seen them at the very end of May or first week of June without fail.
July 30, 2002: A reader writes: Hi from Linden, Texas - that is the upper northeast corner of Texas. We are on the Louisiana, Arkansas, Texas border. We have 13 acres outside of town and have spotted fireflies on this property for the last 10 years. It has a creek and beaver pond on it and there are always numerous fireflies fairly close to the water. We usually start seeing them in May or June and on up until about the end of August or first of September. It does not seem as if there are as many as there used to be when I was a child (now 53) but then again, there are not as many toads, lizards, frogs, etc. which I believe is due to the infestation of fire ants. There is an abundance of the ants up in our area. We do wildlife rehabilitation and quite a few baby deer are brought to us that have been overtaken by the fireants. They are quite a nuisance but we refrain from using any kind of pesticides or poisons. Good luck in your research on this treasured insect.
July 28, 2002: Don Moore reports: I have another sighting to report. This one in Kerrville, Texas. Nighttime temperature was in the low high 70s. No bodies of water nearby, but a lot of standing water from recent flooding. Mount Wesley Methodist Encampment surrounded by the city, but with much virgin land buffering on 3 sides. Sighting in a clearing near a grove of trees -- only two fireflies.
July 28, 2002: A reader notes: Growing up in Timbergrove during the 50's and 60's, my childhood summers were filled with frogs and fireflies. I remember the roads covered with frogs and the woods of turkey Bayou filled with blinking lights of 'lightning bugs'. Even camping in remote regions of Texas, we have not seen as many as I remember in my youth. Destruction of woodland habitats could have also contributed to the demise of the firefly. We live off of 1960 near several creeks and I have seen a few fireflies on the side of Hardy Road between 1960 and Old Town Spring, Texas, by the Northwest 45 Ball Fields. However, the woods are cleared more and more each day as the demand for custom built homes in gated communities seals their doom. Best of luck with your quest, I will be following your research with great interest.
July 24, 2002: A reader writes: I read an article in the San Antonio Express News concerning fireflies and it quoted comments from you. One of the paragraphs made note that fireflies were not found west of the rockies, although some have been spotted in Utah. I believe this is incorrect. Until I was 20, I lived in Portland, Oregon, and most of my summer nights as a child were spent collecting fireflies. Recently, my girlfriend from the same area came to visit and she was watching the fireflies in our backyard and said she had never seen one before. Likewise, she said she had never seen a hummingbird. But all I know is that my friends and I collected quite a few fireflies as kids. Of course, by the time I was about 10 or 11 (I am now 55), toads, tree frogs, hummingbirds etc. had disappeared from our NE Portland home. Why? I presume pesticides and urbanization. At my Austin home, I even had spit bugs. But, then I was 100 % organic on my small city lot. I also had tons of fireflies. I moved into a new home in San Antonio, Texas, last July. My husband and I have put a lot of time, effort and $$ into turning our backyard into a tropical paradise. We are organic. We have had tons of fireflies (before the flooding also), hummingbirds, martins, toads, etc. etc.
July 24, 2002: A reader notes: I live in San Antonio, Texas, and have fireflies in my garden. Never in the great numbers I remember seeing as a child growing up on the East Coast but more that I see in other places around town. I practice integrated pest management (IPM) without using insecticides, fungicides or relying on heavy fertilization and my garden is a healthy and happy one. Lately, since our flooding, the number of fireflies has been down but I expect it to rise. Last year I was amazed that I was still seeing fireflies after Thanksgiving! Just a few, mind you, but it gave me cause to fantasize that perhaps I had fairies not fireflies at that late date. I suppose I should give you more information about my garden as there might be an inkling here for you to consider. I would describe it as "English" in style, not formal or excessively weeded or regimented. There are many varieties of plants at many different heights and more than a sprinkling of old fashioned flowers. I used to grow modern roses but stopped when I realized that the spray programs required for good modern roses was making a total mess of my garden. Rosarians advocate monoculture for fear of other plants harboring rose pests. Monoculture is always a bad idea even in agribusiness. Rosarians advocate light soil, heavy fertilizer use and religious spray programs. I fertilize lightly if at all and abjure the use of light soils. Spraying is just not considered. I now grow antique roses and if a bug nibbles or "black spot" breaks out, it doesn't matter as the bushes are so lush. I also grow my roses as I would shrubbery without much fussing. I think that if you look overall at home and commercial foundation plantings you will find a very small number of varieties in widespread use. Crape myrtles, pittosporums, nandinas and hollies seem to dominate here in San Antonio. Perhaps this lack of variety of plant habitat contributes to the firefly's scarcity. Add to that the widespread clearing of brush and trees when homes are built. There was a lot more wooded land when I was young. Also, something as simple as the type of lawn grass may play a role. Again, monoculture comes into play. Obsessive removal of all plant life other than grass from a lawn has got to have a negative affect on insect populations. Keep up the good work; I enjoyed reading about your efforts in the San Antonio Express-News.
July 24, 2002: A reader reports: The article in the San Antonio-Express News was my first knowledge of your efforts to "save the fireflies." I enjoyed reading the article and learning a bit more about my "fairy bugs," as I once called them. Like you and many others, I had noted the decline of fireflies over the years. My first thought, of course, was pesticides, etc. Much of my childhood was in Memphis, Tennessee, and in Little Rock, Arkansas, and there were always, as we children said, jillions of lightning bugs to catch and watch glow. We always let ours free at the end of playtime. The past two evenings, the 23rd and 24th, I have noted a respectable number of fireflies in my own back yard. It is always magical to watch. Our home is in Live Oak, Texas, which I refer to as a suburb of San Antonio. For the most part, the terrain is suburban, but in particular our lot is adjacent to the city's little league ball park and pool area. Beyond that is more green belt area where we do have a population of deer and other wildlife. Part of the appeal of San Antonio is its supply of "green belts" among the big city supply of buildings. Live Oak also has a "farmer's pond" nearby. We are usually described as a "bedroom community." It was developed in the 1970s and has an established tree canopy and the resulting squirrel population. I do recall how humid Memphis and Little Rock were, so humidity must be a requirement for lightning bug success! After our recent flooding in the area, we certainly meet that requirement. When I noted the fireflies, it was when there was very little light left in the sky. The only ingredient missing were children with Mason jars.
July 24, 2002: A reader writes: Dear Mr. Burger, I am writing to let you know that I read your article in the Express News in San Antonio, Texas, (July 23,2002) about fireflies and it brought back memories of those summer nights at my grandma's house who lived by Calaveras Lake in San Antonio,Texas. We loved to chase after them in the dark to see if we could catch them. There would usually be lots of them. Now I look for them in our backyard in South Bexar County, Texas, but I have not seen any this year to show my children who really don't know what I mean when I talk about bugs with lights. I did spot one last summer. I hope you can find out why they have disappeared and how we can get them back .
July 24, 2002: A reader notes: On about July 13, I was sitting on my front porch in Fredericksburg, Texas, and noticed a flash of light in the trees about thirty yard away. It was the familiar cool pale green light I used to see every night growing up on the High Plains. I perked up and started searching the trees. Before too long, I sighted at least three other individuals at this same time, within a twenty minute period. I have lived on this property for ten years, and only one or two years have gone by that I haven't sighted the bugs. I was thrilled to discover that they are still around I consider them an asset to the property. It was very dark on the night of the sighting, as I live in an area where there are no artificial lights at night, except a red tower light about 6 miles away. We had had a lot of rain in the weeks before this, but I don't know if the sighting and the rain are connected. The bugs were flying in an open area between my house and a stand of live oak trees. FYI, I live on thirty acres and have no crops or livestock on my property. The property surrounding mine is ranch land. I do not spray pesticides if I can help it, which I haven't had to do to any extent for several years. We have a terrible problem with fire ants in the area, which surly affects all wildlife. I have just discovered your web site as a result of an article in the San Antonio Express News, but I'll visit your site again soon to read more about our glowing friends. Thanks for taking the time.
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.
July 24, 2002: A reader notes: I am sooo excited! I saw a firefly up here in Boise, Idaho. I used to visit my grandparents in Perryville Arkansas and see them by the dozen when I was a little girl. They lived by a lake so I guess maybe that has something to do with it. WOW! I am sooo happy. It was the week of the Fourth of July and late at night when I saw the only one I've ever seen in Boise. I was just in my yard by the garden and all of a sudden he started flashing. Most beautiful thing I'd seen in years and it brought such joy to me. Thing is, my neighbor across the street has a small pond and half my neighbors irrigate.... I sure wish I'd see more of the little guys. I was looking up what could attract them on the internet when I saw your site. Thanx so much.
July 23, 2002: A reader writes: Hi. I live in Boerne, Texas, which is in the Hill Country north of San Antonio. (I was raised in LaMarque and very familiar with fireflies as a child.) We have a lot of them here every summer and I love to watch them. I notice that they seem to be more abundant around the cedar trees. Friends in San Antonio tell me they don't see them, so urban sprawl must be part of the problem. Let's hope they don't go the way of the horned toad!!
July 23, 2002: A reader notes: Growing up in Beeville, Texas, I remember tons of fireflies every night all summer. As a 30-something adult living in Kerrville, Texas, the firefly population in my backyard hasn't been so great. Until the last couple of years, that is. It seems their numbers have been increasing in my backyard. I think it has to do with the fact that my yard has recovered from having large dogs on it. Also, I let the yard 'rest' for a couple of years (okay, so I neglected it) so I had overgrowth of all kinds of grasses and weeds. I've also had lots and lots of snails/slugs back there the last few years. I probably use fewer chemicals on my lawn and plants than most people. These sightings have occured at dusk the last few summers. It doesn't always happen every night but I haven't really tried to assign a pattern to it. The weather has been exceptionally dry in this area every summer (until earlier this month) so I was amazed that they have been out. Flash rate seems to be about every 10-15 seconds, with periods of activity and inactivity over 15-20 minutes. As for an estimate of their numbers, it's certainly not like my childhood but at least it's something. I know it's a little late in the season to spot them, but I'll be on the lookout due to our recent rains. Thanks for your site!
July 23, 2002: A reader reports: Sighted a number of fireflies at H.E.B Foundation Camp near Leakey, Texas, on June 15th and 16th 2002. I am a San Antonio native, and have not seen them for years. It was my first sighting in such a long time I had to just sit and watch them.
July 23, 2002: A reader writes: I read the story today in the paper and was amazed that you were correct that I haven't seen them in quite some time in San Antonio, Texas ... until tonight. The timing was ironic. I am responding to your request so that you know.
July 23, 2002: A reader writes: Just finished reading an article in the San Antonio Express-News. My husband & i live in Spring Branch, Texas, just north of San Antoino. I originally moved out there 4 years ago & have seen one lonely firefly. During the 4th of July week while it was flooding in San Antonio, we were at a family reunion at The Lake of The Ozarks. We stayed at a nice little resort called Lone Oak Point. The first night we were there, WOW, it was totally amazing! Lots & lots of fireflies. Anyway, it was like being a kid again. It is really sad that we don't get to enjoy them here at home. Sure would welcome back "the old days" Just wanted to share my sighting with you. Thanks for what you are doing.
July 23, 2002: A reader notes: Interesting article in today's Express-News. We've never spotted any fireflies in Bexar, but used to see quite a few when we were volunteering at the Texas Parks Dept's Old Tunnel Wildlife Management Site (an abandoned railroad tunnel which has become a bat habitat) on the Old Fredericksburg Road between Comfort and Fredericksburg, Texas. We haven't been up there since '00, so don't know if they're still there or not.
July 23, 2002: Ron Dobbs reports: I read the article in the San Antonio paper about your interest in fireflies. I remember collecting the bugs in a jar in Minco, Oklahoma, at my Grandmother's when I was young, as you recalled. In the Spring of 2001 I noticed a few here in New Braunfels, Texas. This spring I noticed a few more. Not many, maybe 5 to 10. I have, as you, felt the demise is due to chemicals. I do not use any chemicals in my yard, but the neighbors do.
July 23, 2002: A reader writes: I read the article in today's San Antonio Express News and went to your website, I had to write. We live in LaVernia, Texas, a small rural community 30 miles east of San Antonio, and we have an abundance of fireflies! Ours have a golden yellow glow. They seem more abundant in the spring time. After all of the recent rains, they are sparce, but still around. The Cibolo Creek runs through LaVernia at the end of our street and there is alot of vegetation around for them. I grew up in San Antonio and I remember catching the bugs in my hands, but I had not seen them until we moved to La Vernia. I let my son catch them, but I am afraid of their extinction, so I always make him let them go before they die. Take Care!
July 23, 2002: Sierra writes: Hi! My name is Sierra and I am a fireflier. We have tons of fireflies. We live in Kansas City, Missouri, proper, in a residential, medium-populated area. (Our property is approx. 1/3 acre). I know we noticed tons of them when we were outside for the 4th of July because the neighbors all had a big discussion about them. Climate doesn't seem to make a difference. The winter before last it reached an actual temperature of 23 degrees below zero. Last summer, it reached 112 degrees in the shade at our house. We have a lot of humidity, too. Our yard has a lot of roses, mums, a couple of hollies, some annuals, a small lawn pond out back, pine trees, a variety of diciduous trees, some sedum, peonies, and some lamb's ear. We have a fescue/blue grass mix. I really think they might like the lamb's ear, as we saw more in our font yard than our back. They didn't mind the fireworks. We don't have fire ants, but we do have a lot of mosquitos and birds. That may be something you might want to consider is the type of birds you have in Houston. Perhaps you have a breed of bird that uses fireflies as a food source. When we have been at my Grandma's, in a rural area, for 4th of July, we've seen tons there, too. It is about 300 miles from here. They don't have nearly as many lights, but do have roses, grass, and peonies. I don't think they particularly have a water source, and not many pine trees. I don't know if this has been helpful, but I wish you many fireflies in Houston!
July 23, 2002: Lynnie Bunen writes: We've been seeing fireflies here since April for sure and still are seeing them most nights now. There are large numbers I'd say. There are enough that you can identify that there are 20-50 individuals flashing in the area. We are located just southeast of San Antonio, Texas, near Calaveras Lake. We are on a 26 acre tract with a two acre pond. We have some artificial lighting around the house, but mostly it's not too intrusive. The land is fairly flat. We have fire ants, harvester ants, mosquitos, barn swallows and all sorts of other stuff. This place was purchased last October. Previously, it had been a small horse farm, but as far as I can tell, very little pesticide was used, if any. The property is pretty natural since the previous owner died about four years ago.
July 23, 2002: A reader writes: Hi there! We have a few acres close to Bandera, Texas, and there I saw my first fireflies since I was a teenager. They appeared, or we noticed them, mid April. We'd see them at dusk but in much greater numbers in full dark. There were hundreds around dry creek bed, but their numbers diminished by mid June {it was very dry by then} and disappeared by the end of June. You may have heard we had a lot of rain in early July so that may have brought them back. We saw them again last night, July 22. My neighbors never see any but they have strong floodlights on at night. Sorry, we have no source of firefly eggs. Thank you for caring
July 22, 2002: Krinki reports: We see fireflies all of the time near Gonzales, Texas. We have a 500 acre ranch with a huge "tank" or pond with a marsh-like area that surrounds it. If you go out in the late evening, you are sure to see plenty of fireflies. Good luck.
July 21, 2002: A reader notes: Last night at our place in Frelsburg Texas, (near Columbus, Texas) we had 2 fireflies. It is a rural wooded area and last night we had bright moonlight. We have usually had only one. It was just after dark. We, too, would like to see more. Thanks.
July 21, 2002: A reader notes: July 21, 2002: Grand Rapids Michigan. This has also been a good year to see fireflies in this area.
July 21, 20021: Barbara T writes: We live in Montgomery Texas, on Lake Conroe, and we have seen a few fireflies but only in the month of June. Once summer hits we see no more of them. I came from the Northeast where fireflies were abundant. My husband visited Wisconsin a couple of years ago and said at night the cornfields were filled with a "million" fireflies. I too miss seeing them and wish we could "cultivate" more all summer. Fireflies are such a wonderful childhood memory! I vote pesticides have eradicated them.
July 20, 2002: A reader notes: Hi. I live in Burnsville, Minnesota, and we still have fireflies in our backyard which is heavily wooded and by a pond.
July 20, 2002: A reader writes: I want to thank you for starting this web site. Mike, my husband, has been asking for several years now about the firefly population. "Why have they disappeared?" "Where did they go?" "What will bring them back?" I remember about 12 years ago being at the State Park in Mineral Wells (Texas) and seeing them everywhere... literally hundreds! What a beautiful sight! it seemed as if we were in a fairy tale. Ever since we've wondered why they weren't out more in the areas that we have lived. We've moved several times in and around the Dallas, Texas, area. Every year we see a few here and there. We always point them out to the neighborhood when possible to bring up the awareness. But every year it seems that there are just a few. We want to know what it takes for them to "go forth and multiply." In the past we have had the usual track home with the small yard, but would have encouraged all around us to do whatever it took to help their survival. Recently we have purchased 5.25 acres just inside the city limits of Dallas. The area is covered in wildflowers and we've seen the usual few fireflies. But we truely wish for many more magical nights like we had in Mineral Wells. It is our desire to research these little luminus delights and do whatever we can to help their survival. Keep up the good work!
July 20, 2002: A reader notes: There are fireflies in Houston, Texas! I moved here many years ago from Iowa, where they have lots of fireflies. I never saw one here until I moved to a very wooded lot off West Beltway 8 two years ago. Now I see them in my back yard (a few) in the summer, esp. in June and early July. I hope the mosquito spraying didn't kill them.
July 19, 2002: Susan notes: Fireflies are alive and well in Cedar Springs, Kilbride, Ontario (approx 30 minutes from downtown Toronto). As a child; we had a huge log cabin on a hill; that sloped down to six mile creek and one of the most amazing things was looking over the gully and down the hill and seeing these magical little creatures turn on and turn off their lights. Yes, they enjoyed laying their eggs on many plants (especially the lilies) in the rock gardens that lined the side of our property heading back to the garden. We would capture them in jars; they were plentiful, and easy to catch. It was amazing, all those little lights in a large mason jar, with holes drilled thru the top. We never captured anything we didn't set free. Of course, this reminds me of a very funny story. My grand-dad would not let us bring fireflies into the cottage (much like praying mantis). We never listened to him, as the light in the jar was alot of fun to take to bed with you when you were 8-10 years of age. One night I took the jar into the cottage and, with the open ceiling in a log cabin, you can imagine the light show. Approximately 75 fireflies flying around the main parlour, bordered by many bedrooms; needless to say; we had inside fireflies and my grand-dad laughed about that til the day he died. My experience shows they love sloping hills that travel down to fast moving creeks and rivers. They are abundant in the "sixteen mile creek" region west of Toronto. To me they are a magical delight from childhood which remind me of wonderful times spent with my dad and grandfather trying to capture the little critters and figure out why and how they flashed so brilliantly. I still enjoy sitting quietly and watching them turn on and turn off the light. One of the many gifts god has given us to enjoy and one that brings back a small "spark" of childhood to brighten an adult day :) My brother also reports; he sees them in Kleinburg, Ontario about 30 mintues from Toronto where again the landscape is rolling hills that slope down toward river beds that flow towards Lake Ontario Hope you find this an enjoyable post to add to your collection. July 19, 2002: A reader writes: I think your site is real nice. I am one of the lucky ones that lives in a state where we do have them. My home is here in Wadena, Minnesota. As a matter of fact, our season just passed about a week ago. I was enjoying catching them out by the river. Even if I am 33 years old, you're never to old to enjoy and firefly. Thanks for the information and I wish you luck in your quest.
July 19, 2002: Diane Enoch writes: Thanks for the website and information on fireflies. I was just back in Council Bluffs, Iowa; Des Moines, Iowa; and Omaha, Nebraska and the fireflies were one of my special treats. I now live in Southern California, and I really miss the July evenings bejeweled with those tiny critters. I hope Houston is able to lure them back. I remember hearing crickets (or some type of critter) at the same time I see the fireflies. Does Houston still have them? I was in Houston last August/September and it was too rainy to know if there were any type of critters out there.
July 19, 2002: Mary Driggers writes: I would like to add my comments about seeing literally zillions of firefly's in two places, and why I think that I was seeing that many congregating together. The first place that I saw zillions of them, was at Fort Clinch, Florida, near Fernandina, Florida. We were camping, and it looked like someone had hooked up the little clear christmas lights in the forest. It appeared that there was a firefly every square inch! My theory as to why there were so many there, is that there were ten billion zillion "no see'um bugs" ... the kind that drives you crazy biting you and you can't see them! I figured that the firefly's may have been living off of these tiny bugs. Another place I have seen zillions of lightning bugs is near our lake in north central Florida. Someone cleared about an acre of land, and there was zillions of firefly's in the forest next to this cleared site, so my theory there was that the clearing of the tree's had run the bugs to the area next to the clearing. That might account for other areas around the country that might be close to the clearing or stripping of the forests and the spotting of numerous firefly's. It is quite a sight to behold when you see that many.
July 19, 2002: Annemarie reports: Hi there, I live in Ontario, Canada, where we do have fireflies. I just wanted you to know that while I was visiting some friends just outside of Herkimer, New York, I saw an over abundance of fireflies. It was beautiful! I thought we had lots in Ontario, but they have so may more. It was like a light show. I just thought you may like to hear that. Good luck in getting them back.
July 19, 2002: A reader writes: I just found your site and love fireflies. We called them lightening bugs when we were young. They are around in Phelps, Wisconsin, which is close to the upper peninsula of Michigan. One had gotten into our bedroom and I so enjoyed laying in bed and watching him. They amaze me. I wish there were more around here, but I only see them in the spring. I remember when we would go outside and watch the sky light up with them. We had fun catching them and putting them in a jar to see how much light they would put off. What a pleasure. Thanks for the site.
July 19, 2002: Linda K. Turner notes: I too have noticed that I no longer see fireflies like I did as a child. Then this spring I noticed half a dozen fireflies in my back yard several times. I have lived in this house in Waco, Texas, for three years, and this is the first time I have seen them. I have noticed them at my parents' home in Woodway, a suburb of Waco, Texas for the first time in years also.
July 19, 2002: A reader writes: There have been fireflies in my backyard nearly every evening over the last several weeks. In the period of a minute, I may see 6 or 8 "winks" of light. This is within the city limits of Rochester, NY, 14620. The fireflies do, as another person wrote, seem to appear just before full dark and then disappear within the hour. I see them over my flower beds, which in the last weeks have had mostly lilies in bloom.
July 19, 2002: John & Joyce Zslnka write: We have fireflys here in Saskatchewan, Canada. The weather has to be humid-either just before the rain or after. Mind you, we do not use sprays of any kind. Everything is grown organically. They certainly are a gift from the Supreme. Thank you for your site. It's GREAT.
July 19, 2002: A reader notes: I live near Logansport, Indiana, in a wooded area and the fireflies are out every evening. I started seeing them a few weeks ago. Before I moved here, I lived in the middle of farm country with a cornfield in front of the house. Every evening in the summer I would sit on the front porch and watch the fireflies in swarms as they rose out of the corn. Perhaps they like to eat corn.
July 19, 2002: Jane reports: I had the honor to be invited to a firefly watching party for Bastille day (July 14th) in Marblehead, Massachusetts. They appeared at dusk (8:15 pm), a few at a time at first, from a thick tangle of overgrown shrubs and large trees at the bottom of the garden. It was magical watching gathering numbers of them float, blink, and streak through the gathering darkness. They came right up to us, behind us and overhead. It was a real aerial show, natural fireworks. We caught one, and saw what a small, dull gray bug it was crawling over our hands. No wonder we always let them go when we were kids! As soon as it was truly dark (around 9:15 pm) the blinks became fewer and fewer then stopped as they retreated through lovely garden. Back they went, through the Butterfly Bush, white Hydrangeas and other flowering plants and shrubs. We thought some of the reasons for them being in this yard might be: the dampness of the lower yard, the dense, protective thicket they appeared to be living in, and the plant material. It was such a nice occasion I got on the web to find out more about them and found your site. Thanks.
July 19, 2002: Vickie notes: I live in Richardson, Texas. We have a wild front yard, which my two daughters have taken great pride in keeping that way. We have ivy growing up two trees, a huge bush that is home to a rabbit family, and undergrowth that houses turtledoves, a red-headed woodpecker, squirrels, and TONS of fireflies. We have them most nights spring through summer. It makes me sad to hear they are so rare in other places.
July 19, 2002: A reader writes: What an interesting site. We have a cabin in a remote location in the Appalachian Mountains, approximately one mile from the Virginia border and maybe five miles from the Tennessee border. It is about 3500 - 4000 feet up. The closest town is a 30 minute drive south. We see lightning bugs all summer, but the highest and most spectacular time is mid-June. I have never ever seen so many at one time. It is like thousands of flashes concentrated the heaviest maybe 50 feet up. One time when we were tent camping, we woke about 3:00 a.m. and looked outside. To our amazement the ground was covered in lighting bug larvae, (glow worms). It looked like heaven on earth. I also see them here in Davidson North Carolina, but not in the massive volume we watch at the farm. We have an opinion about the disappearing fireflies. We think it is simple. If you are trying to attract a mate with your lumens, you need darkness.
July 19, 2002: Sheila reports: I enjoyed your website on fireflies, or, as I call them, lightning bugs. I grew up in in the middle of Indiana and as as children my brothers and I used to catch them like everyone else in glass jars and then turn them lose before going in the house for the night. There were lots of them. When I married and moved to Southern California we did not see any for the two years we lived there. When we moved to the Tampa area in Florida, I don't remember any either, but we lived in the city. Now I live in the foothills of the Blueridge Mountains just outside of Front Royal, Virginia, and there are hundreds of them in my yard. I go out on my deck around 9:30 in the evening and there is a real light show. They are everywhere. The area I live in is also heavily wooded and very dark as there are no street lights. I see lots of them in the trees and they look like the little white twinkling lights on Christmas trees. They are so pretty. We do not have mosquito control up here. I can still see them everywhere lighting up in my yard even when I go to bed at eleven p.m. They usually come in June and stay until around the end of July. We do not have fire ants here.
July 19, 2002: Dr. Patrick E. McDaniel writes: Just a couple of week ago in the Boerne, Texas, area we noted quite a few fireflies. This was shortly after some heavy rains, and it seemed to be more than we had been seeing in the last couple of summers.
July 19, 2002: Lynn notes: Yep. We've got them in Wisconsin! I watch everynight. I am in Waukesha, Wisconsin, and live in the middle of the city next to a railroad right-of-way. They come out of my mown lawn . . . or at least we notice them more.
July 19, 2002: A reader reports: I live in northern New Jersey, and my yard is loaded with them! This year, more than past years, they seem to be more abundant. Quite a show every night.
July 19, 2002: Greg Sergesketter writes: I would like to confirm lighting bug sightings in west Houston, Texas. As at least two others have noted, in Terry Hershey Park I have seen fireflies when I have been running there. Generally I have noted them when I am crossing the Buffalo Bayou pedestrian bridge near Eldridge. In addition, we have seen fireflys behind our house. We back up to the north side of Buffalo Bayou between Eldridge and Highway 6. I've noticed that most of the activity is always in the transition area between a forested area and a large meadow.
July 19, 2002: A reader writes: I hope this campaign of yours works. I saw some lightning bugs in April, 2000, in the woods behind the Willowbrook-Willowbend subdivision, Houston, Texas. Since that time much of the vegetation was cleared out and a school built. I have not been over that way at that time of year since, but when I was there I did not see little flashes of light again. In Yorktown, Virginia, , on the managed battlefield, (when I lived there in the eighties) the lightning bugs were so thick it was like walking through something from Disneyland. Even my crotchety brother was impressed. I think it has to do with habitat. The Virginia Tidewater, by the way, is very similar in climate to Houston, meaning that you can swelter there, too, as late as November. At least it was when I was there. Maybe if someone could put a stop to the constant bulldozing of forest for more supermarkets and cheap houses, the bugs would stand a chance.
July 19, 2002: Barb writes: My name is Barb I am from Plover, Wisconsin. I live in the country on a large marsh with a drainage ditch next to my house. There are no city lights or sprays except for what the farmers put on their crops. I see fireflies most evenings. The weather can be hot or cool but they always seem to be here. I even see them in the house now and then. I enjoy watching them. I believe the ditch is what atracts them because I don't see them around my gardens.
July 19, 2002: Bobbie Burks reports: We recently camped for two nights on Beaver Lake in northwestern Arkansas. We were delighted to be treated to firefly displays both nights. . . hundreds of them. That was the most fireflies I have seen in a long time. Not a butterfly garden in sight, but something is there to help fireflies flourish! (It certainly wasn't the cooler temperature, because it was just as hot and humid there as it is in Tyler!) They have seemingly disappeared from the Tyler, Texas, area where I live. An Englishman visiting the area was interested in knowing what they were. Evidently they are not common in England, either. I enjoyed visiting your site. Good luck on finding solutions.
July 18, 2002: A reader writes: I have read your information on fireflies and found it very interesting. My children and I often go out and watch the fireflies. We live in Dayton, Texas. I can’t remember the months, but will be watching for the times now. We usually see about a hundred fireflies, but there is one month out of the year that we see thousands. It is really quite beautiful. There is a lake about a mile back into the woods behind my house. Thanks for all the information…
July 16, 2002: A reader writes: Hi. I often (every spring/summer) enjoyed the light show at dusk while I lived in Kansas City (1992-1998). Almost every night for 2-3 weeks there were a dozen to maybe three dozen or so in my back yard. Maybe half of what I remember growing up in Oklahoma and Texas. Here in San Antonio, Texas, I see a few, about 6 maybe, a few nights in the spring. I don't get to look for them often these days, though. (And the mosquitos swarm that time of day).
July 15, 2002: Stan Garnett writes: I have lived in Boulder, Colorado, since 1968 and in Colorado all of my forty-six years. I have never seen fireflies west of Central Kansas where I used to vacation as a child on my cousins' farm. Our home backs up on open space near South Boulder Creek. On the night of July 13, about 10 o'clock, my wife and I were enjoying the cool of the evening on our back porch. To our amazement, we saw several dozen fireflies scattered throughout the high grass of the open space (which is an irrigated pasture). We called our neighbors and all watched them on Sunday night, the 14th. When we excitedly told our 16 year old son, he replied, "Yeah, my friends and I have been seeing those out there for years. We didn't know they were any big deal." Have others seen fireflies in Colorado? Are they more prevalent this year because of the drought somehow (maybe, less spraying for mosquitoes).
July 14, 2002: Linda Goyette reports: I live in the small Village of Greendale, Wisconsin, and have been seeing fireflies for the past three years around the entire village area. Last night was a particularly lovely night, weather was in the low 80's and our yard is surrounded by trees and quite dark. There must have been over 50 yellow and green fireflies. It looked like little stars that would twinkle off and on. What I am wondering is, if these little insects come in any other colors? As a child, I seem to remember seeing pink and blue fireflies, correct me if I am mistaken.
July 12, 2002: A reader notes: Hello, I enjoyed your web page about fireflies and the information provided. Fireflies are alive and well here in Brooklyn, New York. They are quite visible and plentiful in parks and grassy areas. I had not noticed fireflies in past summers so I do not know if they are fewer in number than in years past. But I do have childhood memories of catching them in my hometown of Atlanta, Georgia, and they seem just as plentiful here. I do not know why they caught my attention and curiosity this year--perhaps I am evolving spiritually and am more mindful of nature ... perhaps I am experiencing the world from a new perspective (since I am a now a 2nd grade teacher) ... perhaps the fireflies WERE fewer in number and less visible last year....the latter being a very scary thought! In any event,your website is very informative and alerted me to a potential disaster! I would hate to see this incredible bug become extinct!
July 11, 2002: A reader writes: I too remember seeing "Lightning Bugs" in the thousands as a child. I've often wondered why I never see them anymore. On July 9th my children saw one for the first time while we were camping at St. Andrews State Park in Panama City, Florida. The beetle was alone flying along the saw grass in a salt water lagoon. It gave us loads to talk about as my wife and I shared stories of years past with our kids.
July 11, 2002: A reader writes: I want to raise and release fireflies. Do you have any information about them or how I can do this? I am in North Richland Hills, Texas, and actual saw three fireflys in my backyard. I want them back!
July 11, 2002: A reader writes: I live in Tomball, Texas, and have started sighting fireflies for about a month now. Not large swarms like I remember as a child, but at least my 9 yr. old child got to see one. It's pretty sad; she didn't know what they were. Also, on July 4, while sitting with my Mom on her porch a hummingbird was behind her and she didn't even know it. These little creatures are a lot fewer in numbers than they used to be. I also have wondered over the years what happened to all the fireflies. Lets hope there is going to be a re emergence of them.
July 9, 2002: Bruce Franklin writes: I found your link in a news story about fireflies. I was very surprised to discover you were here in Houston! It's funny how things happen. Just after dusk, one evening back in May, my wife and I were on our patio in the back yard and saw a lone firefly on the side of the garage! We live in west Houston, Texas, by the Belt and I-10. We live pretty close to Buffalo Bayou, (3 blocks or so), and we don't have a lot of flowering plants. Most of the usual stuff, azaleas, ligustrums, oleanders, some ivy, monkey grass, etc. We also have a large (28 foot+/-) oak tree in the back. We were both excited, I did the usual thing: grabbed a jar and caught the rascal! We both remarked how unusual it was to even see a firefly these days. It was a rather large one, I'd say about ½ inch long. We watched him (her?) for a while and then let it go. I recall seeing these when I was younger (in the 60's) and have often wondered why we don't see them anymore. I remember when I was a kid, catching huge lizards "lizards" (anole ?), horned toad lizards (horny toads) and even large grasshoppers. Nowadays, if you see a lizard more than about 3" long it's unusual. Since I've read that fire ants may have had an impact on the horned toad lizards, I can't help but think that they could easily affect the populations of other species as well. Sorry to get off track, it was just great seeing a firefly again (but sad, too - where were the others? How come it was only one firefly on one night?) Good luck, and I for one hope you are successful in getting them (fireflies) back here.
July 9, 2002: Shanna writes: I remember while growing up there were tons and tons of fireflies . . . then, no more. It's just been the past 3 years or so that I'm seeing a reoccurence of them here in Fairfield, Connecticut. Sunday night, July 7, 2002, and in an all residential area. They were all over the place. First you don't see any. Then you spot one, then another, and another. It's wonderful. They seem to really make themselves known just before full dark hits, between 8:30 and 9 pm here. Once it's full night, you don't seem to see them.
July 9, 2002: Melinda writes: My boyfriend and I were fishing at the Prospect Ponds in Fort Collins, Colorado, on both the 5th & 6th of July 2002. The Cache la Poudre River is approximately 1000 ft. from where we were located. Both nights the sighting occurred between 9:30 PM & 11:00 PM. The high temperature on both days had been around 90. On the 5th, I had seen a bug flying out of the corner of my eye that looked as though it was lit up. I disregarded the occurrence as "it must have been light reflecting off of it somehow from somewhere" and besides fireflies don't live in Colorado! In the 23 years of living here never seen one and had never heard of anyone here seeing one, that is until the next night. My boyfriend was walking on the path that goes between two of the ponds when he comes running back to the picnic table and tells me he had just seen a "lightning bug." I really didn't believe that what he had seen could even possibly be a firefly. I had always heard that they didn't live in the Western states, let alone Colorado. Upon seeing the reports of sightings in Colorado & more importantly in the general area of the where our event took place, it is actually quite convincing to me now that we actually did see them. Particularly the fact that the sightings have other similarities besides being in the general area, but also because most of the sightings happened near water (river, etc.). I've always wanted to see one. Hopefully I'll get to see one again. If I do, I won't dismiss it as - nothing. :)
July 8, 2002: Edward Cossette writes: I grew up seeing fireflies frequently in NH but then they seemed to have vanished. I went decades without seeing any. However, since moving to Palmyra, Virginia (about 15 miles east of Charlottesville), I see hundreds of them every evening during the summer. It helps that I live in a subdivision that is very aware of "light pollution" and so doesn't use any streetlights at all. On top of that the neighborhood is very wooded (to the point that you can't see the neighbors' houses through the leaves) and there are many streams and brooks that crisscross though many yards, including mine. It's the perfect habitat for the lampyridae. At night it is truly pitch black and the fireflies put on a tremendous show.
July 7, 2002: Jim Quirk writes: There was a very nice write-up in the Washington Post and your site was mentioned. I live in Sterling, Virginia, and noticed this past week a large amount of fireflies. I thought it might be related to the humidity since as a kid I recalled that is always when I would see them during a hot summer. I am located in a bright area, although my backyard abuts a heavy wooded buffer and therefore provides the darkness. We don't turn on back lights because it attracts other insects to the door. I don't fertilize my lawn except early in the spring to control weeds especially dandelions. Good luck on your search.
July 7, 2002: Ruth Frye notes: Saw your address when we looked up fireflies on Google. We were visiting our daughter and her family in Pueblo West, Colorado, for July 4. Because of drought here and numerous forest fires which have had us all living in a cloud of smoke for 2 weeks or more, many cities cancelled fireworks displays. Pueblo did have its usual show, but we thought we would see what we could from her deck. We did see a few bursts, but what we were really excited to see were fireflies! I have lived in Colorado all my life and had seen them only when we visited Upper Black Eddy, PA. The fireflies in Pueblo were either very few, or very bashful because we only saw about 10 flickers. Tried to stir up some more by walking through the grass, and brushing through the sunflowers, to no avail. We are clueless as to why they were here, but it was more exciting and a lot less noisy than fireworks. Perhaps someone else saw them and contacted you.
July 6, 2002: Elizabeth Mensing writes: We have seen fireflies off and all all summer here in Huntsville, Texas. Maybe we just didn't catch a glimpse of them in previous years. It appears they are more prevalent right before and right after rain or showers. We've seen many of them every night for the past week.
July 5, 2002: Sarah writes: I grew up in California and never saw a firefly until I moved to Boston, MA. Went for a walk tonight (July 5, 2002) around 8 P.M. and saw a lot of fireflies. I was walking in Brighton (near the border with Newton) and saw about 100 fireflies on my entire walk (5-6 blocks). I noticed them in people's front yards, especially among hosta plants and juniper bushes, on shady streets with little ambient light. The weather has been very hot and humid (hi 90s) but tonight was much cooler (in the 70s). I did notice there were no fireflies in my backyard but our landlord has a very bright spotlight that stays on all night. I'll see what I can do about that.
July 5, 2002: A reader from Pa. notes: Ah, the smell of honeysuckle and the twinkle of fireflies or, as I call them, lightening bugs. Last evening, July 4th 2002, and tonight, July 5th 2002, I was outside in my brothers yard in Emmaus, Pa. and saw hundreds, possibly thousands-hard to tell- of lightening bugs. They were everywhere you looked. Both times it was around 9:00 p.m. when we started to see them and by 9:30 p.m. it didn't matter where you were looking, there they were! When talking to babyboomers or older, we all bring up how we caught them in our youth in the infamous jar with the holes punched in the metal lid. Hmm, do they still make metal lids? I have to think about that. We were out last night pushing through bushes and picking wild black raspberries, my favorite (and hard to buy anywhere) berry. Our hands were stained reddish purple, we got scratches all over us and we only found about a quart of them, but it was worth it. I then went looking for a honeysuckle bush. They are so hard to find anymore. I found one and broke off a small branch to enjoy the smell for awhile. Tonight we played petunque until it got dark and then friends finished the last game with me holding a flashlight on the pig. The torches that we had placed around the petunque court made us feel like we were on the "survivor" TV show but didn't do much to light the court. We commented that the the lightening bugs helped to light the court some since there were so many. It was an absolutely gorgeous night with stars in the sky, no humidity, a breeze blowing and lightening bugs blinking all over. Too bad the honeysuckle bush was way on the other side of the yard, too far for even their fragrance to wonder.
July 5, 2002: Joanne Koenig-Macko notes: We always had many many fireflies in Cleveland, Ohio growing up there in the 50's, 60's and collected them in jars. Now in Naperville, Illinois, we have many of them every night here lighting up the backyards.
July 5, 2002: A reader notes: As most people I remember fireflies as a young girl. Last night after popping our fireworks we spotted a few fireflies here in Brazoria, Texas. . We started to tell our stories of fireflies, and all the night adventures we all had, when the subject turned to "I wonder how we can get them back?". Butterfly plants were brought up, and the question was put forth to search the web, and find how we can help the fireflies population come back in our area. I see on your website the places that do not sell the bugs, but can you give some info. on how to help them come back, or where we can purchase them? Thank you for your website and your time.
July 4, 2002: A reader writes: I too, have often wonder what happen to all the fireflies I saw as a kid growing up in Houston. I live in Pasadena, Texas, now. For the last two years I have seen a few fireflies in my backyard. In fact I have seen them over the last month. My backyard is about 150' wide and about 300' deep. I have large fields on two sides of my property. My yard is planted with many flowers, vegetable garden, friut and citrus trees.
July 4, 2002: Shirley writes: My two daughters and I were biking in Fort Ridchardson State park in Jacksboro, Texas, and spotted a sparse gathering of firefire flies along the Lost Creek banks near the picnic grounds. It was twilight and the day had been warm and humid. My daughters are grown and could remember playing amongst "clouds" of fireflies in their childhood (green lit fireflies in Del Rio, Texas and yellow lit fireflies in Denison, Texas). In my childhood in Texas we caught the yellow lit ones in fruit jars, kept them until bedtime then released them, unharmed. Usually they were in captivity less than an hour. It was easy to collect enough for a "firefly lantern" in the forties.
July 2, 2002: Mike Exner reports: The wetlands along Four Mile Creek, just north of the soccer fields in NE Boulder, Colorado, are alive again this year with thousands of the little bugs. I did not see them last year, but others in my neighborhood report seeing large numbers this time last year too. First time I can remember seeing them since I moved to Colorado in 1963.
July 2, 2002: A reader reports: I live in Columbus, Ohio. I was raised here and moved away while still an adolscent. We recently moved back and one of my fondest memories were the fireflys. We can now sit in the back yard at dusk and watch the show begin. Someone else referred to them as little fairies, and that's what they remind me of. The beautiful little dance they do is like something out of a fairy tale. They spray here for mosquitos, which I smelled about a week ago, but it didn't seem to affect the fireflys at all. We have massive amounts and they all seem to be rising up from the grass every night at dusk. The weather conditions are HOT AND HUMID! I'm so glad they are still here. It's such a wonderful ending to every day to take a few moments to watch their flight. Hope you can get them back in Houston.
July 2, 2002: Mary Anne Meredith writes: We call them lightning bugs in Pittsburgh, PA. Firefly is a much more whimsical name. My theory is that perhaps you don't have enough unmowed areas in Houston. Having never seen the city, I don't know. It seems, however, that having unmowed areas, meadow-like areas, and somewhat wild places increases the number of lightning bugs. Have you tried reintroducing the insect into the Houston area? We are in the middle of a pretty hot spell right now and there are many, many lightning bugs out tonight. A few weeks ago, it was chilly and damp here and I only saw a few, and they weren't lighting at all. Perhaps it is too dry in Houston? Seriously, are there NO fireflies in Houston. What a shame--they are one of summer's special delights.
July 1, 2002: A reader writes: Hi, I'm from South Georgia. I remember seeing fireflies as a little girl. We loved playing outside and trying to catch them. I haven't seen any in years until last night. I am visiting in Maryland. When we went for a walk last night the fireflies were everywhere. I couldn't believe it. I was so excited! I couldn't wait until tonight so that we could go back outside to watch the fireflies. They seem much larger that I remember. I was wondering why we don't have any fireflies in South Georgia anymore? I found your article very interesting. We have very hot, humid weather. In my community, they are constantly spraying for mosquitoes and we have major fire ants. So maybe that's why we don't have them anymore. I was wondering if I could possibility take some fireflies home somehow. Would they survive the 12 hour trip and would they make it in S. Georgia? What do you think? Thanks for your time.
June 30, 2002: Lorin (with the permission of her mother) writes: Hi. My name is Lorin and I am 7. I live in Waldorf, Maryland. I saw my very first firelfy tonight. They are big. They are black. I caught one but Mom and Dad said it could not live in the jar all the time. My mom says she thinks the ones here in Maryland are bigger than the ones in Middle Granville, NY where she grew up. My brother Brandon thinks they are flashlight bugs. We are reading about them on the computer now. Thank you.
June 30, 2002: A reader notes: Just though I would share my firefly sighting with you. I live on the most eastern edge of Cuyahoga County, Ohio. on the edge of Greater Cleveland. We always seem to have fireflys in the summer, however, I don't know if they are as plentiful as they used to be. We saw them last night, June 29th, for the first time this year. This evening, while watering my plants, I noticed them. Like little fairies in the garden. The evening is warm and humid. We do not use herbicides because I would rather have a few weeds than destroy our environment, our health and the lives of the precious creatures who live in our garden.
June 30, 2002: A reader notes: Greetings! Yes, I have seen fireflies in New York City. In fact, they tend to fly around Central Park beginning around 8:40 pm, and they're the reason I take the dog for a walk at that time. I'm hoping that one night, I'll see them swarming in the North Meadow, but it's hard to stay in the park after dark, and feel safe. I have a question for you, however. Where do fireflies make their homes? Sweet Dreams.
June 29, 2002: T & S Martin write: We could not believe our eyes. We haved seen fireflies every summer but just moved into a home Thursday in Furlong, PA, and tonight just witnessed thousands of fireflies -- to the tops of the tallest trees. Truly the most incredible sight we have ever seen!
June 29, 2002: Hi--I live in Columbus, Ohio, very near downtown and we have a lot of fireflies near our apartment and thousands of them in our nearby park (Goodale Park near I-670). Thanks for your firefly facts!
June 29, 2002: A reader reports: I live in Kansas City, Missouri, and the lightning bugs are quite prevalent this year. They have been out for several weeks now. I'm sorry to hear that Houston does not have any. The children chase them in the evenings and there does not seem to be any shortage. Just at dusk you can count at least 50 in our back yard and we see them "sleeping" on things the yard during the day (they like the plastic slides on the swingset- one is red and the other is yellow). I have lived in KC all my life and guess I just took them for granted. We always went to Michigan in the summer and there were always plenty. I do have a great number of lilies in the yard and I seem to have a higher population than some of the neighbors. I also have many more trees (mostly maple). I did put diazanon down in the spring. I also have been watering the yard everyday because it has only rained once this month. The girl next door kept one of the ones she caught last week for the whole week and it lived with only water because she did not know what to feed it. What do they eat? She let it go last night and replaced it with a new one. For us lightning bugs have always been something that you didn't really have to chase- you just reach and grab- they are all over.
June 29, 2002: Romeo Salta notes: We have them in Manhattan, New York, so it's not lights. We also had alot of spraying for mosquitoes. I just saw a buch of them flying around Lincoln Center! I also accidentally killed some on our terrace. They layed eggs all over my asiatic lillies (also in Manhattan). So try some lillies!
June 28, 2002: A reader notes: My 6 year old cousin and I caught 2 fireflies in Embro, Ontario, Canada, at 10:30 pm. When we were having a campfire!
June 28, 2002: A reader reports: I grew up in Philadelphia, Pa. and live just outside there now. There are fireflies all over the place, and always have been. So I don't think lights or pollution have anything to do with it. Philly is very humid, however. It has been said that the weather here in the summer is very much like the tropics.
June 28, 2002: Mark Tetz writes: I've lived just north of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, thirty five years and the only time I've every seen a firefly was in North Carolina, until now. It's 02:30 am, it's 60 deg F, 15 deg C, 48% humidity (very high for here). There are lots of them around our lilacs on an acreage, but they have very small and short bursts compared to the ones I have seen in Carolina.
June 26, 2002: I have found a firefly in the Heights, in Houston, Texas. I has rained all week. Temperature in the 80's. My backyard is mostly native plants. The firefly was near a porch light. I do not use insecticides in the yard. To read the full story, click here
June 26, 2002: A reader reports: I live in Fort Collins, Colorado, and have resided here for 28 years. I had seen fireflies in Missouri many years ago, but we have NEVER seen them here in my home town. We saw our first fireflies here in Fort Collins last night. My husband had gone fishing in the evening along the Poudre River, and came home a little after dusk with a jar full of the little guys! My children were enthralled! We let them go and watched them hang about the house for a few hours. We plan to go see my husbands fishing spot this evening, and see the whole swarm!
June 24, 2002: A reader writes: I live in unincorporated Boulder County, Colorado, about 13 miles North East of Boulder. The run off from Boulder Creek goes through our property. Last night around 10:30 pm I was outside near the creek and saw a small but bright light flashing. I told my husband - he also saw it. He went closer to our fence and actually saw the firefly! Then it went away. I will watch for it again. As an "East coaster" I saw tons of them. It was very cool to see one in Colorado. Any comments? How unusual is this?
June 23, 2002: Hi. We live in Penacook, New Hampshire, and saw one firefly lurching around our backyard last Thurs (6/20/02) at about 8:30 pm. It was a mostly clear night, scattered clouds, and fairly cool (perhaps around 65 degrees). We do live about 100 yards from a small stream, and we have gotten quite a bit of rain lately, although that day was the third day in a string of sunny dry days that reached high 70's to 80's. Several of our neighbors have outdoor spotlights and we get a "glow" of light from Concord, NH, about 7 miles away, so there was moderate light as well. Growing up in Laconia, NH we would see swarms of lightening bugs every summer starting around 8:30, but this was the first I'd seen in several years. And again, it appeared to be a loner.
June 23, 2002: Yes, I see them in St. Louis City tonight, and have friends in Houston Win, win, and twinkle on everybody.
June 23, 2002: A reader asks: Are you still collecting info on fireflies? If so, I saw a small handful north of Denton, Texas about dusk. It has been very humid here lately. The area is rural.
June 23, 2002: A reader notes: Hello. We seem to still have plenty of fireflys here around Logan, Ohio and Lancaster, Ohio. I enjoyed catching them as a child, and now that my first grandson is on the way, I'm sure I will enjoy catching them with him. We live around the hills in Ohio. We have caves and lots of woods.I don't know if that has anything to do with how many of them (fireflys) are around from year to year. Also, this year has been very hot so far. I hope they stay around.
June 23, 2002: A reader notes: Sightings, in Wisconsin, tonight. Sparse sightings of fireflies. Usually our entire woods is lit up and it is more beautiful than garden on the green. Tonight the sightings were sparse. I don't know if I am early or late or if the intense rain has caused the sparse sightings. I want to show my grandson the fireflies. When are they due in Wisconsin?
June 23, 2002: A reader notes: I am a native of California but I have spent two summers in Indiana. I had never seen fireflies until I moved here to work. I am so fascinated by them since they are not found in the dry west. I can tell you for sure that they are plentiful on very warm and humid nights. Today was our first 90 degree day and it is very humid. This is the first night I have seen them this year. I know they are always going to be seen in large numbers on our most humid nights here in Indianapolis. I see them mostly in the trees and thick vegetation of back yards. I hope this helps you with your study.
June 20, 2002: A reader writes: I live in Allen, Texas, and have only seen an occasional firefly in my back yard which on the east side of my home. However, just this past Saturday, June 15th, while my husband, daughter, niece and I were driving through the historical district of McKinney, Texas, we were amazed! Primarily because my husband and I hadn't seen lightening bugs (old timers name for fireflies) since we were children and the girls had never seen them except for an occasional flicker while we were driving through the woods of the Texas hill country. There were so many on Saturday evening that we were all impressed. We continued to drive through the area for almost an hour just spotting them.
June 18, 2002: A reader reports: I too am an attorney in Houston, practicing gift and estate tax law. My family shares something else with you, the love of fireflies. We live in Northampton, a neighborhood just south of the Woodlands. On our way through Tomball, Texas one evening about three weeks ago we saw a bunch of fireflies on the side of the road. We (my husband, three kids and I) stopped the car and spent half an hour marveling at them. We decided to check into how to bring the fireflies back. I was happy and excited to see your site. If you have more information, perhaps where we can order larve, please let me know. Thanks.
June 18, 2002: A reader writes: Thank you for your site. We live in Houston [Meyerland], and rarely, if ever, see any lightning bugs. We are currently in Kansas City [Shawnee Mission suburb], visiting the grandparents, and the kids are having a blast watching for fireflies at dusk. The 8 year old has one in a jar, and we went on the 'net to see what to feed it. That is how we found your site. The girls put a maple tree seed in the jar, along with a tiny piece of wet paper towel. They seem to think he was sucking the water from the paper towel. Both of my parents have fond memories of catching the insects in their childhood around the greater Kansas City area, and using them for everything from jewelry and body 'stick ons' to yo-yo decorations! Good luck with your crusade to bring these fun insects back to Houston.
June 15, 2002: A reader reports: I live in old North Fort Worth, Texas, in the same house for 24 years and last week I saw a Fire Fly in my backyard. Prior to that I have seen them in the Botanical Gardens in July while atttending Symphony in the Park in July for the past three years.
June 14, 2002: A reader notes: I live in Crosby, Texas, just northeast of Houston. My husband and I live in a neighborhood where some lots are still undeveloped, some of which are located right across the street from us and to the side of us. We also have a dark, 3-mile tree lined drive coming into our neighborhood and starting in the spring season, my husband and I were amazed to see fireflies in the woods. When we see them, it is usually after a long night so the sun is long set, but we've seen them as early as 9 p.m. It seems to me they are usually more apparent after it has rained during the day. We don't have very much light pollution in the neighborhood and I think that's why they are around so much. On nights when my husband is driving, I fixate my gaze on the woods off the road and see all kinds of green sparks in the air. Before we moved out here a year ago, I had only seen fireflies one other time in South Texas about 10 years ago. I consider us lucky to be able to see these phenomenons from our own yard.
June 12, 2002: A reader reports: My 10 year old just brought in a firefly in a bottle! What memories, although, we could catch them by the bottle-fulls years ago. We have been in Dayton, Texas, for 7 months now. I guess it was spring when I noticed them. I couldn't believe it! We can still see 10-20 in one night. I have noticed more seen to be active at dusk. Although it is almost 10:00 pm, and there are still a few outside my little one didn't get! My main concern was it dying in the bottle, I think it will certainly find it's way home tonight! I am as puzzled as the rest of the people, don't know what it is that keeps these varmits alive! I had heard before (which goes back to the 'butterfly-habitat' theory) that the trees they need are vanishing. Don't know if it was a certain tree, or just 'trees' and masses of them that they need. I was watching them one night, and they kept flying right up to the house, right next to the porch light! I have only seen this once. There are lots of trees around us, and we have let the 'natural' areas continue to grow as they would in the wild. I don't know! But I do know, that I would like to help find all these things out! Please don't hesitate to email me if I can do anything to help with this mission!
June 11, 2002: A reader writes: I retired in June of last year from Dow Chemical Company and move from Katy, Texas, to Jonesboro, Arkansas, and that was the first thing that caught my eye. Hundreds of them in the eveing for about a month--then no more. But I just saw them tonight. They're back. Never saw them in Katy!
June 8, 2002: A reader writes: We just moved to Warren, Arkansas, population 6,000+ and we moved from League City, Texas where we rarely saw a firefly. We live on 2 acres and starting on June 6th about 2 million fireflies rose up from the ground. They start glowing around 8:00 p.m. Tonight they advanced on to our porch and we were like two small children. The temperture outside is about 82 degrees.
June 8, 2002: Frances Broome reports: In Spartanburg, South Carolina, June 6, 2002, I saw the first fireflies of the season. I noticed them right before dark. We live in a subdivision around 15 miles from the city proper, where the yards are quite large. Our yard is shaded by large trees, and on a cul-de-sac. There were just a few, I'd guess 10-11. The temp was around 70 degrees. No wind, rain was predicted but didn't appear. I had, however, just watered the lawn, and my neighbors had watered theirs. Keep up the good work to bring these wonderfully mysterious creatures back. Years ago fireflies were too numerous to count.
June 7, 2002: A reader writes: I live in Weatherford, Texas. My neighborhood is heavily wooded and my yard in particular is full of trees and heavy brush. I have a creek bed but it doesn't run unless I have a heavy rain. For the past couple of weeks there has been abundant firefly activity in my yard and probably throughout the neighborhood. It's first noticable about dusk. Not quite dark but the sun is going down so the little blinking lights are visible. They're everywhere. Hundreds. Flourescent, yellow/green lights. Having just moved here from suburban Southern California I had never seen them before. I was delighted at my first sighting. Now I look forward to seeing them everynight and am disappointed if some nights the numbers seem decreased. How long will this last?
June 4, 2002: Tonia writes: I'm pleased to report that I saw fireflies tonight (6/4/02) near Hawkins, Texas, on Highway 80. I spotted probably around 10-15 between Hawkins and Big Sandy at dusk (8:30 pm or so). There seemed to be more in areas near water (creeks). I saw only 1 between Big Sandy and Gladewater. We've been living in this area for 6 years and this is the first time I remember seeing them here!
June 1. 2002: A reader notes: Last night (May 31, 2002) in Cedar Hill, Texas about 20 miles south of Dallas, I saw three fireflies in my back yard. I grabbed my 5 year old son and 3 year old daughter and went to the closest park to my house. We found another 5 fireflies flying around. I let the kids go and try to catch them. It was some great fun and lasted about 45 minutes. I am from West Chester, Pennsylvania and this is the first time I've seen fireflies in Texas. I do not know who was more excited, the kids or me. Hopefully they will be out again so I can video tape the hunt.
June 1, 2002: A reader reports: Hi. I read your article and thought I would email you. We just moved to Tomball, Texas, and I have seen a few scattered fireflies here and there. I have a friend in Hockley, Texas, and he says that he has seen hundreds in his woods. I know you can purchase ladybugs and release them for your garden, but do you know of a place where one could buy our friendly firefly? If you can think of a place, please let me know.
May 31, 2002: A reader reports: I was thrilled to see the quick little blinks of a few fireflies as night was approaching about 30 minutes ago! I haven't seen fireflies since childhood! This will sound icky, but when I was a little girl my Dad used to squish the luminous part of the bug on my finger and pronouce it a diamond ring! (No, I don't think that's the reason for the insects' near-extinction!). My theory: they are basically ringing a dinner bell for birds, bats and such when they light up, so they are easy prey. I live high on a hill about thirty minutes outside of Fort Worth, Texas, with lots of trees and vegetation below. Eagle Mountain Lake is a couple of hundred yards away. Hope this information helps in your quest to bring back the firefly!
May 30, 2002 Kris Starbird writes: Donald, I'm not sure if you are still looking for this information, but we have fireflies (lightning bugs) here in Dallas, Texas. We have *bunches* around the White Rock Lake area (which is a metropolitan lake relatively close (around 4 miles from downtown) and in the Swiss Avenue/Lower Greenville areas (approximately 2 - 3 miles from downtown). I also lived in the very north side of Dallas, just south of Richardson and we had fireflys there as well. I seem to notice that where there are a lot of the bugs, there is also shrubbery/bushes and usually a ditch or some other type of water source. However, the Swiss Avenue/Lower Greenville area does not have streams or the like, so that's not a theory that is chisled in stone. We tend to have our sightings from the end of April until around July. I can't recall many of them around in the hottest part of the summer, so your heat theory may have a good bit of basis. I understand how you feel about these creatures. Watching them at night is magical. I grew up in San Antonio, and remember many summer nights playing outside surrounded by fireflys. I don't think I would want to live in an area that they don't exist. I just read that from about the middle of Kansas to the West, the blinking kind aren't found. So much for ever thinking that I'd like to move the the Pacific Northwest! Hope this helps a bit.
May 28, 2002: Marsha Guys writes: My husband and I moved to Lockhart, Texas, (30 miles south of Austin) a little over a year ago. I have never seen so many fireflies as I saw beginning this April. It was like a hugh light show! They are now almost gone (end of May). They would start coming out of the ground it seemed around dusk. But the minute it was pitch dark they would lessen considerably. We live on an acre on the outskirts of Lockhart and have lots of old oak trees. We also back up to a wet weather creek (which means it has been dry most of the time this year!) and a farmer's field. They do seem to like the humidity. Since I read that the female lays it eggs in the ground, I am wondering of mowing the lawn kills the eggs? When I first saw them, I hadn't started mowing yet. I noticed as mowed more and more (with a riding mower), that I saw them less and less. Am I running over them? I do not use insecticides; however, I sometimes spot treat for fireants. I wish I knew how to keep them around all summer! Good luck on getting the fireflies back in Houston.
May 28, 2002: Mary Lynn Whitehead notes: I live in Springtown, Texas, and our yard is 5 acres of grass surrounded by woods. It was early evening just about dusk, when I sat down and watched about 100 fireflies in the front yard up by the house. It sure did bring back memories of my childhood in rural Oklahoma where we as kids used to spend hours outside just watching and catching the fireflies. I was very pleased to see your website on these beautiful creatures.
May 27, 2002: Kelly Robinson notes: Just wanted to tell you about the fireflies my husband and I saw in Fredericksburg, Texas, last night. We were staying at a bed and breakfast in the country off 965. We went outside as it was getting dark and I couldn't believe my eyes. In a dark area under some trees I saw a firefly glow. Then another and another. I told my husband to look and he saw them, too. There were hundreds of them. It was my husband's first experience to see fireflies, and he was very excited. As a young child, my brother and I used to see them in Brenham at my grandparent's farm in the country, so it brought back many memories. We caught some of them last night and have brought them with us. Let us know what we should do with them to save them. We really would like our 3 children to experience the fireflies, too. They are not flying or lighting up now. They just crawl around. Let us know what to do with them!
May 26, 2002: A reader writes: I have waited on my back porch this evening and finally saw 3 fireflies. About 5 weeks ago I saw a lot more. At least 10 at close to the same time/lighting. I check the time this evening... between 8:30 and 9 pm is when I saw them. There are dark woods behind my house so I had a good backdrop to see them. They are very bright. But the display doesn't last long. I live about 5 miles from New Waverly, Texas off I45. I enjoyed your site.... Thanks
May 24, 2002: Sherry Carter reports: I just came upon your website as a result of a google search on fireflies. I recently took a trip to the Texas Hill Country (I live in Missouri City, a suburb of Houston) and I came upon some fireflies in a little town called Comfort, Texas. I spotted them along Cypress Creek, which runs through the town. It was the weekend of May 17 - 18 and it had just rained. I hadn't seen fireflies since I was a child on my grandparents farm in West Texas. I would love to know how to bring fireflies to Houston. I was wondering if you had any new information on this topic (your web page didn't indicate when it was last updated). I think you're onto something with creating a habitat conducive to firefly reproduction. But what causes them to hang out in one place and not another? I like the idea of bringing fireflies to the Houston area and I plan to do some more research on this topic.
May 22, 2002: A reader notes: We have seen our first fireflies here in Havelock, North Carolina. They are quite beautiful. I would estimate that at around dusk they come out and we have seen as many as 25 light up at one time. I live in military base housing in Cherry Point, NC. My children love to catch them. Hope this was of some help.
May 20, 2002: A reader writes: I live halfway between Somerville and Caldwell, Texas, in what's called the Birch community. I live on a dead end road and across the street from our small horse farm the property is wooded as is some of our property. Ever since we have lived here there have been fireflies. We first see them about the middle part of May and then we see them nightly until the hottest part of July. There are not as many now as there were several years ago. I would venture to say less than half of what I used to see although this cool weather may have a bearing on that aspect. Fireflies are fascinating creatures and quite mysterious in their magical lights appearing in the darkness. It is pleasant to sit out on the front porch with a cup of coffee and watch them light up in the woods across the street.
May 16, 2002: April reports: Our place on Brushy Creek North in Round Rock, Texas, (just north of Austin). It is teeming with fireflies. From the about 1st of May until about the 1st of July (they have a lifespan of two months), we have a nightly magic show on the banks of our lush river. Starting just at dusk, the fireflies crawl out from under the shelter of the lush vegetation and begin to fly. Just as the sun completely dies, there are thousands of lights up and down the river as far as one can see, from ground to shoulder height, and it truly looks as though faeries have taken to the air. As the night wears on, they climb even higher, and from my second story veranda I watch them in their search for the perfect mate. Our fireflies look like the common (German) cockroaches, but with bright red heads and white stripes on their small brown bodies. We have ducks and geese here, and although they enjoy snacking on pillbugs and crickets, they apparently have zero interest in eating the fireflies. In fact, one of the favourite hiding places for fireflies is under the duck's food dish. There is little beyond the usual rural neighborhood porch lighting in this area, but the fireflies do not seem uncomfortable in the least about flying directly up to the windows of our well-lit home, so I'm not sure about the veracity of the over-lighting theory. We use, and have taught our neighbors to use no pesticides of any kind. During the four year period we've lived here and preached our "Pesticides aren't necessary" sermon, the frog and lizard populations have jumped, and the mosquito population has dropped dramatically; a real lesson to urban areas. Of course we DO have a famous bat population in the area, too. The temperatures here, though cooler than Houston, are still quite warm, and the humidity frequently matches what I remember from living in Bellaire (right in the center of Houston) during the 80s. I remember riding bikes behind the mosquito trucks in Houston summers, and I am inclined to believe they are the culprits in the demise of the urban firefly. If you need a starter kit of fireflies, I can provide a few hundred without depleting our supply. Best regards with your efforts.
May 14, 2002: A reader reports: My pups and I just returned from our walk and I got on the net to look up fireflies since we encountered many this evening. We live in north Austin, Texas, in an urban area of townhomes. Our property (37 acres) is heavily treed (mostly oaks in front of my home). The fireflies have become more numerous over the past five years or so though I don't remember seeing any when I first moved here ten years ago. In fact, I don't remember seeing any at all since those I recall from my childhood in upstate New York. They seem to come out about dusk (8:30ish) and some nights put on a greater display in numbers than others. Our property is situated between two water sources one being a creek and the other being a spillway for rain accumulation. There are four light poles around the perimeter of my small park all of which emit a moderate amount of light. I hope this is helpful to you if you're still tabulating firefly information. They are such a delight and we look forward to their return each year. Their preferred month here is May though a few stragglers can sometimes be seen later in the summer. Good luck in your quest!
May 13, 2002: A reader opines: I too, enjoy the magic of fireflies. Another theory, the yard and lawn maintenance affects them. After purchasing my house in the country, in the San Antonio, Texas, area, I noticed thousands of fireflies in the uncut grasses around the house and surrounding acreage. At my wife's insistence, I shreadded the lots and manicured the front and back yards. No fireflies returned until this year when I refused to shread the back and side lots as an experiment. I have my fireflies back and will not manicure the back until they leave and will not cut a month prior to their arrival in April/May. I ask you sir, are the Houstonians, with their beautiful sculpted lawns and gardens, depriving themselves a more beautiful evening? I have a slightly unruly backyard but I have fireflies.
May 12, 2002: A reader notes: My wife and I live in the Garden Villas sub-division which is near Airport and Telephone Rd in Houston,Texas. This year starting in early May we have noticed a number of fire flies every night. Some nights there are just two or three and others nights we have seen up to a dozen. They may have been there every year but were not actively looking for them. To add information for your theories: We do not use pesticides with the exception of slug bait and fire ant killer on specific sites. Also, my wife is seriously into plants and has added butterfly bushes and other plants that attract butterflies. I would love to see the population of fire flies increase. One of my favorite memories growing up on an Iowa farm was watching millions of "lightning bugs" over the corn fields at night. Love what you are doing. If you have any definite information on how to increase their population I would like to know about it.
May 12, 2002: A reader notes: I found your site today. Thanks for doing it! I am taking my children to my mom's house tonite, in northwest Austin, Texas. Her backyard is FULL of fireflies and every year we go to capture a few and get them to flourish on our land NE of Austin, near Manor. They never have "taken off" here, for some reason. I wonder if you have a suggestion? We are in the middle of 200 acres, FEW trees (do they prefer trees and bushes?) It is always windy here(do they blow away?) I wonder...we always capture the ones we see, blinking. Do both male and females blink? Or, are we just capturing one sex and bringing them to the farm to be frustrated to death?? :)
May 12, 2002: A reader writes: I just had the pleasure of viewing the information you have on your website. Growing up in south Louisiana, fireflies meant summer. As a child I remember catching them and placing them in a mayonaise jar to light up my room. This year we are very fortunate. Fireflies have once again populated this area. Currently, I stay just north of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, a very rural area with plenty of trees and waterways. For the last two nights I have watched the most magnificent "light" show for as long as I could stand the mosquitos. The performance the wonderful insects put on is better than any laser light show I've ever seen. I wasn't sure of what caused the light until I read it on your webpage. Thanks for the info. I hope the Houston area can re-populate and enjoy the show as I am.
May 10, 2002: Jay Alford confirms: Yes, I would like to confirm lighting bug sightings that someone else has already mentioned on your web site. I regularly run on the jogging trails at Terry Hershey park in west Houston, Texas, near Memorial Drive in between Elderidge and Highway 6. I always jog in the evening between 8:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m. I've noticed over the years that in between the months of April through about October that there is a lot of lighting bug activity once the sun goes down along the bayou. I've also noticed that most of the activity is always very near a forested area "near" an open area. I not sure if this by chance or maybe it's easier for them to communicate or whatever. But to me there seems to be a pattern. I've rarely seen activity in the deeper parts of the woods. But I totally agree with you about habitat and the decline of the lighting bugs. Thanks for putting the web site together. Really cool information on a rarely mentioned topic. Thanks.
May 9, 2002: A reader notes: In Round Rock Texas, we have about 100 of the little guys (and gals) in our back yard every night. My wife walks the dog and says it like walking through stars.
May 9, 2002: Marlin Mixon writes: Tonight I saw one firefly in Pearland, Texas, on my property. The previous time I saw one was three years ago, in the same area. The lighting conditions were late twilight, almost completely dark. We have two streetlights on our street that provide sparse lighting, but it gets pretty dark in this rural location. We often get mosquito spraying that focuses on our exposed drainage ditches. However, I don't recall seeing any trucks this year yet. Previously, I've seen a slew of fireflies in Cinaminson, New Jersey, on July 4 circa 1996 (about 45 miles Northwest of Philladelphia in a suburban neighborhood.) They seemed to favor the twilight and became inactive when night fell. Many chose to go swimming in the pool, unfortunately. May 9, 2002: Ryla notes: My name is Ryla and I live in New Braunfels, Texas, on Lake Dunlap (off I-35 before you reach Lake McQueeney) and there are hundreds of fireflies that show themselves at dusk to early morning hours here. It's magical! On our 1/2 acre there is a grotto-type area (it was a natural draw before we built our house higher up on the property), and there are a couple of springs in the lower grounds toward the lake so that helps keep things moist. Moist enough for indigenous maidenhair and river ferns to flourish as well. I completely understand why you want them back in Houston. I was born and grew up in Houston and remember them in the Heights area as a little girl. I just thought I'd drop a line and let you know I enjoyed your description and information on the marvelous little firefly beetle. Our magical creatures seem to have lights ranging in color from bright yellow to orange. I'll never use sprays or fertilizers around here. It has to be protected and it's perfect in its own natural way. Take care and thanks again!

