One of the delights of summer in many parts of the United States is the arrival of tiny "shooting stars" in the yard. Fireflies or lightning bugs are a type of beetle which produces light by means of a luminescent organ located near their abdomen.

There are at least two types of fireflies. The ones that live east of the Rocky Mountains have both male and females that blink their lights. On the west side of the Rockies, the adult female glows but does not fly while the male flies but does not glow. The immature larval form of some types of fireflies also light up and are guessed it, glow worms. Isn't nature funny?

Why do they light up? Well, it is part of their mating ritual used to attract mates. They start blinking at around dusk and the frequency of the flashes increases as the night progresses.

Controls are not necessary.

Note: We have provided some general information and observations on this topic aimed at the home gardener. Before you take any serious action in your landscape, check with your state's land grant university's Cooperative Extension Service for the most current, appropriate, localized recommendations.


Types of Insects

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