The Bug That Doesn’t Bug Us
Since it’s our job to get rid of all kinds of pests, you might assume we don’t like bugs at all. But the truth is, we find them fascinating.
Did you know we even have a board certified entomologist on staff who understands bugs of all kinds? We do. And he knows two things for sure:
- You must know your enemy to defeat your enemy.
- All creepy crawlies are not your enemy.
Take lightning bugs, for instance. A Tennessee summer wouldn’t be complete without ‘em. So to celebrate this special time of year, we wanted to share some interesting facts about this fascinatingly fly insect.
They’re Lovers Not Fighters
Their flashes actually help them communicate with potential mates. Their method is sort of like winking across a crowded room, if winking across a crowded room was actually charming and included a spectacular light show.
They’re Not Flies
The same way a butterfly isn’t a fly, a lightning bug isn’t either. Though we sometimes call them “fireflies,” they’re really part of the beetle family.
They Don’t All Glow
Some species of lightning bugs have no lightning. Bummer, huh? Fortunately for us, they’re typically found in the western part of the country. That is to say, we have nothing but the good ones around these parts.
They’re Secret Chemists
Not only is the luminescent firefly’s glowing posterior (or lantern) the result of a 3-part chemical reaction, it also creates the most efficient light on the planet by using nearly 100% of that reaction’s energy as light. Fancy.
They Can Eat…Or Not
Lightning bug larvae are carnivorous and eat snails, worms and slugs. During their short adult lifespan (about 21 days) some eat other fireflies, some survive on pollen and nectar, while others don’t eat a single thing.
Some Might Be Magic
Synchronous fireflies are the only species in America that has the ability to synchronize their flashing pattern with their peers. Lucky for us, they can be seen for just a few days per year only a short drive from Middle Tennessee in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Wahoo!
Lightning bugs are probably on your list of insects you don’t mind. But for every harmless and beautiful bug, there’s another that can be a real pain to have in your home or yard. So remember, if ever you have bugs that are a bother, you know who to call.