May 8, 2002: Myra writes: I live in Biloxi, Mississippi. I do not go out very much at night so I would not be apt to see very many fireflies. I was raised in Ohio and we used to see them all the time. Last night I was up in the middle of the night and I noticed some lights up in the tops of the trees. Lots of bright lights flickering. I know it had to be fireflies but don't actually remember their lights being quite that bright. There are quite a few very high trees in the backyard and the swamp south of my house. These fireflies were up in the very tops. It actually was a beautiful sight. I am going to check tonight and see if they are there again.
May 6, 2002: A reader writes: Hi. I had a firefly in my bedroom last night on May 5, 2002. I saw a little green light flashing in my window. It was about 9:56pm. I live in Huffman, Texas, on four acres. I haven't seen fireflies for years and have talked about them to the people I work with. He was set free outside to make more fireflies. Now I will look for them every night, as I did years ago with my dad, and that was about fifty years ago.
April 18, 2002: A reader writes: Just as many of your readers have written, I grew up and lived most of my life in Houston, and remember those beautiful fireflies of early childhood out in Cy-Fair in the late 60's, early 70's. There is something magical about the sighting of a swarm of them, or even just a lone glowing critter. Several years back, after tiring of being a city-dweller, I pondered the same question as you -- "Where have all the fireflies, or lightenin' bugs as we called them, gone?" My partner and I move to Austin, Texas, a little over a year ago, and I believe I have some more answers. Like many other Houstonians, they've all moved here to Austin! They are everywhere here! Not just at Mt. Bonnell, or out in the country or in parks, they live in my front and back yards right smack in the middle of the city. Last night at about 8:00 as we were letting the dogs out for one last tinkle, we noticed a familiar beacon -- about 4-10 little pulses of light flitting around our yard. We noticed that we hadn't yet turned on the porch light, so it was pastoral and dusky, basically dark. Part of the answer has to be the light pollution. So we just sat out there for an hour, in the backyard in the dark, just like when we were kids, and remembered the simpler times. Thanks for your site.
April 16, 2002: Lauren L. Martin notes: Last summer in our subdivision we saw many fireflies in and amongst the trees. We live in Texana Plantation near Richmond, a suburb of Houston, Texas, past Sugarland. I remember them from my youth in our front yard in River Oaks of Houston. I just saw my first lightening bug sighting last night and wanted to find out what they eat. Not much info out there, as you have stated. However, I have planted a butterfly garden with butterfly bushes, 2 different types (will let you know the real names), many herbs and flowers. Let me know if you want me to keep you updated on sightings in our area as the spring and summer progresses.
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.
April 11, 2002: a reader notes: I hadn't seen fireflies in years atleast 6 to 8 years, but the other night I saw one. One lonely little flashing light. It kind of scared me cause I didnt even know what it was at first ( It had been so long since seeing one). I live in Gun Barrel City, Texas, in a very wooded area. It was the 9th of April 2002. The weather was very nice and I was sitting on my steps at around 10 at night. I have two little boys and hope the fireflies come back in numbers so that they will be able to enjoy them. Where have all the fireflies gone?
April 10, 2002: A reader notes: We saw our first firefly the evening of the 10th in our rosemary bed. Since then we have seen only 3 or 4. It appears that every year there are less of them. We live on a farm in North Texas. We actually were a state certified organic farm so of course we use no harmful pesticides or herbicides. I am thinking perhaps it is the aerial spraying that goes on around here?
April 9, 2002: Maurice McReynolds writes: For the first time this year the fireflies are out. I noticed them a few minutes ago and wondered what they ate and if I could encourage them. So I hit the net to see what I could find. I found you, among other things. I live in Gainesville, Forida, The light conditions were dark of evening about an hour after sunset. there is very little artificial light in the immediate area. The nearest street light is about 200 feet away. There are a couple of dozen within a normal scan from left to right of an area 200 feet. They are hanging out in woods along a creek that runs along the back of our lot and trough the subdivision. The color of their light is more white than green. They blink rapidly and are lit very briefly. I first thought this was because they were young but the pattern remains the same until they disappear again. I will keep my eye open for them each night until they leave, they are a real treat to see and are quite the event in our back yard.
April 6, 2002: A reader notes: FYI, my two sons and I were out walking on the evening of March 27th in the Bear Branch subdivision of Kingwood, Texas. To our surprise, we spotted a small swarm of fireflies not far from our house. There were probably 6-8 fireflies in total. I've never seen fireflies in this area, and I have been living here for ~20 years. If the weather holds up this evening, we may go out for a walk to see if we can spot them again.
March 18, 2002: Elizabeth Mensing reports: I have responded to you the past two years on fireflies sightings here at our home in Huntsville, Texas. Last night we saw the first fireflies. It was about 7:15 PM, temp 68 and it was overcast and was raining off and on. We saw four fireflies for about one minute. We sat on the front porch for another hour and did not have another sighting.
March 15, 2002: A reader notes: About two months ago I moved to Tomball, Texas. Tonight I saw about six fireflies on my 1/2 acre lot.


