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Post-4th of July heat perfect for firefly activity

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — As Independence Day fireworks settles down, Mother Nature’s own light show will continue on through the summer.

We’re talking of course about the abundance of fireflies often associated with this time of year. However, it’s not just the time of year that affects the occurrences of those flashes in the twilight air, the weather also plays a role in their light show.

Fireflies, like many other insects, are cold-blooded. They rely on the sun’s heat during the day to warm them up and activate their dazzling evening displays. Thus, when the weather gets hotter, they become more active.

It’s not just the heat that affects their encounter rate, the humidity plays a role, too. Fireflies feed on other insects like pill bugs, snails, and slugs. These bugs thrive in moist environments, so when it’s sticky outside, it’s like a four-course buffet for these glowing dinner guests.

The final factor at play is the wind speed. While not as important as temperature and humidity, the wind can throw a wrench in any flying insect’s plans if it gets breezy enough.

Ultimately, the calmer, hotter, and muggier it is outside on a July day, the more flashes you’ll see at sundown.

This perfect mixture of heat and humidity will only be around one more day before the air moderates to a typical summer feel. After Wednesday, prime firefly activity will settle down for at least the next week.

Until then, get your Mason jars ready to go catch some fireflies.