Why Do Earthworms Come Out In the Rain?

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Question: Why do earthworms, on a rainy day, suddenly pop up all over my lawn, in my garden…everywhere?!

The answer is simple: so they won’t drown! Worms spend all of their time burrowing and eating dirt, therefore creating minute tunnels underground. A rainstorm of any size could flood a worm’s home and drown it, so they come above ground. Unfortunately, they don’t fare any better outside their tunnels. A variety of predators are just waiting to pick off worms above ground, especially birds, and they run the risk of getting stomped on by us! 


Did You Know…?

  • There are approximately 2,700 different kinds of earthworms. 
  • In one acre of land, there can be over a million earthworms.
  • The largest earthworm ever found was in South Africa. It was 22 feet long from head to tail!
  • Charles Darwin studied earthworms for 39 years of his distinguished career.
  • Earthworms become paralyzed if they stay out in the sun for too long, which is about an hour. 
  • Worms can eat their weight every day. 

Facts found on the University of Illinois cooperative extension site.

About The Author

Catherine Boeckmann

Catherine Boeckmann loves nature, stargazing, and gardening so it’s not surprising that she and The Old Farmer’s Almanac found each other. She leads digital content for the Almanac website, and is also a certified master gardener in the state of Indiana. Read More from Catherine Boeckmann

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