April 12, 2001: A reader writes: On April 12,2001 we were camping at Onion Creek, just west of Austin, Texas. As night fell, we saw small swarms of fireflies as well as scatterings of fireflies throughout the area. It was wonderful! It was Spring, so the temperature was moderate. The landscape there includes a large creek lined on both sides with large Cypress trees and lots of other vegetation. It reminded me of my childhood, where I saw LOTS of fireflies regularly - in Houston! We lived on the Buffalo Bayou in the area between Westheimer & Memorial Drive. But, that was more than 20 years ago - the late 1970's. I left Houston when I graduated high school in 1983. When I was in graduate school in Nacogdoches, Texas, (Pine country) in the late 80's and early 90's, we saw tons of fireflies regularly. Now we live in Fort Worth in an older neighborhood with lots of large trees and a nearby creek; we just see the occasional firefly in our backyard. In fact we saw one (yes, only one!) two nights ago - June 18th, 2001. We do not use pesticides of any sort and neither does most of our immediate neighbors - I can't help but feel that the use of lawn pesticides by homeowners is a major culprit for the disappearance of fireflies (at least in suburban areas) as well as the diminishment of a host of other insects, frogs, toads, lizards, & such. What we are seriously wondering is how we can perhaps "import" or "transplant" fireflies back to our area. We don't know how or if this is even possible; I am "researching" it now! Meanwhile, best of luck getting the fireflies back to Houston!!
May 24, 2001: A reader reports: I ran across your site recently and noted your interest in fireflies in the Houston area. Last month, I went for a night run in Terry Hershey Park in Houston, Texas near Eldridge and Briar Forest. Fortunately, I keep a running log so I can give you specifics about when and where I was. Starting at Wilcrest and following the bayou west to Eldridge at 8:30 p.m. on 5/24, I saw several dozen fireflies. I didn't see as many on the way back; they were most active until about 9:00 a.m. I've been living in Houston about 8 years. This was easily the most fireflies I've seen in the area. In fact, I don't recall seeing so many since I was a kid growing up in Kansas City.
June 27, 2001: A reader reports: I live in Pueblo West, Colorado. Yesterday we e captured a firefly beetle. My brother and I were hanging out on my land and shootin' the breeze when he noticed a bright green pulsating flash on my roof. At first I thought the poor guy was loosing his marbles, but, as time passed I was also able to see the flash. He originally thought that the flash was from a garage opener that I had misplaced several months before, so I set up a ladder and went to investigate. I discovered this small beetle just glowing away and attempted to place a bottle over it. It soon took to the air and landed in a vacant field nearby. We were able to capture it there and now have it in a jar. Not only are the kids in the family amazed at how much light these beetles can produce, but my older brother, who is 42 years old, is quite intrigued with his new little buddy.
June 28, 2001: : A reader notes: Hi. I read your site with interest. I grew up in Springfield, Missouri, where there were (and still are) lots of lightning bugs (fireflies). I have lived in Orlando, Florida (which probably has a climate pretty similar to Houston) for the past 15 years, and have NEVER seen a single lightning bug. Please let me know what you have found out, I'd certainly like to see them in Orlando as well. Thanks.
June 28, 2001: A reader writes: I'm tickled to find your website. Originally from Southern California I had never seen fireflies until I moved to the South. They're precious. I look forward to seeing fireflies every summer in Nashville, Tennessee, but there are fewer each year. Anything I can do to help them multiply?
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. 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!
June 28, 2001:A reader notes: I am responding to your website regarding fireflies in Houston. I too have wondered what happened to them. I used to see them all of the time in Houston when I was younger. Just in case you are still seeking input on firefly "spotting", my place in Austin, Texas, is positively teaming with the critters! I live in an urban area around the vicinity of Zilker Park. It is pretty bright in my neighborhood (a lot of street lights, etc.) so I don't really know if urban lighting conditions has anything to do with it? I haven't really seen them recently, but they were out in full force about 1 month ago (end of May 2001). It was great. There were tons! They arrived around 8.30pm and stayed for about an hour. Also, two years ago while camping in Stephen F. Austin State Park (near Houston), I remember encountering tons of fireflies there. This was in mid-summer. It was also pretty dark out there.
July 1, 2001: A reader notes: Here in southeast Pennsylvania, we are experiencing our best show in as many years as I can remember. Good luck on your quest!
July 1, 2001: A reader writes: Don't know if you're still interested in info about firefly sightings, but here goes anyway. First a brief history of how I found your web sight. I am a native Oklahoman who spent a short time in Houston (1994-1997). When I lived there (Missouri City area) I missed seeing fireflies in my yard, as I had always looked on them as the sign of summer just around the corner. Curious as to why I saw very few fireflies in the Houston area, I searched the internet and came upon your site.
On moving back to Oklahoma, this time to Bartlesville, Oklahoma, (40 miles north of Tulsa), I was pleasantly surprised to see those wondrous "blinking lights" in my back yard our first summer here. We live in a 20-yr old residential area that is heavily wooded with large, mature native oaks, willows and maples. In addition, we have a 40-ft "utility and drainage easement", known to Houstonians as a bayou, that is on the back side of our property. This ends in a small (2-5 acre) swampy, wooded area behind the houses on the opposite side of the street. Our back yard is heavily wooded/shaded, with lots of low-growing under native plantings and is a moist, damp environment in all but the driest summer weeks (mid July to early Sept). The front yard, in contrast, is "manicured" with vast areas of open, sunny lawn. We only see fireflies in the back yard, where it is more humid and with more dense plantings and I would have to say we see at best a "moderate" number of fireflies.
However, just yesterday we went to the Tall-Grass Prairie Preserve about 40 miles west to do some star-gazing. This is a 30,000+ acre prairie preserve maintained by the Nature Conservancy. As you can surmise by the name, this is a huge area with few trees and lots of native prairie grass. We arrived in time to watch a stunning sunset and settled in for a "moonlight picnic". Our objective was star-gazing, but as it turned out we spent more time looking at or near the ground than at the skies. We were overwhelmed by the sight of fireflies emerging as darkness descended. Not just the "moderate" numbers we see in our yard. MILLIONS of fireflies were all around us as far as the eye could see. I have never in my wildest imagination seen these numbers of fireflies!! Imagine fireflies spaced one every 1-2 inches for as far as the eye can see --- on gently rolling prairie. It was truly astounding! My husband and I discussed the fact that this went against our preconceived idea that fireflies prefer damp, wooded areas.
To bring this long commentary to a close, I agree with your idea that the secret to bringing fireflies back to any area is the right habitat. But to me, this sighting only confounds the issue of what the right habitat is. Perhaps the secret lies in having dense grassy areas that are allowed to grow to a height of 12-30 inches, instead of being routinely mowed in the way we usually maintain our lawns. Of course, this also promotes those pesky insects such as mosquitoes and chiggers, not to mention how "unsightly" it looks to the neighbors. Oh well, we can't have our cake and eat it, too.
July 2, 2001: Eileen Giordano reports: I am thrilled to tell you that I have been seeing so many fireflies in my yard recently! I live in Park Ridge, New Jersey and we have them every year but this year is the best. I grew up with them being the quintessential symbol of summer as a kid in Queens, NY. And while we always had some in the beginning of the season, this year they are more numerous than I remember them being in years. I mentioned them to a friend living in Spokane, Washington and he said they don't have them there. Since he didn't grow up in Washington, I asked if he had them in his hometown in Canada, and to my astonishment, he replied no. We began to scour the internet for information on fireflies, specifically what region they are native to and what their life expectancy is. I found your site and I had to reply. Every night for the past 2 weeks I go outside and follow them around the yard. They are so spectacular and when they land on your arm or hand and you get to check them out up close, it's truly amazing! Regarding your "spray programs" theory, I thought I would mention that last summer they sprayed for mosquitoes pretty heavily in the New York, New Jersey area due to the West Nile disease. It certainly doesn't seem to have hindered this years population of fireflies, luckily. Just thought it was worth a mention. Anyway - thanks for your website. It's cool to know that other people are just as fond of these neat little creatures as I am.
July 13, 2001: Joe Christo notes: As a kid in New Jersey, right near Elizabeth to be exact, I remember seeing tons of fireflies quite often. I used to try to catch them, and one time was worried that they might not be able to breathe in the container that I put them in, so naturally I poked some holes in the top...needless to say we didn't really have to use lights in the house for the next few days. Anyways, the topic of fireflies came up in conversation the other day after the Boston Globe printed a story saying that the chemical that makes them light is also in Viagra. I then got to thinking that I barely see them at all anymore since I moved to Boston, Massachusetts, over 10 years ago, and probably hadn't seen one in about 2 years. And then, about one week after that conversation, the same group of friends was together, and we spotted one near a was an absolute riot. Since then I have seen around ten others. Is it true that fireflies are more native to New Jersey than Massachusetts, or have I just been looking in the wrong places?
July 14, 2001: A reader notes: I moved to Kingwood, Texas, in 1994 and the summer of 1995 I noticed fireflies on the greenbelt behind my house. I called the kids out and told them about fireflies and how they were so numerous where I grew up in Orange, Texas. I explained that in the "old days" people used to think they were fairies. I have looked for them every summer and this past spring, I believe it was April or May, I saw a few around the 9th Grade Campus in Kingwood back by the outdoor track. It was after midnight. There were many and they stopped flashing after a few minutes. It was an odd sighting because I can't say for sure they were there at all. I don't know if the mosquito spraying kills them or not but it seems that would be easily tested. If it isn't the insecticide I believe it is the city lights. I have heard that theory before and it makes sense. More and more lighting goes up every year. When I moved out to Kingwood in '94 the stars were plainly visible but because of more and more lights it is harder to find a place where you can get a good look at the night sky. Hope you can help being back the magic.
July 16, 2001: A reader reports: I am delighted, thrilled, astonished to find your great amalgamation of sighting descriptions, also to get the chance to tell of my own. In all the various climates of our extremely suburban, Northern Virginia yard (shade, full sun, lawn, flower gardens, shrubs, ground cover, water garden, woods) the fireflies seem to rise about a half hour before sundown, only from an untrampled area of English Ivy spreading in a circle of about 20' in diameter below a 24-year old cherry tree not 100 feet from a busy street. For the next hour, they hover there, slowly working their way outward into the rest of the yard, perhaps neighborhood. Perhaps as many 25 of these beautiful beetles stay close to the ground, mostly well within four feet of it. They hover in place, then dip to within a few inches of the ground, light-up, shoot straight up directly into the air above while lit, dimming, hover a second, and then, unlit, swoop about three feet laterally in any direction, to begin the dance again. The flashes seem to last about two seconds; the unlit pauses, about five seconds. Many evenings, there are robins busying about the lawn very nearby...and blue jays on the hunt in the next yard...but never do the fireflies seem to be of interest. I have read that they are toxic to birds. All of this firefly activity seems to begin here around the middle of June. I am keeping track this year to see when they I THOUGHT in past years that they stayed around only a couple of weeks. It has been quite rainy here, however; a friend has suggested that the fireflies' term MAY be governed by moisture. Oh, yes, we do not use pesticides...nor do our neighbors. However, there MAY have been nearby county spraying this spring for gypsy moth caterpillars. After the low flying fireflies disappear each night, there are a very few flashes from the heights...always in the trees, mostly from the wooded area behind the house. The lighting pattern of these insects is totally different. It tends to run in a series of even flashes, each flash and pause lasting one second or two. I haven't yet been able to figure if each bug stops flashing for a while or if I just lose sight of that particular firefly. Two years ago, my daughter and son-in-law had a home far out in the country near Blacksburg, Virginia, in the southwestern part of the state. Their surrounding woods were loaded with flashes when I visited in June, so brilliant as to be well viewed from the center of the mountainside cow fields surrounding them, a good 150 feet from woods' edge. There were no low-fliers in that place at that time. I look forward to more clues at your site! Many, many thanks.
July 16, 2001: George Benway reports: Enjoyed visiting your site. Being from California, I've only witnessed fireflies on one occasion when visiting Dixon, Illinois. It was almost magical and something which I will always remember. I am amazed at how many people share this desire to learn about these little creatures that emit light. I too would like to obtain information as I would like to know why these little beetles are not in California. Can they be raised here? I understand they feed on snails and slugs so we have plenty of food for them. I'm working on developing a "artificial" firefly that uses a 9 volt battery that flashes a led light. The prototype is in one of my trees and sure looks like the real thing. My hope is to look out there some night and see two lights flashing!
July 17, 2001: A traveler reports: From June 10 through June 25 2001 we saw an amazing display of the fireflies. Directly south of Bologna Italy (Pianora Vechio). We were on a vacation at my daughter's place high in the hills. Sitting on the patio having a wine and watching these little insects. We counted each night on average about 10-14. What a wonderful way to relax after a days activities. Back in the UK we don't see them at all. Good luck with your count.
July 17, 2001: A reader notes: Hi. We don't live in Texas, so maybe this doesn't interest you. But we do live in New York City, where there are MANY lights, of course. And we do see many fireflies. So I don't think the possible theory about city lights keeping fireflies away is correct. We live in an apartment complex where there are quite a few trees and grassy areas (by NYC standards, anyway). We see many fireflies on summer evenings, which delights our daughters! I have also wondered what they eat and would be interested to hear any information you have received about that.
July 19, 2001: A reader reports: Hi, I saw your information about fireflies. I live in Belton, Bell Co., about 50 miles north of Austin and see no fireflies here. I have a weekend house in Midlothian, Ellis Coounty, Texas, 30 miles south of Dallas and have a few fireflies come out in the early evenings there (never more than three or four). My house there is next to a small creek bed with lots of large trees and I'm assuming they're coming from the large trees. I have not used any insecticides around the house, but I live in a housing addition and can't speak for the rest.
July 23, 2001: A reader notes: I've been wondering how to get fireflies in my backyard, and went searching the web and found your site. If you figure it out (or find a mail-order source) please let me know! My uncle has fireflies in his yard in the Catskills, New York. He's in zone 5 or maybe 4, so they can take the cold. His yard is mowed, but maybe only a few times a year (right before we visit, I suspect) and has a wide variety of short plants in it. Grass, moss, yarrow, sheep sorrel, cinquefoil, wild strawberry, and who knows what else. There are damp woods nearby with oak, sassafras, blueberry, laurel, and their allies. He doesn't have tons of fireflies, but there are always enough to chase and catch some.
July 24, 2001: A reader notes: I was visiting a brother in Ossining, New York and the first night I told my wife, "Let's go out and see if there are any lighting bugs." It was approximately 8:30 pm, and can tell you that there were literally hundreds. We watched for about an hour, and noticed that the later it got, the higher they seemed to fly. The back yard is about 1/2 acre and has lots of mature landscaping including trees, and several types of large (but close to the ground) bushes and shrubs. Strange as it sounds, I managed to bring about 30 of them back to Denver, Colorado. I released them at about on the 23rd of July and was very pleased to see most (if not all) of them flashing away around 8:30 that night. I will look again the next few nights. Our back yard is smaller, but we have a small fish pond, much mature landscaping including lilac, violets, and several types of wild flowers that seem to be ideal for daytime use. Wish me luck.
July 24, 2001: A reader reports: My mother's property in rural Indiana always had a large population of fireflies in evidence during the summer months when I was a child. In the last four or five years there was a noticeable decline in the number of them that you could see on an average evening. However, in just the last two or so years, the trend seems to have reversed and the population seems to have recovered. The local farmers have discontinued the use of some of the pesticides and/or herbicides that they had been using in the past few years in the immediate area. I can't help but think that either the herbicides were killing off a major food source or the pesticides were doing the same, or possibly killing the fireflies or their larva directly. Anyway, she claims that since she noticed them spraying the crops much less in her area the population of fireflies is almost back to its original levels.
July 25, 2001: Anna advises: My name is Anna and I'm from Bessemer, Alabama (near Birmingham). I began to notice a decline in fireflies a couple of years ago in this area, and this year I've only seen a total of three. I am very concerned. I have a daughter who will be one year this August and I'm afraid that she will grow up thinking they are fictional, like fairies or trolls! I have thought maybe it was because of all the trees being cut? I know we used to have a lot of Pines and several kinds of hardwoods around my home. Now we have hardly any because of an F-5 tornado that came through here in March, 1998, and because they've cut a lot of trees to build new homes and stores. If they eat other beetles, maybe it's a lack of pine beetles or something? Thanks and Good Luck.
July 26, 2001: Isabel Cowdrey reports: We have seen fireflies seen in Deleon Springs, Florida! First time we have seen them in years. We have a small corner lot, with lots of plants and small and midsize trees, butterfly houses, lots of plants and a fish pond. We don't use pesticides. Security lights light up most of the area. On 7-25-01 we saw one in the backyard and three in front yard, just looking out the door.
July 29, 2001: A reader reports: I wrote you on Sept 20, 2000 from Huntsville, Texas. This year our 'firefly season' was longer, but I don't believe we saw as many at one time. The first we noted were the first week of April and we saw one last week, the third week in July. As I noted previously, we do spot treat for fire ants, but do not use widespread insecticides. We've also seen the rapid decline of the 'walking stick'. When we first moved here nearly three years ago, they were all over. Even climbing on the car at times if it was in a shady area. Last year we had some but not as many as the year before and this year I've not seen one. Also we had an abundance of toads. In fact they'd come onto the front porch and stay in my flower pots for the day! We'd get up in the morning and dirt would be scattered all around the terra cotta pots. I eventually made 'toad houses' by cutting a notch into the top of a terra cotta pot, putting it upside down in a terra cotta saucer and putting damp mulch and bark into it. We could sit in the evening and watch as many as a dozen toads come hopping out for their nightly hunt. This year we've not seen any of those old large toads, though we occasionally see small, nickel size ones in the gardens. Our bird and butterfly population is continually escalating and we have an abundance of them. We've had ONE hummer spend the summer with us, this is the second in a row! We feed him faithfully hoping he'll find a mate to settled down and fight with! In a few more weeks we'll have another 50 or more hummers here for a few weeks and he'll leave and possibly return with them again in the spring.
November 10, 2001: A reader reports: I'm a little late in emailing you, but I wanted to report that I saw fireflies on our farm this summer through most of October 2001. We live on a 235-acre farm between Cleburne and Grandview, Texas. It's about a 40-minute drive from downtown Fort Worth. The farm has been in my husband's family for three generations. My husband and I asked to move out here two years ago. Since it hasn't been actively farmed since my husband's grandmother died over 10 years ago, it's in a bit of a "weedy" state. His grandmother did not use chemicals to kill the weeds and neither will we. There are some very large oak trees in some spots and cleared pasture in others. The pastures are a mix of coastal and native grasses and are of mostly sandy soil. We have five ponds (one separated from the rest by the highway). It's been a rather long and mild summer and I have really enjoyed seeing the fireflies most every night. We have only have two yardlights, plus the lights from our small house. The fireflies are not in swarms but usually several can be seen at once trailing around. I thought they would be gone by the end of August, but we've had several stragglers staying through October. They are magical. We have several horses and one of the prettiest things I've witnessed is a firefly landing in my foal's mane one dark night. It just stayed there and glowed in her mane for a minute before flying off. I'd love to figure out how to raise them even though it's a two year process. I'm a pretty patient person. ;-)


