Worms invade campus

Emmalee Scheibe, Staff Writer

With the recent increase of rain, students are concerned about stepping on the worms that cover the sidewalks.

“I think worms are gross, but I don’t want to step on them and ruin my shoes, or kill them,” freshman Sam Lottman said.

Many people think that worms do this because if they stay in the soil they will drown however, that is not the case. Earthworms can survive several days fully submerged in water.

“The only thing I could think of is maybe they were in the ground, climbed the trees and when the rain came it washed them onto the sidewalk,” freshman Maddy Kraft said. “I don’t know if that’s true, but I’m sticking to it.”

Earthworms breathe through their skin and need the moisture in the soil to do so. Their skin needs to stay wet for oxygen to be able to pass through.

They surface during rainstorms for migration purposes and to make long trips. These are easier to do above ground than in the soil.

When it rains, it makes it easier for worms to travel at a faster and smoother pace. If they travel longer distances on a hotter day, they have a higher chance of drying out.

“I think worms are gross, but I don’t want to step on them and kill them because they are animals,” Kraft said.

Some sources say it gives them an opportunity to move greater distances across the soil surface than they could through soil.

Worms also come to the surface due to the vibrations of the rain. Also, when moles are near, they send vibrations through the soil so worms will come to the surface to escape.

Coming to the surface can be risky for worms. There are birds, fishermen and other things that can quickly end a worm’s life. As soon as the rain stops, worms will soon find safety back in the soil.