Before we get into the details of the life of an earthworm and its contributions to the planet, let us talk about the burning question of the hour!
Why do worms come out when it rains?
Earthworms usually come out of their burrows onto the upper layer of the soil when it rains. This happens due to the fact that soil absorbs all the water during rainfall and the burrows of earthworms are filled with water making it difficult for them to breathe.
If this information has caught your attention, keep your eyes glued to this blog until the very end!
Why Do Earthworms Come Out When It Rains?
Although there are no scientifically proven facts, there are several theories around the fact why earthworms specifically come out of their burrows and into the soil surface when it rains.
However, scientists claim that there is another grave reason why deep burrowing earthworms come out to the surface and often end up dying during the rainy season.
As we know, earthworms breathe through their skin. The oxygen found in the soil is enough to keep them alive and functioning. However, during the rainy season, water fills the burrows of the earthworms.
Since the amount of oxygen diffused in water is much less, earthworms find it suffocating within their burrows. This is why they are forced to come out, to the soil surface.
Sometimes, earthworms find it difficult to locate their way back into their burrows. This might be one of the prime reasons behind their death!
All About Earthworms
Earthworms are fascinating creatures, one of the most functional invertebrates to exist. Earthworms are said to be one of the most ancient animals, belonging to the phylum Annelida.
These invertebrate animals are tiny and round in structure, with a mucusy outer covering. Earthworms breathe through their skin. There are a total of almost 2,700 different species of earthworm species that exist on different layers of the soil!
Various Earthworm Species:
- Surface Soil Earthworms: These species of earthworms grace the topmost part of the soil surface. Usually, these species are found in bushy areas or lawns wherein they can easily evade from predators and also seek protection from the scorching heat of the sun during summers.
- Upper Soil Earthworms : These species of earthworms live on the uppermost layer of the soil. However, they rarely come out to the soil surface. When they do, they help in aerating the soil layers that helps in boosting the fertility of the soil. Additionally, earthworm droppings tend to add more nitrogen content to the soil, making it beneficial for plants and crops.
- Deep Burrowing Earthworms: Deep burrowing earthworm species are found in the deper layers of the soil. They build themselves permanent burrows that are found at least 8 feet beneath the soil surface. These species are usually the ones that emerge out into the soil surface after a heavy rainfall.
Why Are Earthworms Good For the Environment?
Earthworms are basically a blessing in disguise to the environment. Earworms provide many benefits to the soil, catering to its fertilization, organic and nitrogen content as well as manure production.
A culmination of all these factors help in these factors help to improve crop production in agricultural farms. Here is a list of reasons why earthworms are good for the environment!
- Improved Nutrition Content
If there are several earthworms grazing your agricultural field, well, it’s good news for the soil. Earthworms tend to feed on dead and debris present on the soil surface such as dead leaves, grasses, rotten animals, and much more.
However, their body digests the nutrients and converts the undigestible bits into a concentrated form of nitrogen that is excreted out of their bodies. Additionally. When earthworms die, their dead bodies decompose easily, contributing to more nutrient content in the soil.
- Better Drainage
Earthworms live in the soil. They constantly make burrows deep into the soil to reside in there. This process helps in the constant aeration of the soil. It has been noticed that soils that have an earthworm population do not face water-clogging problems as the rainwater drains almost ten times faster as compared to soil with no earthworm population present in it. Aeration helps to improve the soil quality, improving the quality of crops grown in the field.
- Improved Soil Quality and Structure
Earthworm droppings have significantly improved the quality of soil in most agricultural spaces. The “cast” or hardened form of worm dropping contains a high quantity of nitrogen and plays a crucial role in rebuilding the topsoil.
- Natural Rejuvenation of Productivity
All the factors that we have discussed above have significantly helped in the rejuvenation of productivity in a particular plot of land. Earthworms help to aerate the soil, improve the texture of the soil, increase the nitrogen content of the soil, and help in proper drainage of the soil. The culmination of all these factors helps to rejuvenate the productivity of the soil and improve the quality of crop production.
Like we have already mentioned, earthworms are essential for soil fertility and a farmer’s best friend. However, it is said that the rainy season brings doom to their lives.
All we can do is provide a safe and natural environment that supports the sustenance of these magical creatures and learn about their utility in the agricultural sector.
We hope that this blog clarifies all your doubts regarding the particular behavior of earthworms during the rainy season.