July 9, 2000: A reader writes: We saw about a dozen fireflies in a field, 10 minutes Southeast of Regina, Saskatchewan. Didn't know fireflies even existed in our province 'till now! Whatta sight!
January 30, 2000: A reader reports: I live here in the city of Sao Paulo, Brazil, the second biggest city of the world. It has 17 million inhabitants! However, it is surrounded by one of the forests richest in biodiversity (the Atlantic Rain Forest). This forest has an enormity of fireflies; however, they do not arrive to enter inside of the city.
February 23, 2000: A reader notes: I watched hundreds of luminescent bugs in Tikal National Park in Guatemala on 2/20/00. They were mostly over a small swamp like pond though some ventured over a small grassy area. Most of these stayed too high in the trees and out of reach. I'm not 100% sure they were fireflies though they looked like ones I saw in Iowa as a kid. At least one source thought they might be click beatles.
April 20, 2000: A reader reports: We saw several Fireflies in Wharton, Texas on April 19th, 2000. We were traveling to Edna, Tx. to meet my wive's mother to drop off one of our children for the Easter weekend. We stopped at the Whataburger on Highway 59. I noticed a field right next door full of Lightning Bugs. This was witnessed by myself, my wife, and my two boys ages 14 and 12. They even saw one caught in a spiders web, so they could view them closely. I grew up in the Lamarque, Texas area and remember seeing them regularly, but this was ther first experience with them. I instantly thought of your site. I hope this helps.
April 24, 2000: A reader notes: Tonight, Easter Sunday, 23 April, in North Dallas, Texas, we noticed one (apparently) lone firefly, offering us just 3 flashes. My friend remarked that this was his first experience in years of having seen a firefly in this location. I would judge the light polution to be moderate, temperature mild, humidity low. I am delighted to find your site with so little effort. Hope to have frequent future sightings to report. Several (maybe 10) years ago I recall having read a Wallstreet Journal article about a Japanese effort to create a firefly sanctuary. Any update? Thanks for your contributions.
May 7, 2000: A reader reports: Saw a few fireflies Sunday night at around 8:30 p.m. off Telge Road and Jarvis near Enchanted Valley Subdivision, in Houston, Texas. There may have been more but we were driving and couldn't stop.
May 11, 2000: Tina writes: Hello. I saw a few here in Bloomington, Illinois, a few days ago. I was hoping you could direct me to some sites that tell how to attract them. I think because of all the pesticides here in Illinois they are becoming fewer. Thank you so much.
May 12, 2000: A reader notes: I live in Austin, Texas, and I'm buying a house. My friend and her 3 year old son are coming to live with me soon, so we met the other night for dinner and a stroll to talk about the move. As we walked past a yard, I noticed a few fireflies. The child was ENTHRALLED! He had never in his life seen fireflies, and we stayed for about 30 minutes - the home-owners coming out to join us. I observed that the fireflies seemed to hover under the trees of the yard (would have to go back to identify the trees). However, the grass under the trees was a different type of grass than that in the open areas of the yard. Seemed to be a brighter green. So I don't know if thetrees/shade or the grass or both attracted the beautiful glowing flies. I have promised the little boy that we will plant whatever it takes to get fireflies in our yard. So, I may travel back to the sighting and examine the trees and grass.
May 14, 2000: A reader writes: This weekend I observed a significant number of fireflies in my heavily wooded yard and my neighbor's properties. Not like the old days in an Iowa summer, but probably the most I have seen in Dickinson, Texas in all the time I have lived here (19 years).
May 22, 2000:LeAnne Caton writes: I saw my first fire fly of summer last night in my backyard in Charlotte, North Carolina. Yeah! Summer is here. Do you have any information about a yearly event in the mountains of North Carolina on June 5. Several years ago, I hear a story on NPR about an unique opportunity to see the fireflies light in a certain pattern (like "the wave" if my memory serves me.) I would love to see this, but have not been able to find any information. I was searching the web when I came across you site. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you.
May 24, 2000: A reader notes: I live in Mullica Hill, New Jersey, (18 miles SE of Philadelphia)and saw a few fireflies last night about 10 pm - misty open back yard - substantial brush around for protection.
May 24, 2000: A reader notes: I've noticed for the past week all the lighting bugs making their presence known again. I've been expecting it for a while now for them to show up, here in Lufkin, Texas. I can always count on seeing them along the edge of the forest, as if they come out of the woods and then move out into the open field. My Son and I caught 15 lighting bugs in just 10 minutes and there were plenty more flying about. They always start about dusk and will continue till shortly after nightfall, then they stop. It's around 80 degress outside and humid (as usual for this part of the state), with a light breeze blowing.
June 4, 2000: A reader reports: We own a cabin at Casa Bonita Lodges on the Guadalupe River in Hunt, Texas, which is west of Kerrville in the Hill Country. We have many fireflies. We always have. I live in Tyler, and we have no fireflies here. I want to cultivate them on our farm outside of town. Have you located a source which sells the insects?
June 5, 2000: A reader notes: I saw more lightning bugs on June 3. This time I was about a mile from the new Katy Mills mall in Katy, Texas, , off a country road. I only saw a few though. I have a feeling they won't last long with the new development around there, where I'm sure they will start a spray program for the mosquitoes and with the lights from that mall.
June 7, 2000: Patsy Terrell writes: On June 7, at approximately 10:30 p.m., I stopped at Sand Hills State Park in the north end of Hutchinson, Kansas, where I was greeted by the sight of hundreds of fireflies in the grassy fields. It was windy and about 65 degrees. Vegetation consists of tall grasses and some trees but it is the grasses where the fireflies tend to be. I have not seen so many in one place since last fall near San Pedro Sula, Honduras, when shortly after dark one night I saw many fireflies in the fields along the side of the road.
June 8, 2000: A reader writes: My wife and I live just outside of Houston, Texas, and, to our delight, made a sighting recently. I first saw the fireflies after dusk, and thought it was my imagination, but we saw them together, and stopped for a closer look Sunday, June 4th, 2000. The time was approximately 9:00 p.m., within 30 minutes of sundown. Humidity was 65% (low for Houston) and temperature was 85 F. We were on Saums Road, passing Cullen Park (an open field) 1.5 miles east of Fry Road and saw approximately 200 fireflies doing their thing along the brushy side of the road, along a stretch 75 yards long, at a height of 1 to 3 feet off the ground.
June 11, 2000: Susan Lester reports: While driving south on Highway 59 from Livingston to Houston, Texas my husband and I saw a multitude of fireflies in the trees (both sides of the road) and down around the ditches for about a 7 or 8 mile stretch. We were about just south of Sheppard, Texas, on Highway 75 South. It was about 8:45 p.m., the temperature was between 76 and 78 degrees, extremely humid (we had had torrential rains the night before), and the area was completely dark, except for car lights. It would be so nice if we could keep fireflies from becoming extinct. They are such a joy to watch and such a thrill for kids (of all ages).
June 13, 2000: Patrick Hill (aka Toomey) writes: Just read your article on fireflies and I thought you'd want to know that I saw a bunch of 'em the other day at Memorial Park in Houston, Texas. I live very close to the park and walk the jogging trail about five times a week. I was astonished to see hundreds of the critters flitting through the trees in the evening (about eight o'clock) on the southern part of the east leg (just north of Memorial). In fact, a fair number of people stopped to admire the sight, pointing and oohing.
June 19, 2000: Robert E. Bleier notes: I've lived out in Kingwood, Texas, since I was a kid in 1978. When I first moved out here I remember seeing fireflies but they have disappeared over the years. Last moth I took my 18 month old son up to our relatives in Arkansas. He had a great time chasing fireflies in my Uncles yard. When we got back I was hoping I could find a way to bring them back to Kingwood. Do you know what plants they like? Also, have you seen any place I can purchase them. I know you can purchase butterflies and ladybugs, so why not fireflies?
June 25, 2000: A reader notes: I was just surfing the web and ran across your site! I live in a small town called Aurora, Nebraska, which is in central Nebraska. I moved here from the Mpls/St.Paul area in October 1999. But in my previous position I traveled to this area on numerous occasions. I was stunned to see the number of fireflies on my summer trips to this area. As I write this e-mail, the vegetation surrounding the house is full of fireflies. At night, they number in the hundreds, possibly thousands, and my family is entertained to a steady flashing of light as if witnessing a distant thunderstorm approaching. I know there is more than one species because of the different light patterns emitted. To date, I haven't dusted off an entomology book to identify the particular inhabitants of our back yard. I don't know if fireflies travel well or not, but would be interested in sending some if you would like. They are so numerous that even in the daytime, a jar full of fireflies can be collected just in my backyard!
June 26, 2000: Jean Martin reports: I go out every night during firefly season, which starts around June 20 and ends around July 3. We live in a rural, Queensville, area about 55 miles north of Toronto. There are many thousands of them along a road- Holborn- among the tress at the side of a field. Along Doane Road there are also many thousands. I have watched them for the last 15 years, over which period their numbers have declined considerably. Sadly, There is a plan to bring 30 000 people into the area, under the Queensville Plan. I hold out little hope for the fireflies when this development occurs. I spoke about the potential loss of these priceless little beauties at a hearing about the plan. The developers neither know nor care. Nor does the Ontario Municipal Board. Shame on them! These insects hold a very special magic.
June 29, 2000: Joe Hayes writes: Tonight I had a longing for some reason to see fireflies, so I went down to a 5000 acre conservation area just down the street from my house in Stoneham, MA, with my dog Biscuit. I walked about 200 yards into the woods (there were still bright lights from an abutting lumber yard) and saw my first one. It took my breath away. This was along a trail bordered on either side by tall grasses receding into bushes then taller trees. As I went a little farther in I saw four or five more. I was going to keep going- the trail goes on for miles and miles- but it was pitch black further in and I kept thinking of Blair Witch Project and Friday the 13th movies and decided discretion was the better part of valor. I believe I saw two different species, as the first one I saw had a definite quick FLASH then off then FLASH then off etc, while the others I saw, their light was more a longer, sputtering, drawn out flash. Or maybe this is male and female difference? Every Thursday night during the summer me and a group of friends meet at my house for pizza and beer, then we go mini-golfing. Tomorrow night (after everyone's had at least one beer) I'm going to suggest that instead of mini-golfing we go and count fireflies in the conservation area. These are all guys, between the ages of 20 and 63. We'll have to vote on it...wish me luck! I will report back!
June 29, 2000: A reader notes: Hello, on two separate mid-late June evenings my beautiful wife, brother and myself have witnessed a number of fireflies (we presume) around our acreage. We live along the confluence of two rivers in the boreal forest of Northern Alberta, near the town of Smith, approximately 2.5 hours north of Edmonton. Sightings occur during warm, humid evenings within a couple hours after sunset. We are quite excited by this discovery, as the species list continues to grow, and also because we have never witnessed them anywhere before.
June 30, 2000: Ed Pell regrets: I am on the web this morning looking for commercial sources for fireflies and all I've found is your page bemoaning the lack of same. Here in New Jersey there were a few fireflies last year, none this year so far. (They'd be here if they were going to be here). I hate to admit that they are becoming extinct, but am beginning to fear this is the case.
July 2, 2000: A reader relates: I saw my first fire fly on July 1st in Kingston , Ontario. They were beautiful.We were visiting my cousin who lives on White Fish Lake on the redeu canal. It was just after sun set and there were 4 or 5 of them. I was so excited because I am from British Columbia and had never seen them before. My 3 year old son and I watched them in amazement for hours.
July 2, 2000: A doctor writes: I've always loved fireflies since I first remember seeing them when I was age 3, and I just decided to do a search on them for the first time. Your website came up 2nd on Google. It's nice to see an attorney who has a place in their heart for little wonders like fireflies (my last girlfriend was an attorney, and I don't think she had a place in her heart for anything or anyone, and that's why she's history). Hey, I'm not knocking attorneys. Besides being a photographer, I'm also an MD and am considering going to law school. But my real loves are photography, mushrooms (I'm an amateur mycologist), and fireflies. Anyway, I can remember seeing fireflies in New Orleans in the 50's and early 60's, but they seemed to disappear from there around 1965. I think this correlated with a lot of heavy mosquito spraying. I lived in New Orleans until 1982, when I moved to Dallas, and never saw fireflies in New Orleans between 1965 and 1982. When I was 3, I can remember capturing a jar of fireflies in May, and putting it next to my bed at night for its cheery green glow. I felt bad about "having put the fireflies in jail" later that night, and let them all go. Interestingly, they stayed outside my bedroom window for weeks to entertain me. I think there's a lesson here. When I was first studying for my medical board exams in 1994, I used to go to Turtle Creek in Highland Park in Dallas, Texas, for solitude and natural beauty. It must have worked well, because I scored over 99.5%ile on all my boards, and now teach other doctors for their boards as a sideline. To get to the point, I can remember very distinctly being in Turtle Creek the night of 6 May for the very first time, and being overwhelmed by the hundreds of fireflies over and around the creek. I felt a cosmic connection to these gentle creatures, and they brought me a lot of happiness and mental strength. I hadn't seen any in nearly 30 years. I've gone to Turtle Creek each May and June every year since then to watch the display. They are thickest from the 1st of May thru the 21st of May, when you'll see hundreds of them over and around Turtle Creek each night. Between then and mid-June, you'll still see dozens each night. I even saw 3 last night, on July 1. In May 2001, I'm going to start experimenting with open shutter technique on a tripoded camera and high speed film to see if I can capture their wonderful streaks. I wish I had thought of that before. I spoke to a friend in New Orleans and she tells me that fireflies are still rare to non-existent there now. Again, I think the mosquito spraying had a lot to do with it. And you're right--there are still plenty of mosquitos, so why bother? Thanks for taking the time and effort to become a hub of information. Don't hesitate to contact me if I can be of any help from Dallas.
July 3, 2000: A reader reports: We have lived in North Central Florida near Ocala all our 38 years and we grew up catching fireflies. We have not seen fireflies in our area for years and have wondered what happened to them. We would like to see fireflies in our area as they fascinate our children. We recently vacationed (end of June) in central New Jersey and the fireflies were plentiful. We also saw fireflies in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee two years ago but there were only a few. If you find a way to reintroduce fireflies to your area please let us know. Thanks.
July 3, 2000: Glenn Oleksak notes: Greetings again from Northern New Jersey. It has been a wet spring and summer and the firefly activity (as well as mosquitos and horseflies, unfortunately) has been fantastic. I have found a low-lying flood zone area by a river to be the best place for viewing. The show starts at sunset as small ones with short yellowish flashes fly low to the ground. As it gets darker, larger, greenish yellow flashing ones come out. They have three basic types: The "Big Dippers"- the ones that hold their light on as they dip down in a "J" pattern; ones that just flash and tend to fly high in the trees; and the rarer ones that fly fast and flash their light in 5 or 6 quick successions. Once it's dark, the little yellow flashing ones are gone, but the greener flashing ones stay out late. As I have written before, this being northern NJ, there is a lot of light pollution which is rapidly getting worse, but it doesn't seem to bother the fireflies too much.
July 4, 2000: A reader notes: I saw an entire field of approximately fifty fireflies all flashing last summer (1999) in early-mid June near a small creek at about 2 am in Swift Current, Saskatchewan, Canada. Our climate during this time of the summer is fairly arid since its the prairies, although we'd had a bit of rain. My question was regarding when it would be best to sight these bugs? Since my sighting I have tried to return and see them again but, have only seen a couple on every occasion I have tried. Frustrating, hey?
July 8, 2000: Kathy Ford reports: We have fireflys all summer. I live in Wichita, Kansas. I found this site while learning more about them. Hope this helps you to get them back. They are wonderful to watch. Our backyard is full of them.
July 9, 2000: James E. Barry, Naturalist with the Burr Oak Woods Conservation Nature Center notes: Interesting theories. I know that we have quite of few fireflies in Independence, MO from the end of June through August. I've observed that the population of fireflies decrease after the city sprays for mosquitoes. I have no scientific proof, just observation. They tend to be near low, moist, wooded areas. We have temps in the 90's and high humidity. I also see more males flying near yards that have not been cut for awhile. Hope it helps and we will check out downtown Kansas City (15 miles away) for fireflies.
July 10, 2000: Jan Erdman writes: I live in Appleton, Wisconsin, in the east central part of the state, about 30 miles south of Green Bay and 100 miles norh of Milwaukee. During the week of July 3rd, I saw three fireflies in my backyard. I live in a city of 100,000 and my yard is less than a mile from the city center so it is quite "urban." My yard is mowed lawn with extensive flower beds and an area at the rear of the lot that is naturalized. The weather that evening was warm and humid. I have not seen any fireflies for, maybe, 30 years. I was delighted to see them again though I haven't seen them again thus far this summer. When I was a child fireflies were abundant even in town. We captured them in jars but they would die overnight. We had no sense of species eradication at that time. In fact, it was 60 years ago and those kinds of problems were unknown to us. The biggest thrill back then was driving through the country at night. Thousands of fireflies could be seen over hay fields. The hay was not timothy grass but alfalfa. Thank you for campaigning for these critters. I hope you get an abundant crop down in Texas.
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.
July 10, 2000: A reader relates: Tonight we walked with fireflies! We live 15 minutes south of Grand Rapids, Michigan, in a well populated area. I was not aware that the firefly population was decreasing as we see them every year. It was about 9:15 until 10:00 pm. Dusk to dark. The weather here has been over cast and very rainy this afternoon. The fireflies in our area seem to be out in large numbers and we caught about 50 of them. My son is telling them goodbye and releasing them tonight. The fireflies seemed to be everywhere, in groups and in singles but were most abundant in the yards with long grass. Hope this helps you. Just so you know, no fireflies were injured in our net! I was looking up information to share with my child when I found your website.
July 10, 2000: A reader writes: We have lots of fireflies in Delaware County, Pennsylvania. My daughter loves to catch them and watch them glow!!! She does let them go, they don't seem to live if we keep them. I'd like to know what they eat, or if it is possible to keep them for more than a few hours. Do they live more than one night in the wild? I have searched a lot of info on the net about them and have found very little information. It's interesting that something that creates a feeling of peace and beauty daily for us all is so little researched.
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.
July 11, 2000: Angel writes: Hi from Allentown, Pennsylvania. Plenty of fireflies here :) Temp is @ 75 degrees, barometer 29.90, slight winds N 7 mph, and Humidity 50%. It's actually very cool here for this time of year. My son was out in the back yard catching the fireflies. He caught about 15 and has them in a bug container where they are flashing. They'll be released in the morning. It's a shame you are having problems spotting the beautiful night lights in Houston. Here in the Lehigh Valley we enjoy them from June until Mid-August early September. They are the sure sign summer has finally arrived. Good luck on your hopes of attracting the night creatures.
July 12, 2000: Jeff Hensley writes: Thanks for your great research and your sharing of all of it, especially the other links and the reports of fellow lovers of fireflies and their romantic bioluminescence. I have gone out looking for them in the lighted and not so lighted areas in and around Fort Worth three nights out of the last six and learned from my searching, things that are confirmed and hinted at in your reports from readers, both scientific and casual. Don't bother looking for them on the dry hills around here in North Texas. You may find a stray or two, but the damp low places near creeks are the favorites and the only places to find them in any significant numbers. They may be in an area, but in order to view them well, you need open spaces under trees to see very many at once. One swampy area appeared to have them in large quantities but four to eight-foot cat tails and other swampy growth made them nearly invisible. The best spot I found, I located last night, beyond Aledo, off of I-20 about 15 miles west of Fort Worth, Texas. There are a number of communities along this road with "Annetta" as part of their name. This great, beautiful spot with hundreds visible in an area about 150 to 200 yards long along a creek with open fields rimmed by woods was some five miles or so beyond Aledo, among the "Annetta"s. In walking along the Trinity River in Fort Worth, last Thursday, heading toward downtown Fort Worth, with the far-too-well-lit rail yards across the river, I found them to be pretty sparse. As I headed into a more wooded area below Colonial Country Club, they became more plentiful: the darker, the more fireflies. Two nights later, I walked toward Bryant-Irvin Road, along the heavily wooded side of the Trinity where there is no development and no light other than ambient light from a great distance. There were really good pockets of fireflies in this area with perhaps 15 or 20 visible at any one time. My goal, since reading about it in the American Airlines flight magazine a few years ago, is to run across one of these blankets of fireflies that some of your respondents make reference to. The writer of this article about fireflies quoted an entomologist who had found them blanketing a roadway in southeast Oklahoma. If you have any leads on an entomologist or other researcher who can guide one to such a place, or even offer suggestions about finding one, I'd be interested in joining an expedition in search of the phenomenon. Like viewing the Marfa Lights, lights of a different sort, I have added sighting one of the firefly crowds to my list of life goals. Gee, do you think this could be come an obsession?
P.S.-- Like your respondent who was in Honduras near San Pedro Sula, I found the road sides of the area near Juticalpa, in the plains dotted with round topped mountains to be as full of fireflies as I have witnessed. I was there last October and am going back the first week of August. I am just about as much looking forward to seeing the huge quantities of fireflies as I am in doing my work as a Catholic journalist of documenting our relief work and new twinning efforts with the Diocese of Juticalpa.
July 13, 2000: Glenn Oleksak writes: I work for a railroad, and was working at dusk the other night in NJ not far from NYC, and there - in between two railroad tracks - in a patch of weeds about 20 feet wide that were half dead from overspray from the railroad's weed spray on the tracks - in an area fairly well light by artificial light - were "big dipper" fireflies! If you want to re-introduce fireflies to the Houston area (or just your yard) my suggestion would be to use this species, as they seem to be very forgiving of human activities.
July 13, 2000: Charles Galloway writes: My wife and I also enjoy fireflies (or lightning bugs as we call them). We, too, are saddened by the sharp decline in their numbers. We live in Angier, North Carolina, about 25 miles south of Raleigh in a rural area. We've seen a few early in June, but they seemed to have disappeared. Various parts of our county seem to have them in fair numbers, but they are scarce in others. Just last weekend (7/8/00) we took a trip to Cherokee, North Carolina in the far western part of the state. We were amazed at the hillsides and fields of lightning bugs that seemed to light up the entire area from dusk until about 10:30 p.m. There must have literally been thousands! It brought back childhood memories for both of us. In our late thirties we are both realizing that the greatest joys in life come from GOD's wondrous creations--the things that cost nothing. Too often we take them for granted. We are building a new home further out into the country and hope to find ways to attract them and make a habitat that will maintain them in large numbers. We are in the heart of cotton and tobacco country and I wonder if insecticides used in agriculture have killed them off. I happened to find a website that may offer you some information. It can be found at: Please let us know if you find anyone who raises or sells larvae. We would truly be interested as we want to bring them back to central North Carolina as well. Best wishes and good luck in your endeavor,
July 17, 2000: Meredith Spears writes: I found your web site about fireflies in Houston. I don't know much about them either, but I have seen them in my backyard. Last July and August we saw them several times and, as a matter of fact, we rescued several out of our swimming pool. We live in La Porte, Texas, (just outside of Houston) so I know they are in the area. Unfortunately, this year we have not seen any yet. I certainly hope that we do see them again, as they are really fun to watch. The only other places I have ever seem them is in Galveston on the beach at night and we saw quite of few of them there. They seem to like the brush that is in the sand right before you get on the beaches and I also saw them in Port Aransas when we were in the pool of the condo we were staying in. Maybe they just like the water, I'm not sure. As far as plants are concerned, interestingly enough, other than grass in our backyard, we have no trees or anything that would likely attract them. The only other plants we had in the backyard last year was some Mexican heather and except for one small bush of it, we have gotten rid of the rest of it. Since we haven't seen any this year, maybe there is some connection, but I'm not sure.
July 17, 2000: Linda Motyka notes: My family and I used to visit relatives in southwest Tennessee every summer and that's where I saw my first firefly. We called them lightning bugs back then. Two nights ago I was sitting on my patio here in Orlando, Florida about 10:30 p.m. and spotted 3 of them. I took it as a good omen. My boyfriend had just proposed. And I said. "yes."
July 27, 2000: Shelly Moore notes: I haven't finished reading your webpage yet, but I want to let you know about my firefly sighting last weekend in the middle of New York City. I recently moved to the upper east side of Manhattan, and I was out on my terrace last Saturday night around 9 pm. I live on the sixth floor, and there are some trees behind my building (and behind the trees, another building). I was looking down towards the garden below, and I saw something blinking near the ground. Then I noticed that there were several blinking things between the ground and the sixth floor. I was astonished to see them here, because I assumed they were strictly a rural phenomena (I remember catching them as a kid when I visited my family in rural Pennsylvania). So I just thought you might like some more evidence against the "city lights" theory. Good luck! =)
July 30, 2000: A reader writes: I just wanted to let you know that we get quite a few fireflies up here in a suburb of Rochester, New York. They are only here in July and August but are quite numerous. We live on a street without street lights and they are usually out at dusk and early evening. Good luck in reintroducing them to Houston.
July 30, 2000: A reader writes: We have an abundance of fireflies here in Gallatin, Tennessee.. We love sitting on the porch in the evening to watch them. We have a huge field next to us. There are lots of trees and green grass, and flowers. We also live about five minutes from a small river. They usually come out just after dusk and are very active for the next hour or so. Slowly dwindle and are gone by full dark. Most any where you drive in the country has lots of fireflies.
August 1, 2000: Ken Coumerilh notes: My dad used to say that fireflies needed the leaf mold, so he mulched his leaves on the lawn instead of raking them up. We certainly had lots of fireflies. I remember that there seemed to be fewer fireflies in areas with well-kept lawns, but they probably used pesticides too. When I was a kid there was some kind of research going on. I think it was some kind of dental research, but I'm not sure. They paid kids for collecting fireflies. That was in the early 60's, I think. We lived in St. Louis, Missouri back then. I wonder if you could get some information from that project. Anyway, they are abundant here in the Kansas City area. Come help yourself.
August 2, 2000: A reader writes: Hi. Just wanted to let you know that I have seen one firefly tonight, and one last night. In fact, they are the reason that I discovered your sight. I haven't seen fireflies since the early 1970's and they bring back good memories. I live in a subdivision in Galveston, Texas. It's 9:30 PM and warm outside. I'm afraid I don't know the temperature. Good luck with your effort.
August 3, 2000: A 9 year old reader writes: Every night my friends and I catch fireflies and let them go in my room. We love seeing them glow freely. More than once I see firefly eggs under my desk and bed. I live in the Hudson Valley, Milan, where there are over a million of the tiny insects. Did you know that if you look closely at a firefly's light it looks like tiny bugs walking around and around.
August 4, 2000: A reader notes: We just returned from a trip to New York City and were delighted to see hundreds of fireflies in the plants close to Columbus Circle in Central Park. Being from California this was only my second and my son's first time ever to see a firefly. My son was able to get them to land on a stick so that we could observe them up close. We were so excited and charmed that we went back the next night to enjoy the show. We had just spent two weeks in upstate New York and Maine and didn't see one firefly. We thought it pretty funny that we had to go to the city to see them. It just proves, once again, that NYC has a little of everything!
August 5, 2000: A reader writes: I saw a firefly on July 31st in South Florida, between Ft. Lauderdale and Palm Beach. There was only one. It was dusk, right before real darkness...just a tiny bit of light hanging on. I live in a suburban neighborhood..houses, gardens, lawns etc. and it occurred to me that I hadn't seen one in years. So I mailed everyone in my address book asking if they see fireflies where they live and if, like me,they have noticed a great decline in their numbers over the years. I got answers from many places. They have been seen in North Carolina, on Long Island, NY and Austin Texas. My friends in Mass. report very few or none as do upstate New York and Marin County, Ca. (north of San Francisco). Everyone agrees that they see far fewer then they did in the past. Many asked me where they have gone. I've tried to learn and that is how I found your website. I'd like to know too. You asked for theories...Here's mine: The aliens took them. They traveled thousands of light years, explored our planet and found fireflies to be the one thing we have worth having. They couldn't figure out how fireflies make cold light either. If you ever get a definitive answer, please let me know. I applaud your efforts. It's a good thing you're doing.
August 6, 2000: A reader writes: I live in the city of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on a normal city lot. My lot is practically overrun with fireflies, even the neighborhood kids have noticed this fact. If we go out around dusk it would be difficult to look in any direction over our lot for more than a minute without seeing several fireflies. What is unusual about this is that they would appear to be confined to my city lot. Essentially the only differences I can attribute to this is that I have been using a mulching lawn mower for many years and unlike many of my neighbors I do not use a professional lawn service for weed control. I have found that the mulching lawn mower combined with one or two simple applications of Ortho Weed-B-Gone is all that is necessary. I attribute the large population of fireflies to cutting the lawn with a mulching mower and not removing the mulch and very limited use of commercial fertilizers and weed control.
August 6, 2000: A reader writes: A while back my husband was at a conference in Philadelphia. After the conference we went up to the Lancaster area. While staying at the Olde Amish Inn in Ronke, PA we went to sit at the picnic table at about 5 PM to share our Amish bread and jam. All of a sudden the show started! The fireflies did this dance, now I'm talking millions of em! They circled around and all of a sudden they paired up and flew out the top of the circle. In about a hour or so they were all gone. The next night we were ready and watched the entire show, we brought our supper this time. I feel it is because the Amish don't spray and also it is quieter and people are not trampling the grass and killing the eggs.
August 6, 2000: A reader notes: Your site was interesting. I found it in the Sunday newspaper magazine "Access". Anyway, I recently moved to Wisconsin from the Chicago metro area. In Chicago we had fireflies present, but not even close to the numbers of them I have found in southeastern Wisconsin where I now live. Holy cow, there are a lot of fireflies over the farms here! Things I have noticed. There is no spraying for mosquito's here in my part of Wisconsin. There was plenty of that in Chicago. The light pollution is unbelievable in Chicago, but we still had fireflies. Maybe the problem is urban sprawl? Since the firefly is a beetle maybe the construction of new subdivisions has destroyed an entire generation of fireflies in your area. Also, as you're probably aware, the number one polluter to our soil is currently the suburban homeowner, golf course and business park due to the spraying of chemicals into their lawns. Maybe these chemicals are having an effect on the fireflies also. Good luck on your research!
August 6, 2000: A reader notes: Caught (and released) a firefly in my backyard last week. I'm in Bergen County, New Jersey.
August 6, 2000:Peg Looney notes: My husband and I have a ranch in Itasca, Texas, (just 9 miles south of Hillsboro, Texas). We recently built a home on the ranch and moved from the city of Fort Worth. We were sitting on our porch in early April and suddenly realized we saw a few fireflys. We had not seen any since we were kids. The weather was still cool, about 60 in the evenings and 80 during the day. We only saw them one or two evenings and have not seen any since it has become so hot in Texas. Don't have any theories just wanted to let you know we saw them in our area and were very excited about seeing them. Wish you luck on your endeavor.
August 6, 2000: A reader writes: It is always a special treat to drive through central Iowa at dusk and see the lightning bugs come out. On July 14th, 2000, on the way from Minneapolis to Grinnell, Iowa, we noticed a bumper crop of lightning bugs. At my parent's home, a couple miles west of Grinnell, Iowa, there were so many lightning bugs in the mowed grass around the house that you could walk with your hands out and catch them without even trying. I don't ever remember them being that easy to catch. They are easiest to spot in the yard, but they can also been seen above the corn and soy bean fields. It was one of those still, not-too-hot, humid Iowa evenings where the smell of a skunk can linger on for hours. My folks keep the yard mowed, but there are plenty of ditches and a cedar tree grove attached to the perimeter of the yard. They have a variety of trees and bushes that are getting so big that it seems almost like a woods. Their house is at the top of a hill, surrounded by cornfields this year. Some years its soy beans, and unfortunately their Conservation Reserve Program ended a couple of years ago and they had to replant their CRP land with crops. We rarely see any lightning bugs in our yard in our suburban Lakeville, Minnesota, neighborhood. However, I did spot a few one evening early in July this year. I have many fond memories of catching lightning bugs as the sun finally went down after a long summer day in small-town Iowa. I hope one day you can get them to go back to Houston. I saw your web site in the Sunday Access magazine in the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
August 6, 2000: Clarence notes: I live in California but visited Chattanooga, Tennessee in July 2000. Our grandson was with us and was fascinated by the fireflies. He had fun catching them, as I did when I was a child. A friend of mine told me that researchers are paying people to catch them for some kind of research. The area where we saw them was in the suburbs of the city where lights abound.
August 6, 2000: A reader notes: I just read your blip in the Access section of our Sunday paper. We recently moved to Monticello, Wisconsin, and I have never seen so many fireflies in my entire life. Hundreds of them every night. Monticello is in the southern part of the state. A very rural and small community. I don't know what attracts them unless its water. We have a lake in our town and a river that runs through. We used to live only an hour north of here and we very rarely saw fireflies there and that was also a rural community. It's really a beautiful and amazing thing.
August 6, 2000: A reader notes: My husband and I have a ranch in Itasca, Texas, (just 9 miles south of Hillsboro, Texas). We recently built a home on the ranch and moved from the city of Fort Worth. We were sitting on our porch in early April and suddenly realized we saw a few fireflies. We had not seen any since we were kids. The weather was still cool, about 60 in the evenings and 80 during the day. We only saw them one or two evenings and have not seen any since it has become so hot in Texas. Don't have any theories just wanted to let you know we saw them in our area and were very excited about seeing them. Wish you luck on your endeavor.
August 6, 2000: Skip Russell reports: Here in Amish country, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, it is our good fortune to start seeing fireflies around the middle of May and continue into late August or early September. Over the fields of Lancaster country it is not unusual to see fireflies numbering in the hundreds of thousands at one field alone ! At times the "lightning bugs" seem to be so numerous as to appear to be a yellow fog over a field of alfalfa. One old saying in our area is that when you no longer see fireflies in the evening, count ahead six weeks, and that's when you will have your first frost of the fall season. Good luck bringing fireflies back to Houston. It just wouldn't be summer without them !
August 6, 2000: A reader notes: A month ago we went on vacation to northeast Arkansas. We went camping on the buffalo river. Every evening we got quite a show from the fireflies.It was sweet. I have been in Texas for about seventeen years. I grew up in Kansas City and saw fireflies every evening in the summer. But not here. When I returned from Arkansas I got on the internet and ask why they weren't down here. The reply that I got (from a bug man) was that they have too many predators down south and they wouldn't survive. That sucks. Anyway I thought I would pass that on. Good luck.
August 6, 2000: A reader notes: Bought a house last September in the Town of Lakeside, Texas, which is far west Fort Worth zip code 76108. This spring we started seeing hundreds of fireflies. I haven't seen one since we moved from Florida in 1985. We have a couple of acres which are heavily wooded and are three blocks from Lake Worth.We bought two firefly lanterns from Coleman and the grand kids come over all the time to catch and then release the fireflies. I am totally organic and use no pesticides. Use beneficial nematodes etc. to control insects and feed the birds heavily to control the grasshoppers.
August 6, 2000: A reader writes: Saw an article in the syndicated 'Access' insert in today's Denver Post. I've always been fascinated by fireflies since I was a small boy growing up in Wisconsin in the 40's and 50's. Except that there were no fireflies in my hometown, Ft. Atkinson, WI. The first time I saw them was a family visit to relatives living in Ft. Wayne, Indiana. This was probably in '49 or '50. The lack of fireflies in my hometown has changed, however. I spent the last two weeks in July visiting my sisters and their families. While there, in Ft. Atkinson, WI. , I was very excited to see fireflies once again. (We have no fireflies here in the Denver area.) I saw them both in the city (a town of about 10,000) and in a rural area. In both areas, it was what I would call dusk. It was getting dark, but not dark enough for me to get a time-exposure photograph. I waited for darker conditions, but by that time the fireflies were gone. Both rural/city sighting locations were on a grass lawn near (and away from) a house. I saw, perhaps, a dozen fireflies at each location. Good luck in your endeavors. Hope that the Houston firefly population increases. Send any extras up here.
August 6, 2000: A reader reports: I wish you luck in your hopes of bringing back the firefly to Houston. I was recently in West Virginia and so enjoyed the fireflies in the evening. The are enchanting to watch. I wish you well and commend you on your plan!
August 6, 2000: Heather M. Hand writes: I haven't seen many fireflies in my area until July 4th when I was sitting on my front porch watching fireworks in the distance. There was more than I have seen in a long time. I live on a one acre rural wooded area inCape May Court House, New Jersey. It is almost to the southern tip of the state. It is about 15 miles to the ocean and less than that to the Delaware Bay. I do not have any close neighbors. I don't have many butterflies and have many varieties of flowers to attract them. I see an occasional hummingbird. We do have mosquitos that get controlled by arrival spraying. We only seem to have them when it gets dark. I have a bat house to encourage them and think that cuts the population. A week ago we had an extraordinary amount of dragonflies which I do not recall having before.I find it interesting to find out why these things happen some years and not others. When I was a teenager, about 45 years ago, fireflies were in abundance.
August 6, 2000:A reader reports: We live in Leonia, New Jersey, which is two miles from the George Washington Bridge/Hudson River. It is a suburban town. Our neighborhood has many, many fireflies in the evening, in fact, I think there are more this year than we have seen in awhile. They started appearing in early June and are still going strong in August. Our town is a "Tree City USA" town, so we have many varieties of trees. In my yard and surrounding yards we have Choke Cherry Trees, American Elms, Red Maples, Sugar Maples, Apple Trees (Rome & Granny Smith), Pear Trees, Dogwoods & a Pin Oak. I have many flowering plants, a vegetable garden, butterfly garden, raspberry patch, perennial & annuals. We have had a cool summer, we haven't had a 90 degree day in the month of July. August started out very wet also.
August 6, 2000: A reader writes: I recently became aware of your interest in fireflies. I live in Fredonia, Wisconsin, a small town approximately 30 miles north of Milwaukee. Our 55 acre country home has a small creek running through the middle of it. Bordering the creek is wild vegetation, and adjacent to that is approximately 250 feet of a non-worked grassy field. I first noticed this year's lightning bug population appear, I would have to say the second week in June and have seen the last of them the early part on this week. There activity was noticed right at sundown and could still be observed just before dawn. Let me reassure you that there is definitely no shortage of these glowing bugs in my area. During my sightings I noted no less that several hundred of them lighting up the area at one time, this of course was during their peak population. I hope this information has helped, and please feel free to E-mail me if you would like more. Happy bug hunting.
August 7, 2000: Ann writes: I so enjoyed sitting out on my Cousin Rosella's veranda in Bluefield, West Virginia, of the evening with the magical glow of the fireflies sparkling and twinkling in the tall grasses! They are so enchanting to watch and gives one a feeling of magic in the air, of dancing fairies and dreams that really could come true. They evoke feelings of such fancifulness and I would give anything if they were here at McChord!
August 7, 2000: A reader writes: live in the bottem of a rural, wooded river valley in west central Iowa in Coon Rapids, Iowa . I believe the number of fireflies has been increasing here over the last several years. We have been working on recontructed diverse prairies, replacing improved brome grass pasture, which is my hypothesis on why the numbers are going up. We have never had ariel pesticide spraying here (though in the past there was ariel herbicide sprayed here). I have noticed that there are more fireflies in tall grasses than in cattle-grazed land. There are also more fireflies in the grasses than in the timber.
August 7, 2000: A reader writes: When we recently visited Columbia, Mo. we saw fireflies for the first time. There are a lot of them there. Good luck with resupplying Houston with the neat little critters.
August 7, 2000:A reader notes: Just read about your Website in the Sunday Daily News (Los Angeles, CA) on August 6th, 2000. Thought I would let you know that while visiting my aunt in Lafayette, Indiana, from July 7th through July 19th this past month, I observed many of the little guys in her back yard on the several nights I actually looked outside to see if there happened to be any flying around. Had I known there was someone wanting to know details of the sightings, I would have tried to be more scientific in my survey. The area of the several sighting was an unfenced back yard with a grass lawn where the blades had not been mown so short that it might be considered a "neatly manicured" lawn. There is a large tree in the neighbors' back yard but only chain link fencing around it, so the entire area is fairly open, though not highly lighted. The thermometer was generally in the middle to high eighties during the day, with some rain on about three nights during my stay. I considered it to be fairly humid--at least it was considerably more so than the humidity I had experienced before leaving my residence in So. California to make the trip to my home state. As I was born and raised in this town for some of my childhood years, I spent many evenings with jar and lid punched for air openings, catching "lightning bugs" and still have a certain fascination with being able to find them out and about at night. I plan to read your entire "log" and think your intentions are to be applauded, but unfortunately, I have no thoughts on how you might restore the flying light bulbs to your area. Good luck on your project!
August 7, 2000: A reader writes: I saw your site regarding fire flies while browsing, have you been able to locate a source for obtaining fire flies ? I live in Orlando, Florida, and have seen fire flies in Ocala, Florida, which is about 80 miles North West of Orlando, also while visiting a friend in Atlanta. We would love to try and populate the greater Orlando area. Thanks !
August 7, 2000: A reader notes: We live in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and see fireflies in and around where we live, mostly away from the inner part of the city where the lights are bright. On Sunday evening, August 6, 2000, while sitting in our daughter's back yard at 9:00 pm, there were many sparkles in the dark of the evening, which is always a pleasure. This area is suburban and has many trees and foliage. Our children always enjoyed catching them and putting them in jar to watch up close.
August 7, 2000: A reader writes: I live in Rochester, Mn and I love fireflies. After supper each night, my family and I go on firefly hunts. They are everywhere here! I live near the downtown of Rochester, MN, so I can't believe the light theory. The nights we see the most fireflies are the very warm, humid nights. The nearest water source to my home is a river eight blocks away. The temperature in the winter gets below zero, so I don't think the cold bothers them. I believe the butterfly gardens help a bit but not as much as people think. On one side of my house is a very large English garden, the other direction an alley. We find equally as many in both areas. Plus, at our cabin in Northern MN, where it is sandy soil and nothing really grows but Pines and Oaks - we see the most! In a book, my dad read that fireflies do not exist west of the Mississippi, but it didn't say why. I too am curious as to why. We catch our fireflies, put them in a jar and put the jar in warm water so they will light up more. We noticed that they did not light up very much when in captivity, until we did this (put them in water). We release them at the end of the hunt though since they will feed on each other if no other food is present. As for the fire ants, I am not sure what those are. We have red ants here, but they are smaller than black ants. Good luck with your findings. Hopefully you too can go for hunts with your family.
August 7, 2000: A reader notes: Fireflies have made a significant comeback to Byron, MN. I have seen them in my backyard since 1997. It's a rare night, except for heavy rain, that you can't see numerous little flashes flitting from yard to yard. I remember them from my childhood when you could brush a bush and a cloud of fireflies would light up around you. I'm sure our decreasing use of pesticides has made a difference. I also now see redwing blackbirds again and they were absent for quite a while. My next exciting sighting will hopefully be a bluebird.
August 7, 2000: A reader writes: I just returned from a week's visit with my daughter who lives in Watertown, Wisconsin. I was just like a kid when I saw the many, many fireflies in her area. They were in the backyard, over the lush grass, around the many beautiful flowers, and thick over all the soybean fields. They are out only about an hour each evening, and even after a day's rain, and kind of on the cool side, they were still out lighting up!!! I wish we could have them in COLORADO but think it's way too hot and dry here for them. I was so excited about them, I went inside and went to search about fireflies and that is how I ran across your web page. Another bonus is you have CHEROKEE info which I have been researching. So thanks for both!
August 7, 2000: A reader writes: Spring Valley, MN. Plenty of fireflies nightly - we live in a rural area, with no other houses for about 1.5 miles. The fireflies seem to like a wild grassy habitat, which is where we see them more than over the yard or near the house. We don't spray, cut or fertilize these tall pasture areas. We see them more where it is darker (away from the yard light), but whether that indicates firefly preference or just showing up better is hard to tell. We used to live in Indiana, where there were lots of fireflies. Here there are fewer, but interestingly, they are much harder to catch than the Hoosier fireflies! They are faster and don't seem to flash quite as often, making it hard to track them.
August 7, 2000: A reader notes: I live in Sturtevant, Wisconsin, and as I sit here I can look out my window and see a lot of fireflies all over the place. The weather here has been pretty hot & humid. That seems to be when I see fireflies the most. I could go outside with a canning jar and probably catch 25 or more in a very short time. I have been reading your message board and find it very hard to believe that there are people who have never seen fireflies. I guess I didn't realize they aren't as widespread as I thought. We also call them lighting bugs. I have been hearing that ever since I was a kid.
August 8, 2000: A reader writes: I couldn't believe it when I saw a website for fireflies. I wanted to share my "firefly" story with you. I tell my new friends that fireflies saved my life. I lived in Southern Calif all my life and hated it for the last 10 years I lived there. In 1991 I was divorced after 21 years. My daughter was grown and had a child of her own. I went through a depression that ended with a trip to the emergency room. Soon after that my best friend invited me to go with her and some of our friends to Cedar Rapids to bowl. We were driving and since I had never driven any further than Las Vegas, I said ok.
I was still very weak so I slept in the back of the van. After one session of bowling (I didn't bowl), we went to the house of a cousin of one of my friends. It was a very warm evening and all the kids in the neighborhood was running around playing. One of them ran up to me with a jar filled with fireflies. She told me what they were and I just stared in amazement. All I could think was, "wow, there really are fireflies". I thought fireflies were something that Walt Disney thought up and put in his Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland. And with that I decided that if this was out "there", what else was I missing? My life took a big turn. I went back to California, quit my job, took an early retirement, signed divorce papers and moved to Missouri. I only stayed a month. I didn't want to be that far away from my new grandson, so I moved to Vegas. There weren't any fireflies but there was a new life for me. Since then I have moved to Maine and am now living in Southern New Jersey with my new husband. Everything is wonderful and I often sit outside the house in the dark, warm evenings watching my firefly friends. I think about where I would be today if I had never seen a firefly. I like where I am and am very grateful for the firefly. Life is worth living and that is what I intend to do as long as I can.
I hope you are able to get the fireflies back to Houston. You can't have any of mine. Thank you for this website and others I can visit for more information. I will visit often.

