How To Find Worms? Can You Spot Worms To Surface?

Anamika Balouria
Feb 07, 2023 By Anamika Balouria
Originally Published on Nov 10, 2021
Edited by Jacob Fitzbright
Fact-checked by Pradhanya Rao
Red earthworms on the compost.

Worms are small invertebrate animals found mostly in soil, either as pests or as soil fertilizers.

Many refer to worms as insects, but they do not belong to the Insecta class. When you visit a garden area or if you have a backyard in your place, you might see small invertebrate animals in the soil, either coming out of their small underground burrows or sitting in a dark, shady place.

Worms are of different types and have different species all around the world. Hunting for worms in the backyard or garden can really be a fun activity with the kids.

There are different methods in which you catch the worms from moist soil or grass areas in the backyard. Worms are often seen according to the season and climatic conditions.

For example, during the rainy season, you could see more worms out of their small burrows, like a hole. Even if you spot a worm, it should be picked up gently because worms do not have limbs and have a thread-like structure.

If you pull or grab them out forcefully, then it might kill the worm. You need to be very careful if you want to catch or look for worms on the surface of the soil.

Many times, people try digging a hole to use as bait. However, it is not a compulsion to make a hole and dig for worms.

Worms are known to be lazy if they warm up a lot and consequently die for this reason. Worms are cold-blooded animals that like to live in moist, wet conditions.

Many worms or nightcrawlers, including earthworms, cannot balance their body temperature, and hence, can die in extreme temperatures. So, before you plan to catch the worm from the ground, always collect the proper requirements similar to the wood habitat which they need to survive.

If you enjoyed reading this article about how to find worms, then do check out how to get rid of algae in a fish tank, and how to get rid of Asian beetles.

How to find worms in the ground?

You can find worms in the ground with different methods, such as the cardboard box method, the rainstorm method, the digging method, and by using the right tools. You can even catch worms by bringing them to the top of the ground without digging.

So, before you go looking for worms in your garden, you should know where to find them. Most of the worms, including an earthworm species, live mostly in the wet soil and around dead plants under dead leaves.

The habitat of worms is the rainy woods along with freshwater. Worms gather themselves under moist soil in a yard or lawn. When it comes to dry climatic conditions or dry soil, then you will not be able to attract worms to the surface or ground.

In dry conditions, they live deep under the soil of the ground to get moisture. You can look under rocks, dead leaves, damp and moist soil areas of the yard or lawn.

In the cardboard box method, you can collect worms or attract worms to the surface without digging. Just simply place a wet cardboard box piece on the ground at night, and the next day you will find the worms under the wet cardboard box piece because worms come under moist soil and dirt conditions.

In the rainstorm method, during rainy days, you can usually find worms crawling on the ground of the garden.

Even if you fail, you can dig in the soil using a shovel. During dry conditions, you can find them near the sprinklers.

In the digging method, you can just simply dig the garden soil, but that does not mean you will dig all the way through. There are some tips that you must never forget while you catch a worm.

You must use gloves if you want to catch worms. Use a flashlight, especially a red light, if you are looking for worms or nightcrawlers at night.

Even if you store them in a container, the container should be filled with dirt. Worms mostly head towards the dirt half of the ground.

How to find worms in your backyard?

It would really be a fun activity along with your kids to find the worms in the backyard. The moist soil half beds of the backyard would be the best place to gather the nightcrawlers or worms.

Reading the first half of the article, you already know the different methods of catching or hunting worms, but along with kids would be a different kind of learning. If you fail with the above methods, then you can also use the worm grunting or worm charming method to look for worms in the backyard.

The worm grunting method has helped most of the people around us who often hunt down nightcrawlers for different reasons.

Worms are known to go deep underground to around 6.5 ft (198 cm). Many times it becomes difficult to catch them so worm grunters are used to attract them with the usage of vibrations.

