Females are also affecting the feeding patterns of varieties where the females glow to attract, then devour, the males, The New York Times reported.
The lights interfere with bioluminescence or the chemical reaction that causes the insects to light and attract a mate. Environmentally friendly LEDs are too bright for the insects to compete with.
More long-term study of the effects of light on fireflies is needed, officials said.
The popularity of the bug's light show may also be leading to the bug's decline in population. Firefly tourism, where people actually travel to see the natural display of light in Malaysia, Japan and Taiwan, is popular with more than 200,000 visitors in those areas with the resulting traffic is destroying habitats. The researchers, however, don't want to do away with the tours, just manage them and establish sites to control them, CNN reported.
There are more than 2,000 species of fireflies, according to the Times.