One of the great pastimes in summertime is catching fireflies at night. For us in Michigan, it's all part of the experience of living here to enjoy the glowing light from these unique creatures. But some scientists believe that human interference could be thinning out their numbers, which could eventually lead to them disappearing, and making seeing them a more rare thing. According to Local 4, scientists attribute this theory to two things:

Human development and light pollution. Human light pollution is believed to interrupt firefly flash patterns. Scientists have observed that synchronous fireflies get out of synch for a few minutes after a car’s headlights pass. Light from homes, cars, stores, and streetlights may all make it difficult for fireflies to signal each other during mating—meaning fewer firefly larvae are born next season. Where fireflies once had uninterrupted forests and fields to live and mate, homes with landscaped lawns and lots of exterior lights are taking over. The reduction of habitat and the increase in lighting at night may all be contributing to make fireflies more rare.

It would be a shame if our way of life drove away these cool bugs. Luckily for the smaller villages and towns, this will be less of a problem. But areas with more light pollution and development may one day lose them for good.

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