As a child running through rural Wisconsin, there are memories of enough lightning bugs to light up the night.  Just spin in a circle for a bit with a jar and one would be caught.

On a 4th of July trip back to Northern Wisconsin, one was spotted.  And the comment was made about how "We just don't see as many as we used to."

It turns out, future generations in Wisconsin might not be able to share the same memories as lightning bugs are disappearing around the world.

When Do We Normally See Lightning Bugs In Wisconsin?

Fireflies flying over a grass field at night

Like many animals in the world, it all depends on the weather.  Their larvae live underground during the winter, mature during spring, and then emerge when it warms up.  Of course in Wisconsin that can be any time from April to July.

Lightning bugs love the warm, humid weather so while the exact moment they will be out each year is still a mystery, scientists do know that temperature and rainfall have something to do with it.

Is It OK To Catch Lightning Bugs?

loading... says it's ok to do so as long as you don't try to be like Pokemon and catch them all  If you do catch one and want to keep it in a jar just be sure there are air holes, and put in some apple slices and wet coffee filter paper.

Then after a day or two release the firefly back into the wild at night.

Why Are Fireflies Disappearing From The Night Sky?

Riding Lawn Equipment with operator for periodically garden upkeep

It's not just one factor but some of the biggest include pesticide use and loss of habitat from development. Yes, your perfectly manicured lawn filled with pesticides and weed killers might make it look like Augusta, but it's also killing the lightning bugs.

Scientists also believe light pollution, poor water quality, and invasive species are part of the problem as well.

Here Is How To Have More Lightning Bugs At Your House

  • Install water features
  • Allow logs to rot
  • Turn off your lights at night
  • No lawn chemicals
  • Plant a garden
  • Plant trees
  • Don't over-mow your lawn
  • Don't rake leaves and bag them up for the trash

Those memories of lightning bugs in the parent's or grandparents' yards are ones that will last forever.  Hopefully, your children and grandchildren can keep continuing to make those memories of lit-up yards on warm Wisconsin summer nights.

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