The best times to look for worms are in the spring and autumn seasons. These seasons allow the worms to live in favorable conditions under dry grass when the underground soil is moist in the yard or lawn. Look for worms in dark and hidden places under the rocks.

Worms are known to be sluggish if they get too hot, and as a result, they might die. Worms are cold-blooded animals that prefer to live in damp, wet environments under the ground.

Try digging in the damp and soft areas of the ground. Most worms are nocturnal. In the dark, you can spot nightcrawlers creeping on the ground.

You can use a red light to catch them. Gloves are optional, but if you are catching them with your kids, then do make them wear gloves, as they might hurt their bare hands.

A container of soil filled with dirt should be kept. Even if the kids grab the head of a worm, they never pull it out forcefully. If you pull a worm forcefully, you might kill it because it does not have limbs.

How to find worms for fishing bait?

Worm grunting is mostly used to find worms for fishing bait or as bird food. Mostly damp, swampy, muddy areas are good places to search for worms.

A worm is attracted to the vibration of the worm grunter's grunting sound. For attracting these nightcrawlers for fishing bait, you need a mallet, a handsaw, gloves, a pointed wooden stake, and a container of soil and dirt.

Many fish and bird species are insectivorous and feed on these worms, such as earthworms, from the ground. Worms look for dark, shabby places under rocks that can be their hideout.

There are different types of earthworms, such as epigeic worms, endogeic worms, or anecic worms. Every type of worm is collected for use by insectivorous animals.

Not only are they collected for fishing bait, but also as a good fertilizer for the soil. Sawdust helps to get a better hold of the worms, so it must be used along with them.

Worms are known to have good sensibility towards light, sound, and vibration. These worms in the ground do not have eyes but can see things around them with their receptors.

Worms are also attracted by using a compost of vegetables, fruits, grass clippings, and coffee grounds. Yellow mustard water mix is also used to bring the worms out of the earth.

Many people also claim that using shampoo also works for the worms to come out of the earth's holes, however, there is no scientific evidence to support this claim.

How do birds know where to find worms?

Birds are able to see the worms that are close to their nest. When birds forage for worms, they usually come down on the ground and use their monocular vision eyes to catch the worms.

Different birds find the worms in different ways, such as blackbirds, which are known to find the worms either by protruding parts of the worms from the hole opening or by sound. Though blackbirds have less hearing capability, they can sense the worms' movements inside the earth while they forge for them.

It is universally accepted that every creature on the earth has its own capabilities and this is true of birds who have the natural capability to catch the worms for their food.

Generally, birds use three senses, touch, hearing, and sight. With the help of these three senses, they easily catch the worms.

Another bird named the robin uses its vision to catch or hunt worms. Robin birds can even locate the light changes created in the soil or grass by the worms' movement. Most of the bird species do not eat jumping worms.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions forHow to find worms, then why not take a look at where do rats live, or interesting mushroom facts for kids.

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Written by Anamika Balouria

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English, Bachelor of Education specializing in Secondary Education and Teaching, Master of Arts specializing in English

Anamika Balouria picture

Anamika BalouriaBachelor of Arts specializing in English, Bachelor of Education specializing in Secondary Education and Teaching, Master of Arts specializing in English

A dedicated and enthusiastic learner, Anamika is committed to the growth and development of her team and organization. She holds undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in English from Daulat Ram University and Indira Gandhi Institute for Open Learning respectively, as well as a Bachelor of Education from Amity University, Noida. Anamika is a skilled writer and editor with a passion for continual learning and development.
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Fact-checked by Pradhanya Rao

Bachelor of Commerce specializing in Marketing and HR

Pradhanya Rao picture

Pradhanya RaoBachelor of Commerce specializing in Marketing and HR

With a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce from Christ University, Bangalore, Pradhanya's passion for the English language and literature led her to explore the field of content writing, where she has gained extensive experience in writing, reviewing, editing, and fact-checking. She has also earned certifications in Google Ads Search, Google Ads Display, and Social Media Marketing, showcasing her proficiency in digital marketing.

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