why do earthworms come out in rain | The Old Farmer's Almanac

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.