How to Find an Earthworm

First, check the easy places. Dig a few inches into soft garden soil. Pull up a weed (check with an adult to make sure it’s a weed!) and look in the roots. Find a place where leaves collect on the ground and look in the dirt just below the leaf layer. Pry up a rock or roll over a dead log and look underneath (Use a stick or wear gloves—never stick your fingers under a rock or log if you can’t see what you are reaching into.)

A picture containing food, drawing, fruit

Description automatically generated

If that doesn’t work, scan your yard or a local park and think like a worm.

Worms Generally Like:Areas with leaves and dead plants on the groundLoose soilSoil that is wet but not soakingCool, shady areasWorms Generally Don’t Like: Areas that are mostly sand or solid clayHot, dry dirtLawns that have been treated with pesticide or fertilizer

Worms will normally come to the surface in the morning and evening if the ground is wet enough. Try soaking the ground at dawn or dusk. Check back in 20 minutes to see who might have emerged.

If all else fails, you can buy worms at a bait shop. If you choose this option, please return them to the store or give them to a fisher friend when you are done. Believe it or not, non-native worms are taking over some forests and eating so many leaves that other plants and animals don’t have enough.