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How to Raise Fireflies

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Raising your own fireflies is not as hard as you might think. As long as you can find some starter fireflies, have a place to keep larvae until they hatch and are prepared to feed older larvae once they emerge from their eggs, you can raise your own lightning bugs.

Capture and Maintain Eggs

Capture female fireflies before they lay their eggs, then place them in a glass jar with soil at the bottom so they can lay their eggs. Once the eggs are laid, place each in a separate container so when they hatch the more dominant firefly doesn't eat the others. Provide each egg with moist soil or peat moss so they can maintain the moisture needed to thrive. Occasionally spray the soil to maintain moisture levels.

Keeping Healthy Larvae

Wait two to four weeks for eggs to hatch into larvae. Once they emerge, begin feeding them daily. At this stage, larvae will eat chopped-up earthworms, snails or other small insects. They'll remain in this stage for approximately three months, during which time you should feed them daily and maintain the moisture in the soil.

Repeating the Cycle

After the larvae pupate into adult fireflies, you may repeat the process by putting a male and female in a jar together so they can mate. Repeat the process as often as you like to continue breeding your own fireflies.