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What happened to all of the Fireflies?


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My wife and I went for a drive this evening at twilight and saw a few sporadically flashing around in the trees. It made me wonder where they all went. Think about it, how often do you actually see them anymore? I grew up in Kennesaw, and I remember on summer evenings, they practically lit up my entire yard. My brother and I would see who could catch more in jars. Sometimes (very rarely) we would catch one that would glow red instead of yellow. It saddens me somewhat to thing that my children might not ever get to experience them as we did. I did some searching online and could not get a definitive answer as to why they are disappearing. Any thoughts?

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I was wondering this in previous years, but I have seen quite a few this year. The same with bumble bees and honey bees.

But even with the larger number I have seen this year, It's still nothing like I saw when I was a kid, where you looked out the door and saw hundreds or thousands.

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I was wondering this in previous years, but I have seen quite a few this year. The same with bumble bees and honey bees.

But even with the larger number I have seen this year, It's still nothing like I saw when I was a kid, where you looked out the door and saw hundreds or thousands.

Think about it. When did they start the late night mosquito spray trucks?

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Think about it. When did they start the late night mosquito spray trucks?

I thought this might be an explanation at first but then I thought more about it. I live in Savannah now, and we have a serious sand gnat/mosquito problem, no matter how much spray is put out, it doesn't put dent in their population.

Also, fireflies are in the same family as beetles, and one would conclude that if a pesticide was to blame, there would be a decline in beetle populations as well, which doesnt seem to be the case.

One explanation that might hold some weight is light pollution. The glow that fireflies put off is some sort of mating call. Could more light be possibly confusing them and causing a decline in their numbers?

Wifi pollution could be another explanation. There was a study done in Europe that showed wifi and cell phone signals have dire effects on tree populations. I, of course, have no evidence that this affects fireflies, just a hunch.

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My wife and I went for a drive this evening at twilight and saw a few sporadically flashing around in the trees. It made me wonder where they all went. Think about it, how often do you actually see them anymore? I grew up in Kennesaw, and I remember on summer evenings, they practically lit up my entire yard. My brother and I would see who could catch more in jars. Sometimes (very rarely) we would catch one that would glow red instead of yellow. It saddens me somewhat to thing that my children might not ever get to experience them as we did. I did some searching online and could not get a definitive answer as to why they are disappearing. Any thoughts?

I was wondering this in previous years, but I have seen quite a few this year. The same with bumble bees and honey bees.

But even with the larger number I have seen this year, It's still nothing like I saw when I was a kid, where you looked out the door and saw hundreds or thousands.

While I agree with both of you about the decline in population I have to wonder if we are all looking back and remembering things differently than they actually were. However, I too remember the nights of my youth being populated with many more fireflies. But the kids in my neighborhood would sometimes do cruel things to them and that may be partially responsible for the decline in their numbers today.

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Think about it. When did they start the late night mosquito spray trucks?

we don't have that around here, but I guess it's true if you cut down on their population in one place it will eventually lead to lower populations elsewhere.But my yard is TEEMING with insect life, I encourage it, I love em and I do so by leaving large areas of wild growth outside the yard area for cover and wild plants and flowers for food. now having done that, my yard is also teeming with predators for insects, frogs, spiders, lizards,bats, you name it. I got a pretty strong eco system going here and altho I have seen more this year, it's still not as spectacular as years past. My spider population is off the charts however, so I am sure they eat their share.

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While I agree with both of you about the decline in population I have to wonder if we are all looking back and remembering things differently than they actually were. However, I too remember the nights of my youth being populated with many more fireflies. But the kids in my neighborhood would sometimes do cruel things to them and that may be partially responsible for the decline in their numbers today.

Its possible, but doubtful. I don't think that a firefly genocide (intentionally or unintentionally) carried out by children is to blame for their decline. Think about how many deer a year are killed by hunters. Those that are killed are not even a drop in the bucket of the overall population.

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In my short life I've noticed a sort of fluctuation in insect populations. Some years in my town there will be a crapload of mosquitoes, the next year there will be hardly any.

These same fluctuations probably apply to other forms of life, but I'm only 20 so I've not really noticed them in anything other than insects.

This is coming from a guy who got a B in 9th grade biology, so don't listen to me.

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My wife and I went for a drive this evening at twilight and saw a few sporadically flashing around in the trees. It made me wonder where they all went. Think about it, how often do you actually see them anymore? I grew up in Kennesaw, and I remember on summer evenings, they practically lit up my entire yard. My brother and I would see who could catch more in jars. Sometimes (very rarely) we would catch one that would glow red instead of yellow. It saddens me somewhat to thing that my children might not ever get to experience them as we did. I did some searching online and could not get a definitive answer as to why they are disappearing. Any thoughts?

We see them all the time in our yard. The kids have a little bug cage that they catch them in and then we release them when we go back inside.

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