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Lighting up the Backyard

Lighting up the Backyard

On warm summer nights you may have noticed fireflies blinking light on and off. It’s hard to imagine what a firefly looks like without catching one and seeing it up close! With the “Insects in the Night” activity, we want to make sure that the firefly is safe when you capture it! So, let’s see how you can catch these amazing insects without harm.

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Where should you look? 

Fireflies are most often found near bodies of water such as marshy areas and shorelines of ponds, lakes, and rivers. You will still often see fireflies even if you are not in a wet area, such as your yard, a field, forest, or vegetable garden!

Turn out the lights

If you are having trouble finding fireflies, turn off outdoor light!  Exterior house lights might be confusing nearby fireflies making them less likely to send out their light signals to other fireflies.

Safe capture

Catch your fireflies using a net!  Follow these steps to ensure safe capture:
– Find fireflies by watching your yard for their flashing lights.
– Walk to where firefly was nearby and capture using a insect/butterfly net.
– Tighten the top of the net with your hand so that the firefly cannot escape. Make sure when you do this that the firefly is at the bottom of the net, out of the way of your hands.
– Turn your net over, on top of your bug jar, and carefully let the firefly leave the net and go into the jar.
-Once it is in the jar, place a lid on top.

Fireflies are fragile, so be sure to have another set of helping hands nearby!

If you are planning to keep your firefly for longer than a few minutes, think about adding a small piece of moistened paper towel inside the jar to keep the air humid.

Letting them go:

Fireflies cannot survive in your jar, so be sure to release them after maximum 10 minutes.  Always  release them at night, when they are most active and able to avoid predators.

Have fun catching these awesome bugs in the dark!

Three cheers for fireflies and clear blue skies!

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