Thu 20 Oct, 2011 04:37 pm
Every now and then I will find, in the morning, dead worms on the sidewalk next to my lawn. What has happened to drive them out of the ground? Sometimes this occurs after a rain that night -- but just as many times there has been no rain. What is happening?
You haven't told us much about the environment they are in so here's what their needs are to thrive. You'll have to deduce from this what might be out of balance in your local worm environment.
In order to keep worms alive, so they can continue to keep our plants health and growth, humans must not disturb their habitat. Worms have no lungs, so they breathe through their skin. This means that the worm’s environment and skin must be moist at all times. This allows the worm to breathe in oxygen. If the worm’s skin dries out, the worm will die from suffocation. While worms need moisture to survive, too much moisture can be fatal. If too much water is present, it takes the place of oxygen, which will cause the worms to flee to the surface. Once on the surface, worms will be exposed to sunlight. If worms remain in the sunlight for too long, they can become paralyzed.
In addition to needing a moist environment for survival, worms must also remain close to their food supply. Worms feed off of leaves and dead grass, which contain organisms that provide a healthy diet of bacteria, algae, and fungi. Worms feast on dirt as well, especially if they live deeper inside the earth. Worms also eat plants, fruits and vegetables.
You or a neighbor might also be using chemicals in the garden that are killing the worms.
Deadly runoff....lawn treatments or pesticides..likely.
Rain. Plain and simple, it says it in the article. They need to breathe, so they come up for air.