General Question

TheBox193's avatar

Why do worms come up onto the pavement when it rains?

Asked by TheBox193 (987 points ) November 11th, 2008

Wouldn’t it be better to stay in the grass? Why the pavement? I understand that the ground is all full of water and they are like “Gah! Get out!!” What is so special about flat surfaces?

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10 Answers

syz's avatar

I always assumed that they were trying to avoid drowning.

joeysefika's avatar

Its so they don’t drown. Just like in a worm farm when you want to harvest the work feces you fill the farm full of water so they come to the surface. That way you can scoop out all the fertilizer. There’s nothing special about the flat surfaces, its just a safe place. When it rains the water fills up all the little tunnels that the worms dug so they drown if they stay in their tunnels.

TheBox193's avatar

So are there a equal number of worms to grass? Do they prefer the pavement? Do you think it matters to them?

judochop's avatar

They are hoping to get a game of basketball in.

SoapChef's avatar

To get to the other side. :0)

TheBox193's avatar

@jodochop and @SoapChef rofl, thank you :D

squirbel's avatar

http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2008/10/21/2396935.htm

Scientists in the US believe they’ve found the reason why worms can be charmed out of the ground.

If you drive a wooden stake into the ground and draw a flat metal rod across the top to create a deep frog-like sound, hundreds of earthworms come to the surface.

Worm charming, or grunting as it’s known in the US, is used by anglers to capture bait.

Associate Professor Ken Catania of Vanderbilt University, Tennesse believes he has an explanation for why the worms hightail it to the surface: the vibrations sound similar to those made by burrowing moles, a voracious worm predator.

Catania, who studies moles, read Charles Darwin’s statement in a book he wrote on worms: “It has often been said that if the ground is beaten or otherwise made to tremble, worms believe that they are pursued by a mole and leave their burrows.”

Others have observed certain turtles and birds tapping the ground to bring worms to the surface to eat.

gailcalled's avatar

My brother-in-law bought 1000 earth worms as a birthday present for his wife, the consummate gardener. They were delivered to our little post office.

Worms are good for fertilizing and aerating the soil, so my sister was happy about the gift. As an extra bonus, my bro-in-law laid them out, worm by worm, on the newly dug and composted topsoil. Within an hour, the birds had eaten them, worm by worm.

SoapChef's avatar

Stupid birds.

gailcalled's avatar

NO. Stupid bro-in-law. I was always afraid to ask him what the worms cost.

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