When do fireflies come out in North Carolina?

When Fireflies and Lightning Bugs come out in nc


When do fireflies come out in North Carolina?

As temperatures warm up and the days get longer, kids and adults alike begin to dig out their mason jars and wait for the fireflies and lightning bugs of North Carolina to brighten our evenings again! There is nothing more “summertime” than the twinkling lights of fireflies shining and blinking in the late afternoon light like hundreds of poorly-wired stars. One of the most popular questions our Clegg’s team members get, especially as summer approaches, is: When do fireflies come out in North Carolina?

Typically, depending on weather factors like temperature and humidity, fireflies begin to come out in North Carolina in late May to early June. As far as the time of day when fireflies come out in NC, they typically begin to appear in early evening as the sun goes down, around 6-7pm. However, that can vary by day and by region.

Counting the days or minutes until your first firefly sighting of the year? So are we! In the meantime, check out these Firefly FAQ’s:


What is the most common type of firefly in North Carolina?

The Big Dipper firefly is the most common type of firefly in North Carolina, and probably the type that enjoys spending its summer evenings hovering softly above the grass in your front yard! You probably recognize the Big Dipper firefly, and are familiar with it’s black, red, and yellow body, about 9-15mm in length. Did you know, however, that fireflies are not actually flies? They are beetles, with over 2,000 species!


Big Dipper Firefly in NC


Is it safe to put fireflies in a mason jar?

We certainly understand the desire to put these incredible little insects in a jar and keep them as pets, but unfortunately this is not good for the fireflies themselves. While fireflies in a jar are a beautiful sight, and excellent inspirational material for your next country song, leaving fireflies in a mason jar or other type of jar will lead to their eventual death as they become stressed.


Fireflies in Mason Jar



How can I attract fireflies in North Carolina?

Fireflies glowing is all about romance and courtship. All you have to do help attract a firefly to you is give them a dose of false romantic hope! Male fireflies of the most common species here in NC, the Big Dipper firefly, typically fly at dusk in a kind of “J” pattern. The male will begin to emit light and fly upwards in a “swooping” motion. Normally, a female will respond with a brief flash about 3 seconds after she sees this, and their love story begins! However, if you are looking to attract a firefly to you, you can take advantage of this mating ritual.

First, find a small penlight, or very very small flashlight. If you see a male firefly fly in that “J” pattern, aim your penlight at him, slowly count to three, and flash your penlight. He will think that you are an interested female and fly towards you! However, once he gets close he will recognize that you are not actually an interested lady firefly and lose interest. Not interested in this elaborate manner of attracting a firefly? Just chase them around the yard! That’s half of the fun of having lighting bugs and fireflies in your yard anyway!


How to catch fireflies in NC


Need help with insects more sinister than the friendly firefly?

Call Clegg’s Pest Control! With over 50 years of experience, we are your local pest control experts. Our specialized termite, bed bug, and general pest control treatments are designed to safely and effectively protect your home or business from unwanted pests or insects. Want to schedule your FREE inspection, or simply chat more about fireflies? Call us at (888) MRCLEGG and speak to a member of our team today!