August 8, 2000: A reader writes: I live in East Troy, Wisconsin, located southwest of Milwaukee about 35 miles. I have noticed the fireflies this year in our area to be extraordinarily obvious. I cannot honestly state that at this time last year I had even a mental note of seeing any though I'm sure I did see them, but this year, wow! I see kids out chasing them, and catching them, and I see fireflies by the hundreds and all different sizes. Just seems like they are everywhere in mass quantity.
August 8, 2000: A reader writes: I live in the sandhills of North Carolina, Seven Lakes, North Carolina, (Moore County) to be exact. Here the air is clean, and there does not seem to be any large fire ant populations, although we do have them in certain areas of the county. I have seen the little beetles mainly in the evening hours in the fall and winter months. I still marvel at these wonderful insects and am glad that they have survived here in rural N.C. I think part of the reason that fire flies do survive here is related to zero insecticide spraying in the community and clean air quality. I wish you well in your endeavor to get the little beetles back to Texas.
August 8, 2000: A reader notes: First time on your web site, like to let you know that we have a lot of fireflies around here in the North West Side of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. We live in a condo and have a lot of green around here. There are some street lights. Every night while I'm walking my dog there are plenty of flies over the grassy area.
September 7, 2000: Ginger Wood reports: In answer to your request for firefly sightings, I had to put my two cents in. We just recently bought 4 acres of land in a rural community called Ranchland, Texas, located between Lumberton and Kountze, Texas. Having arrived there recently to speculate on the location for our new home, we were, not surprisingly, there until nightfall. Imagine our delight when the night fell and the woods began to ignite with the miniature torches offered by the"fireflies," as we grew up calling them. Spellbound, having all but wiped them from our memory, we dallied, recalling past memories and anticipating introducing our grandchildren to this rare find. It was July 2000, toward the end of an unusually hot day and dry, as there had been no rain for weeks. There was lots of underbrush because the acreage had been only half cleared. We intend to designate certain areas to, hopefully, accommodate their taste and will keep you posted. Good luck with you mission to insure their protection from extinction.
September 7, 2000: A reader notes: We live just outside New Hope, Texas, about 5 miles NE of McKinney, which is some 30 miles north of Dallas. Our mostly grassy property has a creek on two sides of it, which is bordered by lots of trees with tall grass and bushes. Until our neighbor two houses down put up a huge mercury-vapor streetlight (the kind used to illuminate roads), we used to have breathtaking displays on humid, moonless nights. I'd say there were at least a million bugs. Now, about 2 years later, there might be about a thousand. I cried and cried when the streetlight went up, because my daughter was then too young to remember the spectacular displays. We still have fun with the bugs, but it's not the same.
September 8, 2000: A reader reports: We were visiting my sister-in-law and her family in Jefferson, Maryland, the week of July 4. They had several hundred fireflies in their yard every night. The yard consists of lawn / open grass and low plants extends down to a sometimes creek, where there is a wood. While we were there, we read something that, as I remember, indicates that female fireflies stay low in the grass, the males fly higher around the trees looking for the females. I don't remember the source. We lived near Reston, Virginia, for several years . We saw lots of Fireflies there. We now live in Seattle, but we miss the fireflies. I have never seen one out here.
September 8, 2000: A reader notes: I spotted small numbers of fireflies in thick damp woods near a bordering pasture on my farm in Telephone, Texas.. It was exciting yet their numbers were disappointing. This isolated farm is in Fannin county, one mile from the Red River. Damp, deep woods interspersed with pasture land are abundant. This seems to be the perfect habitat yet the firefly population seems low. Do note that this land is heavily infested with fire ants(I guess I am stung 100 times per summer). Also, I do not have information on their population, in this area, from years past. I do note that in Tarrant county, Tx., populations have significantly decreased since the mid 1970's. I have a home in old urban Ft. Worth, Texas, and small numbers of fireflies persist in my neighborhood. I believe they find habitat in a woodsy bluff with the Trinity river a few hundred yards away. Also, note that in this micro, micro area of Tarrant, co., there is little to no fire ant population. God Bless the natural world
September 9, 2000: Jim Kelly reports: We recently moved from an area where fireflies appeared each spring. For about 3 to 4 weeks, usually in March, we would have a very large amount in our yard. There were so many we considered it somewhat spectacular and many visitors to our home would comment on them. We saw them every year during our residence there from 1989 to 1999. The location was Orange City, Florida, in Southwest Volusia County. The area is within 100 miles of the Ocala forest. It is a rural location. An area of thick brush and few houses. All 21 blocks of the neighborhood were on dirt roads. Turkey oaks were the predominate tree type and their large leaves covered the ground. In fact I would weed eat the wooded areas surrounding our yard to keep the green vegetation down and leave the leaves on the ground to form a mat of mulch. Based on the information I have read on your site, I would guess this provided a good habitat for the fireflies. In the ten years we lived there I can only remember the county spraying for mosquitos a few times. I hope this information helps.
September 9, 2000: Al Leschnitzer writes: I live in Nocona Hills, Texas. Nocona is about 8-9 miles from the Red River as the Firefly flys. I also noticed the decline of Fireflies here in the past 5 years or so. It is very,very dark at night here. We have Lake Nocona and a smaller lake . Well, still very few Glowworms. However on Long Island, N.Y. with all the Lights, all the spreying,etc.etc. there are millions of Fireflies. I hope this EMail will help you some.
September 9, 2000: Bob & Rosalind Ray report: We observed fireflies in our backyard, on September 8, 2000 in Burleson, Texas. We saw several after dark about 8:00 p.m.. We have quite a bit of landscaping, crape myrtles, geraniums, hibiscus, zenanas, yaupon holly, hummingbird plants and nandina. All of our beds are bordered with monkey grass. We use only organic fertilizer and no pesticides.
September 11, 2000: Susan Milliner notes: I loved your website. We moved in June of 1999 to Cedar Park, Texas, north border of Austin, Texas, and last May we saw several fireflies in our yard. Not as many as we used to have in St.Louis in the 40's but it was fun seeing them. I hope you are still taking "sitings". I plan to share your information with my grandchildren.
September 13, 2000: A reader reports: Saw the article in the Texas Coop Magazine and was very interested. My husband and I have been very disappointed that in the 5 years we have been on our small ranch (40 miles south of Dallas) we have never seen a firefly. We are well outside of the city lights and have never used insecticide on the pasture. We do have some fire ants but not an overwhelming infestation. We have not seen fireflies anywhere in the Dallas area or we would go out and catch them and try transplanting them to the farm. My husband assures me that there were fireflies in the Dallas area through the 70's. Like you, we would be glad to turn some part of our 50 acres into firefly habitat if we knew how to do it.
September 14, 2000: A reader notes: Just this week learned of your firefly search through an article in the Wichita Falls newspaper --Times Record News. A few weeks ago I saw a few fireflies in our back yard in Wichita Falls, for the first time since we moved here a year ago. It was a thrill to see them and brought back memories of catching them as a child in Michigan. Our yard is parched grass due to the drought and water rationing. Temperature was about 100. We moved to W.F. from near Fairbanks, Alaska last May(99) and I never saw any fireflies while living up there. When we lived in Rantoul, Illinois, and our children were very young our then 3 year old son called fireflies "blinkin ' bees" The name has stuck and we all still use his term.
September 17, 2000: A reader reports: We have a ranch with a live creek running through it in Dickens Co., Texas, near Spur, Texas. We have the ability to extinguish all lights - normally for star-gazing. One of the great joys we have is watching fireflies - of which there are a vast multitude. Our house is high in a bank overlooking the creek. From the upstairs window, we can look for a long ways down the creek. The view rivals any show of Christmas lights. It is an unbelievable sight. They rarely come up to where the house is, which clearly indicates a preference for water and/or damp. Vegetation is primarily bermuda grass, cattails, and a reedy marsh grass. Trees are cottonwood, willow, hackberry, tamarisk, and mesquite. One of the above plants must be important to food or habitat. Extremely hot, droughty, conditions, such as the summer we are just completing, do diminish their numbers. We also regularly visit the Frio river near Leaky, Texas each July 4th weekend. There are multitudes of fireflies there. Vegetation is about the same as here with the addition of St. Augustine grass, in which I frequently observe fireflies lighting. It would occur to me that the Houston area has all the requirements for fireflies. When I last visited my daughter in Sugarland, I observed that the mosquito problem was not what it used to be when I was younger. She observed that people fight them vigorously with insecticides. My personal guess would have to do with insecticides. Unknown: What about predators. You did not mention that on your web site. A definite possibility. Good luck. I will follow progress with interest.
September 18, 2000: A reader writes: I have seen fireflies here in Austin, Texas, as recently as last summer. There were maybe 30 or 40 of them in the front yard. But last summer in Johnson City, TN we saw thousands!
September 19, 2000: A reader notes: In the midwest, near the Illinois/Wisconsin border, area fireflies abound at night over, in and around cornfields.
September 24, 2000: A reader writes: I came upon your site as I was browsing for hummingbird info. We live about three miles west of Huntsville, Texas, on a 1+ acre in a small unincorporated subdivision. We moved here from Houston, Texas about two years ago where I'd never seen a firefly. We see them here in Huntsville for about 6 weeks during May and June. We have many during that period but I've never noted temps or other conditions. We do have many trees on the property, post oak, hickory, mulberry, pine, sweet gum, and a variety of fruit trees which we planted since we've been here so they wouldn't affect the existence of the firefly. We do have fireants which my husband attempts to contain. We have planted butterfly gardens but I haven't noticed the fireflies near the gardens, they are in the yard and trees. We had no grass when we moved here as the previous owners had it fenced and let horses graze at will. I don't know which,or if any of these situations would contribute to the existence of the fireflies. As a child in east/central Minnesota, I remember catching them in mason jars and smearing them on our foreheads, running and playing 'monster' as they glowed on our face!
September 25, 2000: Reece Grinnell notes: I live about 5 miles in the country outside of Leander, Texas, north of Austin. I get lots of fireflies. I have lived on this 11 acres for over 10 years and have had continuous fireflies.
September 29, 2000: A reader recalls: 73 years ago, when I was five, I visited Japan with my parents. There were many fireflies out in the country, along a small creek. We swung a broom through them to catch them and put them in a small screened cage. There were enough to light our way in the dark. I remember thinking that they were hot in my palm. Then in 1976 my sister and I visited Japan. I didn't see even one! Saw just a few in Amazon forest in the early 1980's.
October 2, 2000: Diane Lee recalls: I saw your article in the TX. Co-op magazine, and was hoping that after I read it that it would help my husband and myself find a way to bring back the fireflies, but after reading it, it seem that you and a lot of other folks are in the same boat. WHERE HAVE THEY GONE?? My husband and I now live in Schulenburg, Texas, on a ranch that has been in the family for over 25 years. I can remember seeing thousands of these fascinating little critters, and now in the last 5 years they are all most gone. This year I'm sad to report that we have seen only 1 or 2. We don't spray for mosquito, and neither do any of our neighbors, but we do have a lot of fire ants, and if wishes were to come true I would wish for it to be the other way around.(NO FIRE ANTS, AND MILLIONS OF FIREFLIES!!) It is a really sad thought that the next generation may miss out of these lovely critters.
October 4, 2000: A reader writes: In the late fifties/early sixties, I was growing up in a rural area outside Miami, Florida. When twilight arrived we used to turn off all the television and all the lights in the house, then sit in front of the plate glass windows overlooking some undeveloped land. Soon we would see the first firefly. That sighting was quickly followed by many more fireflies. They were easy to catch, but we always let them go. Those were wonderful evenings. Now I leave in Roswell, Georgia, which is just north of Atlanta. In the last few years I have seen only a few fireflies. I really miss them. I was searching to find a way to attract fireflies to our backyard. We have a butterfly bush that really works wonders in attracting butterflies. If you ever discover a source raising or attracting fireflies, just let me know...I'd love to try to encourage them to live in our neighborhood. Sounds like others are looking for a source too...maybe this is a good business opportunity for someone!
October 5, 2000: Eddie Burkhalter notes: Thanks for your web page and e-mail address! I got them from the Texas Co-op Power magazine. I live in Gillespie County, 12 miles east of Fredericksburg. I had hoped when moving back to Texas from the Seattle area that I would relish in the firefly displays of my youth! Not so! I haven't seen a one of them here! My son has a few in his back yard in Austin, Texas. My mother, who was an untrained naturalist of sorts (simply because she was an astute observer of nature) claimed that mowed grass and trimmed landscape eliminated the cover necessary. Using "native plantings" would help. She also claimed that the use of fertilizer and herbicides would reduce if not eliminate fireflies. Well, that makes sense to me. I have no concrete basis for her theories. Out here, this 60 acres we bought and moved onto last November has been used as a working farm since the middle of the 1800s. (We even have a cabin built in 1849!) The previous owner mowed everything that wasn't plowed. That is, he mowed from the field, around the house and outbuildings, down the flood plain where the huge pecan and live oak trees are and right to the creek bank. Only the vegetation on the steep creek bank remained. It seems reasonable that with that much mowing, there wasn't habitat no matter what was planted in the fields. (Peaches, mostly). We are organic farmers just getting started and trying to build up depleted soil. Also, we've quit mowing most of the "flood plane" area. We will mow under the pecan trees at harvest time, however. Because of this dreadful drought, our creek with its natural springs and 200 year old cypress trees has completely dried up. (Hope the trees can stand the stress!) The water table is that low. Obviously, we haven't watered anything except a small patch of lawn for the grand babies' bare feet and the garden area. Everything around here has had to cope on its own. Does that drive the fireflies away or kill them? I don't know. We have fire ants around here, if that is a factor. There is a wonderful butterfly farm in Fredericksburg, and I shall visit that owner some time and get advice on plantings to attract butterflies. Maybe that will work, also, for the fireflies. I miss those fireflies terribly! And since my two sons grew up in Suburbia, USA, with fertilizer, mosquito spray trucks, trimmed boxwood neighbors and mowed St. Augustine grass, my sons don't have childhood memories of fireflies. But I'd surely like for those grand babies to learn how to catch them and keep them in a fruit jar till bedtime, etc.


