I grew up in central Florida and as a child, we had plenty of fireflies. We would collect them in jars and make our own lanterns. My husband grew up in a suburb of Chicago, but spent a lot of summer with family in Michigan. They also had a lot of fireflies. Homemade glow sticks were a summer tradition. Yes, they would mush and smear the tail of fireflies all over sticks.
We are on our annual family vacation to the mountains and there are fireflies everywhere. This is the only place my eleven year old has ever seen them. We do not have any in central Florida or anywhere we have traveled other than the Smoky Mountains. So, of course, my curious child said…”Mom, where did they all go?”
This is what I found… development and light pollution (yes, we have too many lights!). Humans are believed to disrupt firefly habitat also. The more our population grows in areas, the less fireflies are seen. Our open fields and forests are being paved over, and our waterways are seeing more development. Logging, pollution and increased use of pesticides may also contribute to destroying firefly habitat and natural prey.
I am working an a firefly unit and will post it soon!