The Kerby's Nursery E-Newsletter
July 18, 2019
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The Weekly Special  |   Attracting Fireflies  |   New Arrivals    |  2019 Workshops

by Joey Bokor

In the lower right corner, just above the grass, there is a firefly.
Do you remember watching fireflies? They are such magical little insects. The fact that they can light up parts of their body is so unusual. I feel like there used to be fireflies in our area. Growing up, my grandparents had a property on a lake just off of Dale Mabry Highway. It was a couple of acres, and there was lots of natural habitat and not a whole lot of lights. I remember being out there one evening with some jars and attempting to catch fireflies to make little natural lamps.

That was a long time ago, and since then, I can't think of a time that I've seen fireflies in the Tampa area. However, on some of our trips over the last year, we have. Last year it was in Colonial Williamsburg, walking back to the hotel when we saw the first little guys lighting up some of the bushes. And then earlier this year, when we traveled to Austin, we were walking from the main building to the rooms we were staying in and there were fireflies everywhere. I tried to get a video of them flickering in the bushes, but the best I could do was one still picture with a faint dot in the lower right corner. Not super-impressive, I know. I can't believe I couldn't snap a single picture, but then I think I enjoyed watching them dance around the bushes like little meteors so much, that taking a picture was an afterthought.

All of these sightings got me thinking. Why aren't there many fireflies in our area? Lots of constant construction and removal of natural habitat probably doesn't help. But we still have lots of bees and butterflies around. Maybe we just don't see them because there is so much artificial light during the night. With a little research I found that fireflies can be seen in central Florida mostly in spring, from March to April and that you are more likely to find them near a body of water. That makes sense, since my grandparents lived on a lake. If anyone has seen fireflies in our area, I'd love to hear where you did. And in the meantime, I'm going to start adding some firefly habitat to my garden. See below for some of the things you can do in your garden to create a place for fireflies. In the meantime, you'll probably find me squinting at the bushes each evening, looking for a little illumination.

Happy Gardening,
The Kerby's Nursery Family

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The Weekly Special
Garden Accent Sale
All Garden Accents - 20% Off
Offer valid through 7/25/19
Cannot be combined with other offers.
In Stock Items Only

Statues, wind spinners, wind chimes and trellises are easy ways to add your unique style to a landscape. And this week only, they are all 20% off. 

Fireflies create garden magic.

Garden Tip
Attracting Fireflies to your Garden

Fireflies are actually a type of beetle even though we always call them flies. You'll also hear them called lightning bugs. 56 species of fireflies can be found in Florida and making your yard a place that fireflies want to be is about creating habitat. Fireflies diet primarily consists of slugs, snails and worms when they are larvae and flower pollen, smaller insects and possibly nothing when they are adults. Below are a few things you can do to make your yard a place for fireflies to be.

Reduce Pesticide Use - This is true for bees, butterflies as well as for fireflies. If you want to see more good bugs, you've got to use less pesticide. Reserve part or all of your yard as a pesticide-free zone to create a healthy habitat for all sorts of good insects.

Create Habitat - Wild areas are one of the best ways to create habitat for fireflies. Larvae feed on snails, slugs and worms in the ground, so extra shrubs to protect ground moisture is important. Larger shrubs and trees also provide cover and protection for adults. Lakes, ponds or any type of water are where you'll often find fireflies, so preserving or creating a pond area will help too.

Reduce Light - If there are bright lights all around your home, you probably won't see many fireflies, even if they are around. Turn off or turn down exterior lights and wait for the show.

Why Glow - It is thought that fireflies use their bioluminescence to scare away predators as larvae and as adults to attract mates. Whatever their reasons are, I just love watching the show.

New Arrivals
Summerific Hibiscus by Proven Winners

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Monarch's Promise Milkweeds

Beautiful Variegated Foliage
6" Pot - $7.99

Ming Aralia

Super Easy Houseplant
8" Pot - $49.99

Kerby's Nursery

2311 S. Parsons Ave.

Seffner, FL 33584
(813) 685-3265

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