Worms are small, slimy creatures that many people find repulsive. But these humble invertebrates play a vital role in the ecosystem, breaking down organic matter and aerating the soil. Worms are also masters of camouflage, able to change their appearance to blend in with their surroundings. The common earthworm, for example, is usually reddish-brown in color. But if it is living in an area of dark soil, it will appear dark brown or black. In a sandy area, on the other hand, the earthworm will be pale yellow or white. This ability to change color gives worms a greater chance of survival, as it makes them less visible to predators.
If you’ve ever wondered why there seem to be more worms after a rainstorm, you’re not alone. It turns out that there is a scientific explanation for this phenomenon.
Worms senses changes in the atmosphere
Worms are actually capable of sensing changes in barometric pressure, which tells them when precipitation is on the way. In response, they will often burrow deeper into the ground to avoid getting wet. However, this isn’t always possible, especially if the ground is already saturated with water. As a result, worms will sometimes be forced to the surface where they are exposed to the elements. While this may seem disadvantageous, it actually helps the worms to spread their eggs and continue their species.
Are there any dangers associated with worms coming out when it rains?
For the most part, worms are harmless creatures. However, there are some types of worms that can pose a threat to humans and animals. These include:
- Hookworms: These parasitic worms can penetrate the skin and enter the bloodstream where they feast on blood. This can lead to anemia and other serious health problems.
- Tapeworms: These flat, segmented worms can grow up to 30 feet in length and live in the intestines of their host. While they don’t typically cause serious harm, they can lead to malnutrition and weight loss.
- Ringworm: This type of worm is actually a fungus that lives on the skin. It causes a red, itchy rash that can be difficult to get rid of.
If you come into contact with any of these worms, it’s important to seek medical attention as soon as possible.
How can you tell if there are too many worms in your backyard or garden and what should you do if that’s the case?
While a few worms here and there can actually be beneficial for your plants, too many can be detrimental. This is because they can quickly deplete the nutrients in the soil, leaving your plants starved. Additionally, an overabundance of worms can also attract predators like moles and birds which can cause further damage to your garden.
If you think you have too many worms in your yard, there are a few things you can do to get rid of them:
- Add mulch: This will help to deter worms from coming to the surface as it will make it harder for them to move around.
- Use a trap: There are various traps you can use to catch and remove worms from your property.
- Apply a nematode spray: This is a type of beneficial bacteria that will kill worms on contact. However, it’s important to use it sparingly as it can also kill other helpful creatures like bees and ladybugs.
Taking these steps should help to get the worm population under control and keep your garden healthy.