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.
April 19, 1999: A reader notes: I live in an older section of Dallas, Texas, called the M Streets. I've seen fireflies quite frequently around my house - too many times to count. Perhaps it's because I'm a 100% organic gardener.
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.
April 22, 1999: A reader notes: Regarding it being too hot and humid in Houston... Our kids were outside catching fireflies last night, and afterwards we looked up info on the net about them ( and ran across your site). We live in Carrizo Springs on a ranch where we see them every spring (I believe). It's much hotter here, though perhaps not quite as humid as where you are.
April 22, 1999: A reader writes: We saw our first sighting of the year last Thursday night - April 22nd. Only saw one firefly and he was flying around our back porch. He even alighted on the patio window while flashing intermittently. We live on Medina Lake in Haby's Cove (which is northwest of San Antonio, Texas) and our property is waterfront. We do not use pesticides of any kind in our garden or landscape. It's planted with vegetables and native Texas plants. We feed the birds, attract the butterflies and hummingbirds and do see a lot of fireflies, usually from mid to late April through June or July. We do not see them in the hottest months of the year. They usually appear as soon as full darkness has set and put on a wonderful show for 30 mins to one hour.
April 26, 1999: A reader writes: We live in Lakehills, Texas. Tonight we saw the most fireflies we've seen since last year! They started about 8:30 and lasted until around 9:30p.m. We had about an inch and a half of rain this morning and the temperature when we saw the fireflies was 70 degrees. Their range was from about 100 feet from the house to about 20 feet from the house. At their most active, which is usually when we first notice them, they absolutely light up our 50 by l00 feet back yard and extend into the area right outside the back fence (by the lake). It was a good night for the fireflies!
April 27, 1999: A reader reports: We saw a lone firefly flying slowly around our patio this evening; we wondered where the rest of the fireflies were. This is the first time we've seen one in Sugar Land, Texas (we've been here 10 years). The one firefly spent a good bit of time flying around the patio and then on out to the rose garden. We wondered if the many flowers had attracted him (gardenias, roses, impatiens, marigolds, verbena, hibiscus, kalanchoe, alyssum, petunias, snapdragons). We have more butterflies this year, but were so pleased to see the elusive firefly (lightning bug to those of us raised in the Southeast).
April 28, 1999: A reader reports: I live outside Katy, Texas, and saw for the first time in many years two fireflies on our property two weeks ago. We were so excited! We are very much interested in having a "comeback" made by the fireflies.
April 29, 1999: A reader notes: We live in the hill country (outside of Bandera, Texas) and have A LOT of fireflies! Just tonight my 7 yr old daughter came to the back door with fireflies all over her shirt. She had caught them in no time and put them on her clothing so she could light up. :) The fireflies are so pretty in the evening.
April 30, 1999: A long time reader reports: We are an "old sight", since we have reported before but my granddaughter is here tonight so she wants to report our sighting tonight. We live in Lakehills, Texas (nine miles from Pipe Creek and twenty two miles to Bandera). We live on property fronting on Medina Lake. At about 8:45 my granddaughter had the first sighting of fireflies. She said there were a lot and it was still not completely dark. Once the darkness fell, a blanket of fireflies seemed to cover the backyard. They stayed around for about an hour. The temperature was about 80 degrees. The climate has been very humid for the last several days and we expect rain over the next three days. My granddaughter lives in San Antonio where they never see fireflies, so this is an exiting occurrence for her. Wish we could transport a few to Houston, so you could enjoy the show!
May 1, 1999: Mamalinda writes: Magnolia Manor, Mamalinda's repose for the past 22 years, is located in an older part of Dallas, Texas, in the eastern segment, called Buckner Terrace. Magnolia Manor always has a healthy display of fireflies, indeed, Mamalinda has spotted them on several occasions in the past week, usually within a half hour to an hour after sunset. Besides a lovely old magnolia tree, and a nice show of impatiens, there is also a deep purple butterfly bush (buddelia), lantana, crape myrtles, and something called a mexican petunia that is always encroaching upon something.
May 3, 1999: A reader reports: On May 3rd we saw fireflies in Bristol, Florida. We were walking along a dirt road with heavy bushes and some trees on both sides and they were everywhere! Tons of them. It looked like Christmas lights. It has been very cool and not too humid. It was just about 9pm, almost completely dark, but with just a little bit of light left in the sky. We noticed them in this spot last year, but I was not sure about the time of year.
May 25, 1999: A reader sends: We saw One firefly here in the forested part of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. I have lived here for thirteen years and have never seen one before tonight. It was about 11 pm and it flew around our yard. Just one. We also have had a fire going on in the Everglades this week and I wonder if it drove it to us by way of wind or if it was just forced out into the suburbs of South Florida.
May 28, 1999: A reader notes: Found your website during a search for information on hummingbird bush! Anyway - just wanted to let you know that fireflies are alive and well in Dallas, Texas.. I live in a suburb about 17 miles from downtown. It is an old neighborhood (1910's-30's) and has large lots, large trees and lots of greenery - big shrubs and bushes..Anyway - the fireflies have been out for about 2 weeks. I would say that there were moderate numbers..maybe around 20-30 flying around my backyard around dusk..Not sure what attracts them - at our old house only 2 blocks away we rarely saw any.
May 29, 1999: A reader reports: The last several nights I have been sitting in the back yard of our apartment complex and noticed one flashing each night. We live in Charlotte, North Carolina. The first time I saw it, I was reminded of seeing lightning bugs as a child in the park during summer in Winthrop, Mass. We had a lot of them at that time and I was maybe 4 years old, possibly 5. I am now 48. From Mass. we moved to Miami Beach, Florida where I lived until I moved to North Carolina about 2 months ago. I never saw any lightning bugs in Florida. When I saw this single lightning bug, it really made me remember a very happy time in my life with my wonderful Grandmother who would take me to The Commons where they had band music at night and all these lightning bugs flying around! The dates I saw this single lightning bug were May 28 and 29th, 1999. The backyard is just like a meadow of green grass with a lot of flowering weeds and I had recently put flower pots on the porch steps-marigolds, etc., and planted Sunflower seeds. I also feed the wild birds such as bluejays, cardinals , finches and leave seeds and water for the birds on the porch steps. We had the porch light on and the weather was just beautiful-slightly cool with a light breeze. There are also two huge Poplar (?) trees in this meadow, one at each end. There are a lot of different species of ants, red ones and black ones and brown spiders and black creepy crawling bugs with a lot of legs on them. The buildings are red brick and we live off of a major street with a lot of traffic whizzing by (North Sharon Amity). It doesn't get dark here now until late like about 9 pm.
Late May, 1999: A reader writes: We recently moved from Houston to Birmingham, Alabama and one evening in late May, I noticed fireflies rising from the grass near a shallow ravine just behind my patio. There were not many of them, just a burst of light here and there. The ravine is thick with trees and underbrush. I have not ventured out to other neighborhoods in the evening, so I don't know if the fireflies are widespread. I'm content to have a glass of wine and watch my very own "personal" display into the night.
June 4, 1999: Eve writes: Hi, from Charlotte, North Carolina. We now have about 6 fireflies flashing each night right after sunset. The dates are June 3rd and 4th. They fly around and flash for maybe 6 minutes and then they are gone. They are coming out now a little earlier than my first siting of this singular one who appeared when it was pitch dark. The six of them appear about 8:30 pm when it is still a little light out. They are very luminescent with bright green flashes. Still waxing nostalgic.
June 5, 1999: A reader notes: I am a poet in residence at Yaddo artists colony in Saratoga Springs, New York. I saw fireflies last night in the garden.
June 8, 1999: A reader reports: Last night we were at a rest area along Interstate 65, 40 miles south of Birmingham, Alabama. It was about 7:30 pm when we noticed a multitude of fireflies in dance. The weather was warm and clear. There was a lot of trees and shrubs along the walkways and also around the picnic tables. As we were eating, the fireflies would come up to us and fly around as if to say "watch us dance". The flies had both yellow and green lights. The overhead lamps had not come on so the only light came from the dusk. It was truly a beautiful sight.
June 8, 1999: A reader reports: I read with interest your notes on fireflies.I live on a ravine in Toronto, Canada, and each year ( this is my second year now) I have these magical little insects flitting in my backyard. I love them and wanted to know how to continue to attract and maintain them in the garden. Your information was insightful.Happy firefly watching.
June 8, 1999: A reader reports: My children and I spotted the fireflies on June 8th. We live in Bellevue, Nebraska, about 15 minutes outside of Omaha. There are not as many as I remember seeing when I was a little girl at my grandma's in Alabama. We would catch entire jar fulls when I was small, keep them on our bedside table and release them in the morning. Here you can spot 5-10 at a time. Along the banks of ditches and underneath large trees seem to be their favorite spots, with the ditches and trees near the water their favorites. Thanks.

