Recent heavy rains and the mating season thought to be the causes of the worm deaths in the Ohio Tri-State
CINCINNATI — People across the Tri-State awoke to an unusual sight Thursday — thousands of earthworms lying dead on sidewalks and porches.
WLWT was first alerted to the issue by Rick in West Chester.
"This appears to have started sometime yesterday afternoon, as I do not remember seeing them yesterday morning," Rick wrote.
Shortly after Rick's email, WLWT reporter Brian Hamrick began taking photos from his home in Florence, where thousands of worms coated the sidewalks of his neighborhood.
After one post on FB, more than 90 people said they had seen the same thing, from Fairfield, to Mount Airy, Pleasant Ridge, Independence and Sardinia. We even got confirmation from our sister TV station in Louisville that they had a few hundred dead worms on their sidewalk.
WLWT went in search of an answer as to why so many worms died all at once.
Lee Townsend, an entomologist at the University of Kentucky, said there could be three reasons: the recent heavy rains, mating season or acidic soils.
Townsend said the rain and mating season were the most probably culprits. During mating season, the worms climb out of the ground and can get stuck on surfaces like the sidewalk, where they are left to die.