Worms need oxygen to stay alive and they will come out of the ground after rain because water makes it difficult for oxygen to flow through the soil particles. However, earthworms will not pop out of the ground if the rains are not much since they can still use the little oxygen trapped in the soil.
There are situations where oxygen may mix with water in large quantities. If this happens, worms will stay in the ground since they still have enough. They only come out after a flood when there is little or no oxygen at all.
Heavy raindrops that hit the ground may cause vibrations that scare worms. Some predators dig the ground while looking for worms. In the process, they cause little tremors that scare worms. when it is raining, earthworms confuse rain vibrations with those predators and this forces them to crawl out.
Worms that come out when it rains
The type of worms that come out after a rainfall depends on the quantity of water that floods the area and the oxygen levels. Tiny worms have a small surface area and are often the first to come out since they run out of oxygen very fast as compared to the large ones.
Worms that live in the soil vary in terms of behavior and character. Some worms live above the ground just at the top. Those are common in sandy areas and can easily be seen if a little downpour washes off the topsoil.
There are those that live just below the top and those that live deep in the ground. Those 2 types will only come out when the soil is extremely soaked and flooded. However, they will go back in after getting enough oxygen to avoid predators like birds and chickens.
There are worms that use little oxygen and those will rarely come out when it rains. However, there are those that need lots of oxygen. Those are likely to come out after a storm since they easily run out of oxygen if their hideouts are filled with water.
Black and white worms after rain
The most common black worms after a heavy downpour are the horsehair worms. Even though they are not dangerous to humans, they have a scary physical look. They are hairy with a dark appearance and their major habitat includes damp areas with a constant water supply.
Earthworms swim in mud and this can give them a dark appearance. They are the leading number of worms that pop up when it rains since they spend most of their lives living in fairly damp soil. They crawl indoors if they can’t find any warm and moist place to hide oud doors.
Your garage and basement are always the first stop when they crawl indoors since the environment there fits their needs. Getting rid of them is not a hustle since it can be as simple as sweeping them away.
It is also okay to scoop them up and leave them out in the trash can if you do not want to physically squash them. The dead ones can be left to rot in the soil and act as organic fertilizer in gardens. These provide good growth if you grow vegetables.
White worms after rains
When compost is rained on and flooded with water, you may see white worms coming out of it. Those are known as pot worms and they play a big role in soil aeration. They come out when their habitats are flooded since they cannot survive in an airtight soil clogged by water.
To get rid of white worms in your compost, turn the soil at least 1-2 times a day so that it dries quickly. Then avoid watering it for 7 days and keep it covered from the rains. This will lower the worm population in it. Those worms are beneficial but too much of them can be toxic to your plants.
While some earthworms may have a black appearance after crawling on mud, most of them have a cream-white appearance. Some may also have a clear white appearance depending on the climate and the time spent above the ground.
White worms covered with black stripes after a heavy fall are millipedes that hide in moist soil. When it rains, the topsoil is washed away leaving them exposed. Sometimes, worms are washed away and they will crawl around looking for a new habitat.
Most millipedes are not a threat to humans or pets and they can crawl into the house when their habitats are flooded. They will crawl and hide in dark warm places under I.e under the seats, fridge, carpet, and sink.
They prefer a damp moist environment and this is why they are found under carpets and sinks once they come indoors. To get rid of them, sweep and dispose of them in a bin. If possible, vacuum them up. If they show up in large numbers, use a dustpan to collect and dump them in warm soapy water.
How to get rid of worms after rain
To get rid of worms after rain, keep the soil less moist by removing excess moisture because earthworms cannot live in dry soil. Additionally, maintain the lawn and remove any cut grass that makes thick layers at the bottom. Do not use ammonia for worms in your lawn since it can increase the soil’s acidity.
1. Keep the grass thick
A sure way of keeping worms out of driveways and sidewalks after the rains is to avoid cutting thick grass. Let them grow just a little bit higher than the usual trim size. If you have to trim, do not rake those that you have cut. Worms from the ground can also hide in grass and this keeps them from crawling out into your pavements.
2. Rake and sweep
After the rains are gone, Worms that do not burrow back into the ground will die on their own because they cannot survive above. A sunny day is enough to dehydrate them to death. Trim the grass and rake the dead once that is left lying in there.
However, you can let them be if the infestation is insignificant. Dead worms make the soil more fertile and rich which is good for your lawn. Their decomposing bodies produce nitrogen that helps in keeping your grass green and healthy.
Worms in the garage after rain can be found in dark corners or under unused items that have not been moved for a while. Get rid of them by moving those items and suck them up in a vacuum. Then mop the floor with soapy water and ensure it dries up before returning anything you moved.
For worms in a swimming pool after a fall, use a large meshed sieve to scoop them out. Alliteratively, vacuum them out after which you should apply disinfection measures. Pouring chlorine will not kill all the warms in a pool. Physical cleaning like vacuuming and scooping are your best options.
Salt is a simple way of repelling and killing worms in your pavements after a heavy fall. Scoop some salt in your hands and spread it on the driveway and pavements to deter them. You may also sprinkle it on them if you want them dead instantly.
Worms from the ground are naturally moist and salt kills them by dehydrating their cells. When sprinkled on them, salt drains water from their cells through osmosis and this dries them out. You can also spray salty water on the pavements to kill and deter worms after rain.
Worms in house after rain
Worms will get into your house after heavy rain to look for warmth. They are used to hiding inside the ground thus surviving out in the cold becomes a challenge. In most cases, they come indoors by crawling through gaps under the door or up the walls and into an open window.
Once in the house, worms will look for damp areas under the sink and drains. Your kitchen and bathroom are the first places that attract them because of warmth and high humidity levels. Some of those worms may get to your bedroom while looking for warmth.
The first step of keeping rain worms out of your house is to fix any leaking pipes under the sink. Then keep the bathroom dry and drain closed with a fitting lid. Avoid stagnant water indoors and mop the floor with scented detergents to repel them.
Myths have it that worms fall from the sky when it rains but this is a lie. There is no way any bug can fall from the sky because life does not exist for crawlies up there. Worms after rain are displaced by water which limits the oxygen flow and warmth that they are used to.
Both millipedes and earthworms can end up in your house since it is warm and free from floods. Ants under a carpet can hunt and kill any worms in their territory. Cleaning up is important because those worms have lots of predators after them.
Calina Mabel has over 15 years of experience in the field of journalism and communications. Currently, Calina Mabel is the Content Writer for categories such as Cockroach, Ants, Bed Bugs, Mosquito, Rodent, Termite, and Flies on Pestweek.com. She aims to build content for these categories with a focus on providing valuable and accessible information to readers, in order to create the world’s largest knowledge community about Pests.
All content written by Calina Mabel has been reviewed by Emily Carter.