June 9, 1999: A reader reports: We saw our first fireflies June 9, 1999. We saw approximately 5 or 6 - hard to say - but it was definitely a beautiful sight. It was just after it became dark, about 9:00 pm in Oxford, CT. Very much reminded me of Tinkerbell - they were brilliant in light and the brightest that I can ever remember! We are looking forward to seeing many more once the temperature becomes warmer. We moved from the city to the country in January of this year.
June 9, 1999: A teacher writes: I am a public school teacher in Weatherford, Texas, just west of Fort Worth. I live 18 miles northwest of Fort Worth, Texas.. Having grown up with fireflies in the Valley, I had decided they were indeed permanently gone after living in the city and suburban areas for years--yet after I moved to rural parts of Parker County, I have begun to see butterflies and fireflies again! I have left my two acres wild so that all sorts of cratures can have a habitat, however small. I have rabbits that feed a few feet from my door--even with my dogs and cats around--there are wild turkey not far away--I saw 3 last year and 1 in the same area yesterday; I have roadrunners and, although only a few, fireflies. I did not put up a security light because I wanted to be able to see the stars--and I have had a great time with comets, meteors, and other phenomenon while just standing outside. While watching TV with the door open, I saw flashes that looked liked fireflies--lo and behold--it was a group of 3-4. This was after week-old heavy rains, and with 90 plus heat and high humidity. The area is extremely wooded, but most of the 2-5 acre lots are mowed and have the large security lights that make some areas as bright as the city. In the area where I have seen then fireflies it is naturally dark, wooded, and likely has standing rain water in places. I have only seen them this year in the last week or two.
June 10, 1999A reader writes: In June of 1999 we were in the Chianti region of Italy staying at a villa. During the visit we noticed hundreds of fireflies! They were wonderful to watch. The specific areas where we saw the fireflies were in the lawn, vegetable garden, and vineyards of the villa. The villa was completely surrounded by vineyards and olive orchards. I used to have lots of fireflies in my yard on the lake but very few this year. I certainly would like to know more about attracting them. I sure do miss them. If you find out anymore about them let me know and I will do the same.
June 11, 1999: A reader notes: I live about 33 miles north of Detroit, just outside of the town of Romeo, Michigan. On June 11th my husband and I were at a friend's house about 18 miles north-east of here, just south of Capac, for a BBQ. When it got dark the children started to catch fireflies in the yard. She told me of a field not far from her house where thousands of fireflies are, so when we left to go home we went by this field. I was amazed to say the least. I've seen fireflies in Michigan before, but there were 10's of thousands of them in a field of about 10 to 15 acres. During the day the field is nothing more then tall grass and my friend says the fireflies are like this every year. It was nothing but blinking lights everywhere. Thank-you for the interesting material about the firefly.
June 11, 1999: A reader writes: This evening I found one firefly here in Saginaw, Michigan. My mother said she rarely sees fireflies in Michigan. She grew up in Austin, Texas and use to see them all the time. This was the first time I ever saw one. It was hot outside about 88 degrees. The mosquito sprayers have not been out and the firefly was spotted near some flowers that had just been planted a week ago. We decided to look for information regarding fireflies and found your Web page. Thanks!
June 12, 1999: A reader reports: For the past few nights my husband and I have noticed fireflies for the first time in the five years that we have lived here in Lampasas, Texas . I am originally from West Virginia and as a child used to catch them in a mayonnaise jar. We are in the same situation as you and would like to populate our property with them as we have with ladybugs and praying mantis. We have had a lot of rain so far this year with hot/humid days(90 degrees, 80% humidity) and cool evenings(70's). We have also in the last few years completed many improvements here; removing cedar, planting roses and different types of lilies. We are installing a pond. Because I developed an allergy to pesticides we haven't been able to spray or treat our property this year. We love sitting outside watching the fireflies fly about and I wish that they were as abundant as I remember from my childhood. I see fire ants eating grubs and other soil born insects. Could they also be eating the firefly larvae? Since Texas is infested with fire ants it could be the reason for the drop in numbers. If you treat the ants are you inadvertently killing the firefly larvae? If you hear anything please contact us. We'll keep you posted on our newest insect additions.
June 12, 1999: A reader notes: Here in Fairfax County, Virginia, we have lots of fireflies!! I saw the first ones this season on May 28, 1999, and each night there are more out. I have lived in upstate New York, coastal Connecticut, urban Rhode Island, and Northern California before living here. Of all those places, there is nowhere like northern Virginia for fireflies. Within a couple of weeks, we'll be able to look in our back yard at night and see the trees lit up with so many fireflies that they'll look like Christmas trees! It is truly a magnificent sight. If you miss seeing fireflies, visit the Washington, DC suburbs in June any year.
June 13, 1999: A reader reports: Just a note to let you know that where I live, Fredericksburg, Ohio, fireflies are plentiful. As a matter of fact the Amish children collect them to raise money to buy trampolines to play on. I am not sure where they send them, but I understand the fireflies are used for medical purposes.
June 13, 1999: A reader notes: We moved to Jeffersonville, New York, on February 1, 1999. We came from Montana. As spring began to progress here, we heard that fireflies come out in July. I was elated to know that such creatures were in the state because as a very small child I had read a story about fireflies and have always wanted to see them. Three nights ago, on a very warm evening, a friend and I were sitting by a stream and looking at the stars twinkle. As my eyes scanned the clear skies from horizon to horizon, it suddenly dawned on me that the 'stars' were twinkling in the bushes as well. My friend giggled at me and said, 'those are fireflies'. It was a wonderful, magical, awesome sight! Last night I took my two young daughters outside, and meaning to give them a special surprise told them, "you have to see something." They were thrilled and guessed immediately what I wanted to show them. They caught three fireflies and we took them indoors to examine them. By morning, there was only one living firefly and the remains of another. Seems as though the female eats the male????
I've just finished reading of your desire to re-introduce these wonderful bugs to the Houston area, and your a query for information (as I searched for the same via the Internet to learn more about them...)
I can tell you that there are masses of them here in our area. The state is vegetated with lush undergrowth and thick groves of numerous types of trees. It is extremely humid, although the temperatures may not reach as high as in Houston. Of course, winter here is cold, long, and snowy.
I did notice on a drive in the country last evening, that as we neared town, the numbers of fireflies seemed to decrease dramatically. It appeared as though they like to be the center of attention without the distraction of imitation lighting!
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!
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.
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 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 16, 1999: A reader notes: I am originally from Texas and we use to catch fireflies in the country but never in the lighted cities. They seem to like being near water so you find them at the river's edge, especially where there are groves of trees. I remember catching them when we were staying at a cabin at the river in New Braunsfels, Texas, in late July. We just went to view hundreds of fireflies near Kamakura, Japan. There is a park on top of a mountain with paved walkways and people all walk through it in the dark and stop to admire the fireflies flashing among the pines against the mountain. It is really something to see. They are like little fairies some moving slowly and some zooming across but very much like living moving Christmas lights. We seem to have a larger variety over here too. Another thing I notice is that the Japanese do not catch the fireflies and put them in jars. They tend to leave them to fly around and don't chase them. Their children are encouraged to catch one and everyone watches it flash as it crawls around and then they let it go. I have never walked around in the dark with a bunch of strangers before and that in itself was an experience but then Japan is one of the safest countries in the world.
June 19, 1999:A reader writes: I live in East Central Illinois, and have enjoyed the luminous displays of these little creatures ever since I was a little girl. I remember fondly going out with my sisters on warm summer evenings with our special "houses" that we fashioned out of old Ball glass canning jars and netting, catching multitudes of "lighting bugs" (as we called them in our neck of the woods), then using them as night lights for the night; in the morning we would release them and repeat the whole process the next chance we got. As the years have gone by, I have noticed a decline, albeit slight, in the numbers of fireflies in this section of the state. Some years seem to be more fruitful in terms of their population than others, though, especially if we have a sultry spring season. The concentration of fireflies appears to be greatest in the tall grasses bordering the edge of woodsy areas, as is the case by our home. We generally notice the first twinklings towards the end of May in this region, and they usually stick around well into September here, although their numbers are greatly reduced by then. As far as the length of time they are active during the evening, I usually notice that they start taking flight just before twilight gets underway, and although I usually don't stay out all night paying much mind to what the creatures of the night are up to, one evening recently I came home at dawn (5AM or so) from babysitting at my sister's house all night, and noticed that a few straggler fireflies were still out doing their thing! I found your site to be quite interesting, and I hope that this bit of information will be of some use to you.
June 20, 1999:A reader writes: Last fall we moved from Dallas, TX to High Ridge, MO ( about 15 miles west of St. Louis in the hills) This spring and early summer we have been delighted with the fireflies in this area. I grew up in Ft. Worth and remember the fireflies there, but it has been a long time since I've seen them. We spent 8 years in Corpus Christi, 8 in San Antonio, and 6 in Dallas and I don't remember seeing any there during this time. I wonder if part of the disappearance is due the fire ants since they lay their eggs and spend the winter in the ground. Missouri is not yet "blessed" with fire ants and all the nature I grew up with still exist here. I know my dad in Ft. Worth blamed the fire ants for killing of the red ants and horned toads around his house. Hope you do find away to get them to return to Houston because them are a pleasure to watch and do bring back childhood memories.
June 21, 1999: A reader reports: Fireflies are blinking and lighting up our yard every night. They start at dusk and continue on long after dark. We live in suburban St. Louis, Missouri, on approximately an acre of ground. Lots of trees on the property - we have at least 100 maybe more. Too many to count for us. The yard looks likes sparkling diamonds glittering at you. Its really quite pretty. About 1/2 mile away where we used to live we rarely saw fireflies at all. Must be the darkness, trees etc. This is our first spring here in this location and it seems that we have seen them most often the last week or so. As a result we are learning more about them. They are interesting to read about.
June 22, 1999: A reader notes: As I was sitting in my yard enjoying watching the fireflies emerge, I wondered what they eat. I'm not sure I know yet, but I enjoyed your page on fireflies. Now, I am not an expert firefly watcher, (in fact I'm not sure I've even given it a lot of thought since I was a kid (which was SEVERAL years ago), but it seems to me that there are more than usual this year. By the way, this is Mexico, Missouri, not the country.
June 23, 1999: A reader reports: We live in Kansas City. Fireflies are many this time of year, I noticed the other day it was like strobes sitting out on our front porch. Not many of my neighbors are chemically oriented and the humidity has been somewhat high.
June 23, 1999:Ursel Jones writes: I live in Evanston, Illinois, and we have the most awesome display of fireflies every night. We just moved her from San Diego and I had never seen fireflies until this last week. They are so incredible and we have hundreds of them. It's like watching Christmas lights go on one at a time in the bushes. What a great phenomenon they are.
June 24, 1999:A reader notes: I wish I could help you as much as you have helped me in my search for information about fireflies (we prefer to call the lightning bugs up here). I am in the Philadelphia suburbs and they have just started blinking in my back yard. I wish I could send you some! My son, age 6, and I were trying to figure out where they were before they magically appear and where they go. Your clear concise information cleared up that mystery for us. I'm thinking you missed your calling as an entomologist! Thanks for a great site.
June 24, 1999: A reader notes: I was in Newburg, WI from June 17-20 and saw almost 20 of these luminescent beings each night at twilight. What feelings of innocence and love they stir in my heart. They flirted with each other above the pond and between the trees. Just Heavenly!
June 24, 1999: Will Jenkins reports: I enjoyed your firefly site. I live in metropolitan Charlotte, North Carolina. Regarding the absence of fireflies in Houston, I can only offer that it's probably not caused by too much ambient light at night. I live not far from "uptown" which has a lot of flashy bank buildings that are eternally lit for all to see. If the sky is overcast, there's a uniform glow to the sky from all the reflected city light. I just bought a 40 year old house here, and was excited to see all the fireflies that appeared in my yard in late May. They're all over the place still! My front yard faces a busy street, and there are nearly as many fireflies there as there are in the darker back yard. I don't think that man-made lights are off-putting to fireflies. I've seen fireflies in other older neighborhoods here in Charlotte in abundance, but can't speak for newer neighborhoods. I'd guess that soil-turning construction would disrupt their life cycle. I hope this was helpful. Good luck on getting fireflies back in Houston.
June 25, 1999: A reader writes: I looked up fireflies on the net to see how they got their glow and I stumbled upon your site. We just moved to a new apartment in Millis, Mass. a few months ago. There is a meadow with tall grass in the back of our house. We have seen numerous sightings of fireflies on hot humid nights. There are usually about 20 to 30 of them! When I first saw them I was mystified and shouted to my wife to come see. Memories flooded back to me from my childhood trying to catch fireflies at our friend's house. I always wondered why they didn't come to our house! Now before we go to bed we always check to see if they are out. To me, watching fireflies gives me a deep feeling of God's love for us! What a wonderful sight to see!
June 25, 1999: A reader notes: We saw about two dozen fireflies on June 23, 1999, in Memphis, Tennessee. It was about 9:39 pm and the temperature was about 85 and damp.
June 25, 1999: A long-time reader reports: Hello again from upstate New York (Old Chatham-about 20 minutes east of Albany). Tonight I have not seen even one firefly. Usually by this time of the evening (9:30 pm) they are numerous and quite active. However, it is about 67 degrees Fahrenheit and 100% humidity, although it is no longer raining. Two weeks ago when it was a bit warmer and less humid there were at least 30 fireflies in the yard, especially under the trees and bushes. They seem to prefer to be near some cover. I really enjoy your web site enormously, and I love reading other people's comments about their firefly watching activities. Thank you for an entertaining and informative place to visit. I find myself coming back often.
June 25, 1999: Dr. Dean J. Campbell reports: We live just west of Peoria, Illinois, near some small woods and have lots of fireflies. I caught about 10 last night and let them go this morning - many of the males were quite excited about the one female I had caught.
June 25, 1999: A reader notes: On a trip to Maryland, we saw over 100 fireflies in Germantown, Maryland, on June 22, 1999. The bugs were found at a playground around 8:30 pm, an hour before dark. (This playground is covered with wood chips). They flew into people's backyards or disappeared into the wood. The fireflies are 1/2 in. long (1.2 TO 1.4cm)and survive well in captivity. They prefer drinking Gartorade (lime) to water or juice! About 12 years back, a Mayor of Tokyo, Japan, had a project to bring to fireflies back to that city. I think they had grown the bugs indoors and then released them to establish some colonies. It was a success and the Mayor became a popular environmentalist! You could contact the Japanese in Houston for help. Good luck.
June 25, 1999: A reader reports: I was just doing a search under Fireflies and came across your site. We moved to the mid-Hudson valley area of New York last September and are enjoying the fireflies every night. They started in May and some nights are better than others, but it is usually quite a light show.
June 26, 1999: A reader reports: On June 26th I was driving through Pontiac, Illinois, and it was after a rain. It was the time just between dusk and darkness. We pulled over to the side of the road and the corn fields were glowing with literally millions of fireflies! They were as far as the eye could see.
June 26, 1999: A reader reports: I have lived in Grand Prairie, Texas, for thirty years. Grand Prairie is between Dallas and Fort Worth. I have enjoyed fireflies every year. I did notice a decrease in numbers last year during our summer drought when we were only allowed to water two days a week. Whether the lack of moisture in the ground made a difference or not I do not know, but it is very coincidental. Luckily, we have had plenty of rain this year and the numbers of fireflies have risen. On an average evening we will see approximately 20 to 30 fireflies in our back and front yards. My husband loves them so much that he will actually sit outside on hot, humid nights with the mosquitoes just to watch the fireflies. He was born and raised in Bakersfield, California, and he had never seen a firefly until moving to Texas at the age of 27. What a shame to have been without them all that time!
June 26, 1999: A reader reports: I live in suburban Chicago, Illinois, and at dusk to night in my back yard a couple dozen of fireflies are blinking, some low to the ground and some in the tres. We have a 1/2 acre wooded area immediately behind the house from which they seem to come. My neighbor has all mowed lawn on his property and there are no fireflies by his place. I've also noticed when you capture them in a bug jar they flash less often or not at all. As soon as I release them they flash brightly (perhaps even more brightly than before capture and at their highest frequency. Anyone have any ideas on why this behavior?
June 27, 1999: A reader writes: My son and I love finding and chasing fireflies. We have been doing this since he was 2 years old, and he is now 6. I've purchased books, musical tapes, magazines, and have made fireflies from Mountain Dew bottles using glow sticks. We anxiously look for our first sighting each year and it happened this week! What fun we've had catching them on our hot humid nights. Last night we caught 23 in a short period of time. We live in Bettendorf, Iowa, near a small creek, have long grasses near the creek and see them come out just as the sun is going down. After we catch them we open our firefly catcher and see how long it takes for them all to climb out and find their way to the open sky once again. It is a fond memory I had as a child and love reliving it through my son. (He seems to be as enchanted with it as I am.) :-)
. June 27, 1999: A reader notes: We lived in Medina, Ohio, from 1990 until 1994. Our property backed up to a wooded area and we saw masses of fireflies in the evenings. It looked like twinkle lights in the trees and was so beautiful! I look for fireflies here in White Lake, Michigan where we live now and occasionally I see one. I am interested in bringing fireflies back to this area. I am a native Michigander and I remember seeing many fireflies when I was a child. We live by a wooded area now and I would love to see the twinkle lights again!
June 28, 1999:A reader writes: I live in Oak Park, Illinois, a suburb immediately adjacent to the city of Chicago. We have many fireflies here. You see them beginning just before dark and they stay out for about one hour. As we attend various outdoor social events in different suburbs of Chicago, I have noticed that many suburbs have hardly any fireflies. I believe there may be a correlation between mosquito spraying and decline in firefly numbers. We do not spray in Oak Park. In LaGrange Park, about a 15 minute drive west from Oak Park, I did not see a single firefly although I spent 30 minutes looking for them. On the western edge of Naperville, in a newly developed subdivision, there were very few fireflies also. Naperville is on the edge of "Chicagoland", what we call the urban area. It is very close to farmland. I believe Naperville sprays for mosquitos, as does LaGrange Park. I grew up in a very small town in central Illinois. The fireflies were very thick in our yard every year, thicker than in Oak Park, but not by much. One other possible correlation - there are many trees in Oak Park - many more than in Naperville and more than in LaGrange Park. There are enough trees in Oak Park that there is a small but noticeable cooling in temperature from neighboring suburbs.
June 28, 1999: A reader notes: I live in Roseville, MN, just outside of the Twin Cities. Saw one reddish firefly at dusk while watering my garden, near the wooded area of the lot. I'm trying to find out how to get more - if it's slugs they like, I've got plenty of those! Thanks for your site, links, etc.
June 29, 1999: a reader reports: We are in Northeast Indiana. We have large numbers of fireflies. They are here from late June until? They are still here now. We do have mosquito spraying. We are on a lake. They are truly interesting to watch. I do not necessarily think that climate has anything to do with them. But maybe. We spend a great deal of time in California and have not seen fireflies there.
June 29, 1999: A reader notes: I go out almost every night in late June and early July around sunset to watch the sun set and the fireflies emerge. There seem to be two "basic" types: small ones that stay close to the ground and have a quick yellowish-green flash, and large ones that fly higher, and hold their green light on as they swoop down towards the ground. The large ones stay out later, too. I thought I could pick where the good spots for watching them would be (I live in suburban New Jersey on the edge of rural New Jersey) but I can't find a pattern. One hayfield will be fantastic, the next one hardly has any. They seem to be more prolific in areas where man has cleared the land and it is meadows, or best a mix of meadows and woods. I only see a few in the deep woods. As far as light goes, high pressure sodium street lamps don't seem to bother them around here as you will see them on front lawns right under the street lamps. Even on lawns, I can't find a pattern. A well-kept "Chemlawn" lawn can consistently have them while the weedy uncut one next door won't. Maybe it's the type of bushes. Anyway, went surfing for information on them and found your site. Thanks for a cool site.
July 1, 1999: A reader writes: This very evening between 10:47 and 10:57 pm, I watched a marvelous, psychedelic show by fireflies in an inner city park in Kansas City, Missouri. It was twilight here, with the sun just below the horizon and light but no shadows from the sun. The grassy area I watched glistened like a gem! However, (he said, coming back down to earth), the tiny animals seemed not deterred by city lights but not at all attracted to the more-lit areas of the city. I cannot be sure if this is because there is more light where there is more pavement and building (fewer trees & less grass), or because the light itself is a deterrent. My hunch, based on the lack of travel of the fireflies, is that they hover where they rest during the day, and the rest during the day on trees and in grass. Thanks a lot for your site and the interesting info! Good luck with your project to bring fireflies to Houston!
July 1, 1999: A reader reports: I am writing in regard to the fireflies. I love them. I live in Bryan-College Station, Texas, and I had fireflies in my back yard. I just returned from Ely, in northern Minnesota, and there were some up there and it was just wonderful to see them.
July 2, 1999: A reader notes: My wife and I live on an acreage on the edge of Stettler, Alberta. We are close enough to the fair grounds that we would be able to see the fireworks display that was going to be set off to end our local Dominion or Canada Day celebrations. As we stood outside our home at 11:30 pm on July 1, 1999, waiting for the fireworks to begin my wife noticed a flash of light in the grass. After bringing the flash to my attention I watched also and observed many flashes from about 50 fireflies. Some would blink about four times and others would be steady. Most of the flashes were quite brilliant and the flashes where florescent white in color. This went on for about 30 minutes. At that time a very nice fireworks display was visible from the fairgrounds. After that was over we watched the fireflies for a little while longer. My wife and I enjoyed the firefly display even more than the fireworks.
July 2, 1999: A reader wonders: I really do not understand all the hoopla about fireflies (called lightning bugs where I come from). In Illinois, I guess we take them for granted. My backyard at night resembles the images we all saw of Baghdad under fire from U.S. forces. Thousands of lightning bugs can be viewed at once, all night long. The Bugs usually appear in late June and hang around though August.
July 2, 1999: A reader reports: There are many, many fireflies to be seen behind the Museum of Natural History in New York City at twilight-there is a small field on the Columbus Avenue side of the Museum that is full of them.
July 2, 1999: a reader notes: Hi! Gosh, we just moved to South Carolina from Galveston and we have an absolutely magical backyard. It is totally light up with these fantastic little creatures. Thank you for your web site-I've been looking for some info on them and yours was the first I've found. I will make a point of sitting out this evening and enjoying their 'display' for you!
July 3, 1999: A reader notes: Memorial Day weekend, 1993, we had a family/friend gathering on our east Texas ranch. Around 11 pm about seven of us decided to take a walk through the pastures and around our lake. Approaching the dam, we entered the woods. As we traversed the dam we experienced a most overwhelming event. There were fireflies by the thousands, blinking above us in front of us, beside us, below us, ....we were awestruck. We could not believe what we were seeing. It was a most beautiful, mystical, magical occurrence. Every year thereafter, on Memorial Day weekend, we have made the same pilgrimage. It has never happened again. We believe that some day it will...and this has become a tradition, as we return every year from where ever we are, with great anticipation and hope.
July 4, 1999: A reader notes: We live in a western suburb of Toledo, Ohio, (approx. 41 30'N 83 40'W) and enjoy taking the evening air in our back yard and watching fireflies. We live in a wooded residential area with plenty of shrubs and bushes. As noticed by my wife, Sally, and commented upon my many of our neighbors, this year has brought us more fireflies than we have ever seen. We've had a very warm spring and it's been very humid. Last night (3 July 1999) while returning from farm country west of town just after dark, the display was spectacular over the bean and corn fields and particularly bright in the darker ditches along the road. I've only seen a couple of obviously synchronous displays but because of the spacing of them, I assume that they are just random co-incidence displays. Thank you for the web page - a lot of interesting material and useful links!
July 4, 1999: A reader writes: I now live and work in Heidelberg, Germany, but I'm originally from Scotland. I saw my first ever fireflies on the 3rd of July, 1999 in the woods around Heidelberg, walking home from work around eleven at night. There were many fireflies around, with (presumably) females stationary on grass and on branches, and males flying around displaying very bright lights. These woods are very close to houses and to street lights and I was surprised to see fireflies so close to sources of light. I wonder if they can discriminate between firefly light and other natural (the moon) and man-made sources of light at night? I was very impressed by these insects and felt a sense of wonder I could only recall from my childhood. That's why I found your web page. Hope you are successful in your project to encourage fireflies in your location.
July 4, 1999 A reader reports: We recently bought a house in one of the suburbs surrounding San Antonio, Texas, and I came back to your page to re-read the great info about fireflies. I was particularly interested in the "too much city light" theory. Several years ago, my husband and I were at some friends' house and that night we saw more fireflies than we'd seen in many years! These folks lived in an area immediately South of downtown San Antonio, right off an interstate, so the city light theory is a little hard to swallow. When I was a child I grew up in a suburb of San Antonio in two different houses, and we had loads of fireflies! The only common denominator between these houses that we lived in in the 60's and the one which belonged to our friends in the 90's was a backyard pond. Could this be significant? Just thought I'd run that by you. Thanks a bunch for all the fascinating information on fireflies on your website; I check it periodically. Wish me luck in attracting and/or seeing some of these wonderful little bugs. Now to bring back horned toads.... :-)
July 6, 1999: A reader reports: I live in San Antonio, Texas, and have wondered for years why I haven't seen a firefly since I was a kid. (I saw hundred a night back then in the late 1960's!) Last night for the first time I had a lone firefly in my backyard! I chased him around the yard until I lost him. Now I want to know what to do to get more in my yard! Any help will be appreciated!
July 7, 1999: A reader explains: We live in a very country area of Utah- our backyard is a preserved swamp land- with cat tails growing abundantly. The fire flies are everywhere back there. I'm told that they are less likely to be seen when the moon is bright or the sky is too clear- so city lights would definitely effect that.
July 7, 1999: A reader explains: Until a minute or so ago I had no real intellectual or otherwise interest in fireflies or gave it much thought except that we have them and they are fun to look at and it brought back fun childhood memories of catching them in a jar. Well, the mother of three small children we were out for a late night walk when they should have been going down to bed (an attempt to lighten up and capture the moments of life) and it is growing dark and we are seeing the abundance of fireflies flying around. Children will notice what us adults are too busy not noticing so we were talking about the fireflies and of course I said someday we can try to catch some. Well, we came back in and one came in the hallway with us (we live in a rather large apartment complex) so I just went in and got my jar and scooped it up and then soon we were outside because it needed a friend and then back in. Not knowing a thing and feeling stupid I decided I better put some green stuff in. Don't know a darn thing about what they eat except that they are going to die in this jar and that is not right. The children understand this (ages 6, 4, & 2--well the 2 year old is just fascinated with the "bug") and the girls want them to glow and we poke holes but I don't want to be a murderer! Anyway, I went online hoping to find something that would say I had something at my fingertips they eat so at least I could keep them alive overnight so they can enjoy the wonder of nature and then set them free the next evening. Well, no luck for me to get them food from what I've read and stubbled across your sight. So, thought I would take and seize the moment (evening though at 10:35 my time my children need to be in bed!!!) and tell you that we live in Woodhaven, Michigan (a suburb of Detroit--southern suburb) and we live in this apartment complex place that has lots of grounds and we have an abundance of fireflies flying around at night (quite a LOT) that seem to be very prevalent during these hot summer months! I grew up in rural northern Wisconsin--very rural--and we used to go firefly hunting out in the country and could catch jars full (don't really remember what we did with them! I think we set them free). I hope this is helpful information and thanks for the bit of information that I got from you on this amazing creatures! I'm gonna let the kids take them to bed with them tonight and enjoy the wonder of their creator and learn to respect and appreciate that which is different from themselves.
July 8, 1999: A reader notes: Milwaukee is blessed with an abundance of firefly activity. In the past four or five years they have emerged in early June. This year I was thinking that they may not come back at all since I had seen none by the third week in June. I could not have been farther from the truth. The last week in June they came out with a vengeance; sitting on my front porch just before and at dusk, right smack dab in the middle of a major metropolitan area, I could see one flash somewhere in my line of sight every three to four seconds. By the weekend of the fourth of July (the temperature was in the high 80's to low 90's), at any given time there were at least three bugs lit somewhere in the neighborhood that I could see; it really looked like the neighborhood was lit by a giant chain of flashing green Christmas lights. Tonight on the 8th, the activity has diminished somewhat, and a lot of the flashes are coming from the ground, rather mid air. Looks like the poor critters are pooped after such a busy week. I look forward to next year.
July 8, 1999: A reader reports: For the second year in a row (didn't look much before then) I've had fireflies in my backyard in Woburn, MA (10 miles north of Boston) for about an hour around sunset. Best luck seems to be on warm, humid nights around this time of year. (We had zero rain in June, and I didn't find any before then.) There is a small wooded hilly area in the back, and that's where I find them, within a few feet of the boundary. I don't use insecticide, or much herbicide. The vegetation is a random mix of hardwoods, shrubbery (polk berries?), poison ivy, etc. I've caught some, but they don't flash for me in captivity. (Last year I let Sparky loose in the bathroom, and eventually he answered the light on my watch.) Mostly it's a stupid Daddy trick for my kids. (I don't want to feed my kids to the mosquitos, and my 4-year-old doesn't like the woods at night, especially when the fireflies are out.) I've been searching the web, without luck, for information on their care and feeding in captivity, and inducing them to glow.
July 11, 1999: A reader reports: Just came back from White City, Kansas. We caught numerous fireflies and transported them back to Denver. I have NEVER found fireflies in the Denver area. I'm not sure why. Maybe it's the altitude or low humidity climate. Nevertheless, they survived the trip and we set them free tonight. I suppose they will either survive and multiply or they won't.
July 12, 1999:A reader notes: My husband and I have just moved to the small community of Cove, Texas, (just east of Baytown) in Chambers County. One of our greatest joys was the discovery of fireflies, or lightning bugs as we called them when I was a child. We have about two acres of land in a developed subdivision called Plantation on Cotton Bayou. Our back property line is Cotton Bayou. So there's some basis for the dampness part of the theory you've uncovered. Our lot is also heavily wooded and, needless to say, we are far from the city lights. Since we just moved in a couple of months ago, we've only sodded our lot with St. Augustine. There's been no formal landscaping done and there are no plans to do any. We will use as much in the way of native plants as we can. Our first sighting was about two or three weeks before we moved in. We have continued to see them as late as this past weekend (July 12) so am not sure what that says about the heat factor. Read your site with interest. Will continue to keep you posted as changes occur.
July 17, 1999: A reader notes: Tonight, July 17,1999, at 9:30 pm I saw fire flies in Bellevue, Colorado. I saw several dozen in a field by the Cache La Poudre river. I didn't think fireflies were west of central Kansas. Do other people see them in Northern Colorado? Tonight I also saw fireflies in the field behind my friends' house. My friends had told me that there were fireflies behind their house and I didn't believe them. I had actually bet them a sizable wager they had no fireflies. I was wrong! This evening I say several dozen flies lighting up around their house. It was only the second time in my life I was able to see their glory! It gave me goose bumps of excitement and reminded me of seeing them out side of my aunt's house in Linn KS around 1985.
July 17, 1999: A reader writes: I love fireflies and spent many a happy summer evening during a western Kentucky childhood catching them with my nephews. I recently spent an evening catching them with the son of one of my nephews. We were mildly successful but we waited a little late to start our quest. I was looking for some material to send him on fireflies and ran across your page. I live in Hutchinson, Kansas, now, and we have them here too. I didn't know they were not all over the US. What a pity! They're one of my favorite things in the natural world. I applaud your efforts. No child should be without the joy of a jar full of fireflies on the nightstand at least a couple of times each summer.
July 19, 1999:A reader notes: I live in Waldorf Maryland, a suburb of Washington DC. Since childhood fireflies have always been plentiful in large amounts. I can't recall ever seeing them in the city (I am frequently in DC at night) . I see many fireflies in yards in most neighborhoods I've been to. I see hundreds of them in large, open grassy fields and at the woods edge. They are in the woods as well, but the number is much smaller than that in the fields. During the day I find them on green leaves of grasses and trees, not so much on flowers. I do remember that since childhood if you pick the wildflower "Queen Ann's lace" you had a better than fifty-fifty chance of a firefly or two being on top or under the flower. I seem to start seeing them in late spring or early summer, at the time of this writing they are still here. This area is usually humid and this year has been very hot (90's- 100's) for weeks. If I can assist you in your task I would be happy to help.
July 21, 1999: A reader reports: I live in the Como Park area of St. Paul, MN (just inside the northern city limits) and have been observing firefly larvae in my compost heap for the last eight years. This year is the first time I have sighted adult insects and I was elated! Sightings occurred on July 6th and July 20th at about 9:30 PM. There were only 4 or 5 insects sighted each of these evenings and the insects were only seen 10 to 25 feet off the ground near the trees. Fireflies I have seen in rural areas have always been within 10 feet of the ground surface. I hope this information is useful.
July 22, 1999A reader notes: A friend of mine that lives in the same neighborhood I do (northeast Boulder, Colorado)told me about seeing fireflies in a marshy area near us. So, on July 6, 1999 my husband and I walked over around 9 PM and checked it out. There were probably a couple hundred flying over a marshy area. It was still a little bit light out, but it was easy to see the fireflies. We stopped by again last night (July 21, 1999) and saw them, although it didn't seem like there were as many. This is the first time I've ever seen fireflies in Colorado.
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.
July 23, 1999: Bob Sablatura writes: At about 8:55 this evening, I spotted a single firefly drifting across our back pasture in about six to eight feet off the ground. About 45 minutes later, I was sitting on our new porch enjoying the cool night air when I spotted another single firefly at an altitude of about 20 feet (based on the height of the tree it was near) Both fireflies were especially bright.
July 25, 1999: A reader reports: Hundreds of fireflies at Sand Hills State Park, north of Hutchinson, Kansas, on the night of July 18. Lots of vegetation. We've had a very moist year so far and there are some places that have standing water there. It was a nice night - not too warm and not too cool. The fireflies were out in full force when we arrived about 9 p.m. and had not seemed to quiet down any by 1 a.m. when we left. Beautiful! Meteors in the sky and fireflies all around. Magical!
July 27, 1999: A reader reports: There are fireflies in Queens, NY, a borough of New York City. This is a major urban area.
July 28, 1999: a reader writes: We live in Memphis, Tennessee, in the city limits, and our back yard at night in the summer dances with light from hundreds of the beautiful glowing little bugs.
July 29, 1999: A reader reports: How wonderful that you have a web site about fireflies! I was just so delighted to find that other people are as smitten with them as I. I was born and raised in Southeast Texas around Beaumont and there were fireflies everywhere. I grew up (unfortunately) and moved to Los Angeles in 1989. I just moved back home to Austin, Texas, last summer. This summer, around May I guess, I was at my boyfriend's house and lo and behold - right around dusk - fireflies! I just burst into tears. Such wonderful memories of my childhood on Pine Island Bayou came to me and I remembered the joy of watching the fireflies. My mother, in her infinite wisdom, never let us "catch and bottle" them, but we would sit outside long after dark and catch them in our cupped palms for up-close inspection. Have they been missing for some years? I don't ever recall seeing them on visits home over the years. Perhaps I was just not looking. My boyfriend lives in an old neighborhood in central Austin. There are lots of huge old trees and the street is kind of dark. They are still out now at the end of July but not as many as there were in May and June. I wait for them every night - they feel like friends. What joy. Thank you so much for putting the site together. Makes one feel young again doesn't it all?
July 31, 1999: A reader notes: I just visited your web site, and thought I'd write to you about where we've seen fireflies. My family grew up in Beatrice, Nebraska, and "lightning bugs" were always a part of our summers. They would appear about July. Beatrice has had a mosquito fogging program in effect for years, and apparently, it didn't effect the fireflies' population. We recently moved to California, and noticed there aren't any fireflies here. We wonder if the climate is too dry? Do you know why they aren't here?
August 8, 1999: Penny Sablatura reports: We were sitting on our back porch in Madisonville, Texas, last night. It was just after dark. We saw four to six fireflies against the trees in grass that was around ten inches tall. One firefly was at least fifteen feet in the air.
August 11, 1999: A reader notes: Tonight at dusk I saw more fireflies than I have ever seen at one time. I live in the Tomball, Texas, area. After it became dark no activity. Seeing this firefly activity tonight got me looking into the firefly on the net.That is how I came across your site. I live in a wooded area and have been watering my property daily. It has been dry lately and the fireflies were probably drawn here by the moisture. This is the first time I have taken an interest in the firefly since I was a kid in Indiana. They are very interesting.
August 12, 1999: Lee McKeel writes: I think your cause is great and am impressed that someone would take the time to set up a web site for fireflies. Anyway, I thought fireflies were extinct, until last night. I get off of work at 10:30 pm and some nights go for a run. On August 11, around 11 pm, I was running through my neighborhood of Greengate in Spring, Texas, and, to my amazement, saw a firefly. I stopped and watched it for about 5 minutes until it flew into a backyard. It appeared to be all alone. I was in awe of the little bug flying around. I have not seen a firefly in a long time. We do need more, they are a magical part of our world and need our help. I support your cause.
August 13, 1999: A reader writes: I too came to the web for information on the long lost fireflies from my youth. My wife, son and I have just moved to Chandler, Texas, to find a single firefly in the yard. I would love any information on how to draw more fireflies to my area. My mom, who lives in Athens, Texas, has spotted a single firefly in her yard as well.
August 18, 1999: Will Jenkins reports: Since the beginning of August, I've hardly seen any fireflies. We have been under a drought condition here in Charlotte, North Carolina, for most of the summer, and I wonder if that affects how many fireflies appear. I remember them lasting into September last year.


