How to Attract Beneficial Fireflies and Pest Control to Your Yard with Wood Logs

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How to Attract Beneficial Fireflies and Pest Control to Your Yard with Wood Logs

Fireflies are one of the most magical parts of summer. Their bioluminescent bodies flicker as they slowly begin to appear at dusk, inciting a sense of awe in people of all ages. If you’d like to see more of these dazzling insects, you can help support them by leaving a small pile of wood in an untouched corner of your yard.

You might have noticed fewer fireflies in your backyard than you experienced in your childhood. According to the National Wildlife Association, the population of this beautiful bug is in danger. Frequent pesticide use, light pollution, and habitat loss are all causing our outdoor spaces to be less hospitable to these luminous insects. While you cannot fix all these problems, you can provide a safe place for them to hide from predators during the day. The structure of a small wood pile gives them the exact protection they need in the daytime so they are ready to provide you with a stunning show at night.

Protecting fireflies

firefly on a leaf

Japan’s Fireworks/Shutterstock

It couldn’t be simpler to create a firefly habitat in your yard, but you do have to be okay with letting your outdoor space have a slightly more wild, natural look. If you have mature trees, you’re probably often picking up fallen branches. Instead of bundling them and sending them to the landfill or adding them to a burn pile, break them into sticks that are a few feet long and toss them in a section of your yard that will remain untouched. This pile of wood will also attract sources of food to nourish the fireflies in their retreat.

If you don’t have trees, you can also use stems from pruned bushes. Fireflies are also attracted to moist areas to lay their eggs and attract food, so a small pile of leaves near your wood pile will further encourage these insects to come and stay. Since these beauties are repelled by outdoor lighting, remember to turn off lights as much as possible to encourage them to spend evenings brightening your outdoor space.

Dr Heidi Parkes

By Dr Heidi Parkes

Senior Information Extension Officer QLD Dept of Agriculture & Fisheries.