Fireflies

greenelbows(z9--so LA)June 26, 2004

I was lurking over on the Tennessee forum (have a son in Knoxville so I check occasionally) and they were talking about these little guys, and it hit me I don't think I've seen any this year. I suppose maybe those of you who grew up here kinda take 'em for granted, but I had never seen them before I moved from the west coast. I've heard they have been thinned considerably by the sprays used on crops such as soybeans, but we always had at least a few. Could the mosquito spray program have wiped out the rest of them? Or do you just need to get farther away from the city? Anybody see any? They are so pretty--still remember the first time I saw them. I'd read about them, but words just don't do them justice.

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live_oak_lady(Zone 9)

I have seen a few at my River Road place in Montz, back near the woods where the mosquito spray people don't get to. I believe the mosquito spray has done a lot of damage, but of course, everyone is afraid of the West Nile virus. Took a little boy through the woods in a golf cart after dark so he could see the fireflys (lightning bugs, we called them). He was fascinated.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2004 at 11:39AM
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greenelbows(z9--so LA)

I guess the mosquito spray program is just one of the many trade-offs we make, like the stray cat I let move in because I had a rat problem. (I keep my cat indoors so she won't get smashed on our very busy street.) Very seldom see a rat now, but then she started on the squirrels--lots of replacements, so I'm not as broken-hearted as I might be--and now I see less birds. Major sorrow. And we can't catch her to get her to the vet so she won't have any more babies. I'd like to have a very large butterfly net I could put under their food dish, and have it spring closed when they're all in there.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2004 at 4:57PM
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sdogwood(9)

I was visiting my sister in Ardmore, OK. and the neighborhood was covered with them. Haven't seen them in La.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2004 at 4:57PM
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KarynLA(8b LA)

I live in the country and my parish does not to my knowledge have a mosquito prevention program. I have a fairly healthy population of fireflies. I live very near a farm but have a large population of insects, frogs, toads, sqirrels and birds so I do not know that what I have would be the norm anywhere else.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2004 at 4:01PM
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greenelbows(z9--so LA)

The post on the Tennessee forum told about a family that vacationed together in a cabin in the mountains in eastern Tennessee. They had three generation together, and they would all sit out on the porch after dark and watch the fireflies. They co-ordinate their flashes, apparently when they're trying to attract the females, and they would start at the top of the hill and flow down like a ripple of Christmas tree lights. I'd sure like to see that. A couple gardening friends and I were plant hunting today, and I asked if they'd seen any. One gal said she had seen one(!!!!!) The other hadn't seen any. That's really sad.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2004 at 12:30AM
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drasaid(zone 8)

They have enough heart stimulant in them to off you. So don't try and do the Shrek thing, people.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2004 at 7:52PM
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greenelbows(z9--so LA)

Heart stimulant, huh? Wow--does that mean if somebody had trouble when they were out in the woods and they forgot their medicine they could substitue fireflies? Handy bit of information! (Don't do the Shreik thing indeed!) chortle snicker!

    Bookmark   July 4, 2004 at 12:27AM
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bigeasyjock(z8Ms)

I could be wrong but I have never seen as many firefires in the deep south (New Orleans and even in the country in Ms.) as I did as a kid growing up in Indiana and Kentucky. I've lived here for the last 20 odd years. It could be the spray thing in the city but not in the country in Ms.
Mike

    Bookmark   July 6, 2004 at 1:25PM
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Hairy_Potter(z8 NWLouisiana)

I live in the Highland area of Shreveport...pretty much an older, established neighborhood...and we have fireflies in our backyard. Each evening, just before it becomes fully dark, we sit on our deck and watch them. There are usually only a few at a time, but have seen dozens and dozens on one or two evenings.

Of course, they are the typical green color of light, but when I was growing up in Marshall, Texas, I seem to remember also seeing some with reddish lights. Anyone else ever see them?

    Bookmark   July 18, 2004 at 9:52AM
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country_in_the_city(9/15 CA)

When I was visiting my parents in Richland Parish this summer, we saw lightning bugs on the Beouf River behind their house. I know that they spray for mosquitoes in that area, but the lightning bugs seem to be making a comeback anyway. It made me really happy to see them!

    Bookmark   August 3, 2004 at 11:55PM
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LadyLandshaper

I'd been wondering why I hadn't seen many fireflies down here in coastal Mississippi - it makes sense that the mosquito trucks nuke them, too, hadn't thought of that. I remember the woods being full of them, growing up in Knoxville, and after not seeing them for ages, got to see them in full glory a few years back to a family reunion in middle Tennessee. Sad to think they are a thing of the past in many areas, wish my son could see them as I did!

    Bookmark   August 8, 2004 at 9:01PM
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Joeray(Z9 LA)

Tennessee and North Carolina must be the lightning bug/firefly capitals of the country. I just today read an article in Mother Earth News (June/July 2004, I believe) in which the writer described a walk out into the woods in North Carolina at night and an unbelievable display by the little beatles (not flies). He said there were as many lights from the bugs as stars in the sky in the country at night. I would like to see it.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2004 at 10:16PM
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