March, 1998: A reader reports: In early March of 1998, I was traveling up the Amazon from Leticia, Colombia and stayed in a lodge near Puerto Marino. In the middle of one night, I awoke to see flashing lights through the screened windows near my bunk bed. I made my way to the porch and saw a most beautiful display. The sky was alight with stars and there appeared to be a meteor shower. A cloud of fireflies was traveling towards me from the river through the palm and fruit trees. These were not the green fireflies I had seen in Nebraska one summer evening. They were bright white flashes. While this was happening, I could hear a chorus of hundreds of different frogs. It was one of the most rare and beautiful experiences of my life. If I had neither seen nor done anything else on this voyage, this single event would have been worth the trip!
March 1, 1998: Fred Simmank reports: The first sighting in the Woodlands, Texas area took place Friday, February 27 at approximately 7:30 pm. It is not unusual to see the first fireflies on this date, but normally ones sighted this early maintain stationary positions in the trees. It is usually the second week in March before I see any fireflies that fly. However, I saw quite a lot of "flight" activity on Friday, which was quite exciting! I'm hoping for an extended season this year. Let's keep our fingers crossed. I also saw Fireflies on March 1st. I find that amazing because the temperature was already down to approximately 53 degrees at the time of the sightings! It appears to me that this particular species of firefly has evolved to spend the adult portion of its life cycle in cooler weather. Interestingly enough, all sightings were stationary (flight activity does not appear to take place unless the temperature reaches the lower to mid 60's). I expect both the stationary and flight activity to increase each evening this coming week as the temperature and humidity increases. There seems to be a strong correlation between firefly activity and temperature/humidity.
April, 1998: A reader writes, "I believe it was April when we noticed quite a few fireflies in our Lakehills yard (close to Medina Lake-out of Bandera, Texas). I commented on the fact it had been ages since seeing them. We've lived here only one year. The property is quiet, wooded-in the natural state. Haven't seen them since.
May 6, 1998: A reader saw "quite a few" fireflies around 8 pm in her backyard in Austin. The day had been 102 degrees F. and the area is one of the older ones in the city, with lots of trees and bushes.
May 10, 1998: A reader spotted one firefly in Encino Park, San Antonio, Texas around 8:00 pm. Temp 70 to 75. Full moon!
Mid May, 1998: A reader writes: I back up to a park in Tulsa, Oklahoma. We've lived here about five years. From the middle of May we have seen more fireflies than ever, a great abundance. Last year was good also, but this year it almost takes me back to my childhood there are so many.
May 18, 1998: Right around dark, a reader saw a half dozen fireflies flitting around in the front yard, under a giant oak tree in D'Hanis, TX, on Farm Road 1796.
Late May, 1998: A reader writes: I've been an amateur entomologist for about thirty years. For most of that time I had never seen fireflies in this region (Southern Alberta, between the US border and the city of Edmonton). However in the last two years I have seen & collected them here. There seems to have been a range extension or a population boom for them in this region. They seem to live in grassy meadows near wetlands. They are most luminous about one to three hours after sunset, usually on hot evenings with high humidities (around here that's often before a nighttime thunderstorm) during late May and June. I don't have a species ID yet, but I've succeeded in breeding captive specimens. Viability and offspring is still a question.
Late May, 1998: A reader writes: When in Hunt, Texas, I saw quite a few fireflies on a grassy area by the river. It was just after dark. Light coming from the inn lit the knoll, but it was dark down by the river. Every night during the last week of May and the first week of June there were lots and lots of fireflies. There had been some rain on Memorial Day. It was very hot during the day, but pleasant at night.
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"!
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.
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 12, 1998: A reader writes: We just recently saw many fireflies here in Bellevue NE, near Omaha. The weather was humid and warm....they were under the large trees, and near the homes..but not in open spaces...and not in the more well lit areas.
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.
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.
June 15, 1998: A reader writes: Last night I sat on my deck in Oakton, Virginia, and watched the fireflies drift and blink their way through the trees. It was magical. Having lived my life to this point in a place (Seattle)that is sadly lacking these wondrous creatures, their presence was a primary criterion when home-hunting in our move to the east coast. I can understand your desire to reinstate them in Houston. Good Luck.
June 27, 1998: A reader reports: I haven't seen fireflies since leaving the midwest many years ago. Just went for a walk an hour after sunset and saw dozens of very bright (white-yellow) and often very fast moving fireflies. Not a chance of catching these! We're in a rural area near Loveland, Colorado, and we spotted an occasional firefly along an irrigation ditch, with dozens in an area near a small river. That area does have particular vegetation which might be a factor. It's been in the 80's and low 90's in the day times for the past week, and it was in the mid-70's when we saw them.
July 3, 1998: A reader reports: Saw a firefly dive into my lawn in Clear Lake, Texas.
July 4, 1998: A reader writes: My wife and I were tending to our horses when we noticed a firefly flash. Stepping outside the barn we saw at least 20 flitting about. It was a dark evening about 10:30 p.m. and the temperature was around 60 F. We live on a farm 25 miles north of Calgary, Alberta. The land is rolling pasture with a lot of 10 ft. high brush. We have had a lot of rain recently. I haven't seen fireflies for at least 35 years around these parts.
July 8, 1998: A reader reports: I just returned from Chicago yesterday where I saw fireflies for the first time. I saw a lot of them in the park by the lake and in people's yards away from busy areas. The weather was in the mid 70's with some humidity and a bit of rain. The dates I saw them were July 5,6 & 7, around dusk (after 7 pm) and a little after (until 10 ish). I saw them in an area called Lincoln Park, only where it was relatively quite with flowers and bushes. In the places I saw them they were not disturbed by my presence and I was able to place my hand in front of one and it landed on me for a second. I saw them in numbers ranging from one to about sixty. The most I saw were in one beautiful moist, flower laden garden with a small patch of grass with low lights. They seem to prefer the plants and bushes with flowers, especially the flowers which look like hydrangea and are all white with dark green medium leaves. I had seen this garden without the fireflies and it was beautiful but with them it was absolutely magical!
July 15, 1998: Larry Barnwell writes: I grew up in western North Carolina & I used to see Lightning bugs all the time. I since have moved to Montana just north of Yellowstone Park. Several years back, I think it was the summer of 1994, I spotted some lightning bugs along the east fork of the Gallatin River just north of Bozeman. I had been fishing & as I was walking back to my car I saw them. I wonder what kind of fly they would make for fly fishing. It would make them easier to tie on in the twilight hours. I haven't seen them in Montana since that night, but I'm visiting North Carolina tonight & I saw them which sparked my sister and me to try to find out more info. We looked up lightning bug & firefly, but nothing pertinent came up til we typed in lampyridae.
July 20, 1998: Paige Harrison writes: I see fireflies all the time in upstate New York. Specifically the countryside about 20 miles from Albany. I saw maybe fifty yesterday evening at around nine p.m. It was 75 degrees F. and less than 50% humidity.
July 22, 1998: A reader notes: In Rochester NY, we have found a few fireflies left, but not as many as 17 years ago. They are also smaller. They seem to be hanging around cow corn fields. I am going to try to breed them in Oregon.
July 29, 1998: A reader writes: I just spent ten days in Franklin, TN and every evening I loved to sit out on the deck and watch the fireflies. I was searching for information on fireflies, which is how I happened upon your site.
July 31, 1998: A reader writes: We visited rural Charleston, Illinois, in July and saw many fireflies in the evening--too many to count. My husband is from California and this is the first time he had ever seen fireflies. He said that the fireworks were anticlimactic after seeing fireflies.
August 14, 1998: A reader reports: Saw a few fireflies out tonight here in Galveston, Texas. We walk at night for exercise and frequently see them on warm August nights when the wind is not to strong off the Gulf. Strangely, we mostly see them in one location where there is a big lawn surrounding a church. This spot is about three city blocks from Seawall Blvd and the beach.
August 25, 1998: A reader writes: I have seen many fireflies along sections of Oyster Creek in the First Colony area of Sugar Land, Texas. Last year, I only saw them in large numbers during May and June. This year I saw them again in May and June, but not as many. However, for the past two nights I have seen quite a few.
September 4, 1998: A reader writes: I saw one firefly September 4, 1998, about 8:30 pm in Devine, Texas. The temperature was about 85. Full moon also (give or take). Last time before that was about four years ago in Pasadena, Texas.
September 5, 1998: Sharon Dukes writes: My husband and I live in Tickfaw, LA. We saw quite a few fireflies in our yard from spring to early summer. We were very excited as neither of us had seen fireflies since we were small children. We have 11 acres and are planning our gardens with hummingbirds, butterflies and other wildlife in mind. Our goal is to become registered as a wildlife habitat.
September 14, 1998: A reader writes: I saw a firefly tonight about midnight. I live in Shanghai China (a city with charm but little greenery) and this is the first time I have seen one since I have been here (10 months). It is just coming into Autumn and the late evenings are cool. The last time I saw a great number of fireflies was twenty years in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia, again late at night and in very misty humid conditions, in a small patch of trees.
A reader notes: I was at a friends new house whose property is in Gulfport, Mississippi, on the back bay waters of the Gulf of Mexico. There is an untouched wooded area that separates the house from the water's edge. I had seen fireflies at my house while in my swimming pool at night--but not like at my friends house. What a sight it was! We were on the back porch of the house. There must have been hundreds of them. The only way I can describe the experience is that it was almost like a fairy tale... a shimmering, sparkling magical look. I wish I had a picture to show. I hope some fireflies come to visit you : )


March, 1997: A population of fireflies north of Houston in the Woodlands is reported by a reader, who notes that they appear each Spring, and are gone by mid-April.
March 17, 1997: A reader reported seeing a single firefly in the backyard of the house near Brazos Bend State Park at FM 1462 and 762.
May 3, 1997: A reader further reported seeing three or four fireflies in the backyard of the house near Brazos Bend State Park at FM 1462 and 762.
May 5, 1997: A reader spotted twenty or so fireflies in her backyard in San Antonio.
May 10, 1997: A reader spotted a few fireflies in the backyard of a friend in south Austin, Texas.
Summer, 1997: A reader reported seeing large numbers of fireflies just outside of Louisville, Kentucky in areas of the city just outside downtown. Louisville is in the Ohio River Valley with low elevation and high humidity. Light pollution is present.
June 1997: A reader from Brackenridge, Pa (approximately 20 miles northeast of Pittsburgh, on the Allegheny River) reports a very large population of fireflies this summer.
Late June, 1997: A reader reports seeing two fireflies in a rural yard, which is located in Weston, Massachusetts.
June, 1997: A reader saw one firefly near the house in Eastern Massachusetts.
June 1, 1997: A reader reports two or three fireflies in his backyard on the south side of Fort Worth, in a large suburban area.
June 28, 1997: A reader reports sighting some fireflies north of Toronto while on a camping trip.
July 1997: A sighting of fireflies at Herman Lake, near Blind Bay, British Columbia.
July, 1997: A reader reports massive numbers of fireflies right after dusk in a field and a cornfield At the Yorkshire Motel in York, NE.
July 9, 1997: A reader sighted "swarms" of fireflies in Manchester, Missouri, which is a suburb of St. Louis. House lights were present, but no bright city lights.
July 10, 1997: a reader reported seeing a few fireflies on his ranch in Gonzales, Texas.
July 15, 1997: A reader reports large numbers of fireflies in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
July 24, 1997: A reader saw a great many fireflies near Christmas Lake, Minnesota, in the fields along Powers Road between Chanhassen and Excelsior, MN.
August, 1997: A reader reports seeing lots of fireflies in a near-suburb of Atlanta. City lights are present. No mosquito spray program.
August, 1997: A readers folks saw huge numbers of fireflies in Fairfield, Iowa.
September l, 1997: Amy Tritico reported seeing a couple of fireflies in Spring Branch, Houston.
September 18, 1997: A reader noticed about a dozen fireflies at dusk about two miles outside of Nacogdoches in a developing subdivision.
October 2, 1997: A reader saw fireflies in the Houston area-at Cullen Park in the Barker-Rt 6 area around dusk. Between 50 and 100 were seen.


Summer, 1996: A reader spotted fireflies in the backyard of a friend who lives in north central Austin, Texas.
Summer, 1996: A reader reports few fireflies in the Woodlands, north of Houston.

May, 1996: A reader in Dickinson, Texas observed a few fireflies in a rural area.


Summer, 1995: a reader saw a few fireflies in a rural area near Madisonville, Texas.

Summer, 1995: Donald Burger saw a few fireflies just south of Freer, Texas in a rural area just off Highway 59. No lights around except for cars on the highway.


A reader writes: I came from a small town called Iva, South Carolina where I lived on my 25 acre farm for 11 years... while living there, I enjoyed an evening ritual that I participated in every evening in the warm weather months from April-November or so, depending on the particular climate idiosyncracies...anyway, every evening after supper, about 6:00-6:30 or so, I would go out on my big covered back porch or up on my covered upper deck which overlooked my back paddock and yards. Every night in the warm months, I enjoyed the magic of dusk while all of my barn cats came and nestled up next to me in my recliner and we would watch the lightnin' bugs as they would begin their evening dance at the edge of the woods at the paddock fence line. They would begin there and then I would realize that they were becoming more apparent and numerous in other parts of the yards. By the time it was black-dark, I couldn't see any fences or shrubs or trees, but the lightnin' bugs were everywhere. I moved from my farm in 1994, I think, and they were still there at that time. Iva is about 20 miles above Anderson SC (which is 30 miles south of Greenville SC) just off of I-85 and there were no mosquito control spray trucks or bright city lights (or pollution to speak of). In fact, it was so dark, that the stars seemed to be about a block away from my roof, where I frequently went to just lay on my back and enjoy the night sky.


September, 1993: Maria Trevino saw massive numbers of fireflies in a field about 5 miles from Tahlequah, Oklahoma in a rural area.

mail comments to

[Go Back to My Firefly Page]

[Go Back to My Home Page]