Why Do Slugs and Snails Come Out When It Rains?

Slugs and snails need and thrive in moisture, which is the main reason they love coming out when it rains. They also come out to escape from bird and lizard predators, to move easier across hard surfaces like pavement and to mate and lay eggs.

This article will explore the top 5 reasons why slugs and snails come out when it rains and where they go during the day.

5 Reasons Why Snails and Slugs Come Out in the Rain

Snails and slugs love moisture, so let’s take a look at some of the reasons why they come out in the rain.

1. They Are Trying to Escape Their Predators

Slugs and snails usually come out at night, but many of their predators will try to get away from the rain, which is why slugs will come out at that time.

Simply put, snails and slugs come out when it rains because they know that’s when most of their predators are in other locations. Slugs and snails, therefore, feel much safer when they come out after the rainfall starts.

2. It Is Easier for Slugs to Move Along Pavement

The slime on snails and slugs protects their bodies on a rough surface, but rough or hard surfaces will absorb this slime and make it more difficult for them to crawl.

When it rains outside, slugs can move more easily across pavements and other surfaces because it adds some lubrication. Because of this, the slugs won’t suffer nearly as much pain as they’re crawling along sidewalks or other structures.

3. It Allows Them to Mate and Lay Eggs

When it rains, snails especially are more active, and they tend to mate and lay their eggs in late spring or early summer when it’s very damp or wet.

If you live in an area that is frequently warm, humid, or rainy, they may lay their eggs throughout the fall months as well. Snail eggs are often placed in very damp soil, giving them another reason to come out when it’s raining.

4. Rain Will Wake Up Hibernating Snails

Rain often wakes up hibernating snails and can bring them out of hibernation. When snails hibernate, they crawl into their shells and create a layer of mucous on the opening. This will eventually turn into a plug that keeps the shell closed.

The rain, however, will loosen that plug and open the shell, causing the snail to come out of hibernation.

5. Snails Need Water to Survive

While humans’ bodies are 60% water, the body of a snail is made up of 80% water, and if these creatures don’t get enough water, they can shrivel up and die. Snails know that a lack of water is bad for them, so they tend to rush outside whenever it’s raining.

In fact, if you were to look at snails and slugs up close, you’d notice immediately the amount of moisture that is constantly surrounding them.

What Do Snails Do When It Rains?

Unlike most creatures, snails don’t avoid going outside when it’s raining. Instead, they head towards the outdoors and the dampness. Not only do they love being damp, but the rain also gives them the chance to eat one of their favorite meals—decaying organic matter.

The more humid it is, the better snails like it. This means if you live in an area where it rains a lot, you might as well get used to having a lot of snails and slugs around your home!

Can Slugs Live in the Rain?

While slugs love the rain, many cannot live in the rain and, in fact, will drown in it. This being said, some forms of snails can live in rain and water. All of it depends on how they do their breathing.

Many snails have a lung in their shell which they use to breathe. Garden snails, for instance, have these lungs and cannot breathe underwater. Many other types of snails have gills and are able to breathe underwater, but this isn’t true for the standard garden snail.

Why Do Snails Climb Up Walls When It Rains?

Snails will climb up walls when it rains to get away from the rain because they recognize when the water gets too high and may drown them.

You can think of it as sort of a defense mechanism—snails will climb up walls and other structures when the rainwater gets too deep because they know there’s a chance that they could drown if they stay near the water.

Where Do Slugs Sleep During the Day?

Slugs and snails can sleep anywhere they like. Their bodies are slimy, and that slime allows them to crawl all over the place and stop when they need to, or they want to sleep.

This is why, if you pay attention, you can see slugs or snails sleeping just about anywhere. Slugs and snails are usually active for about 30 hours, then they “cat nap” about seven times in a 13-hour period. Then they repeat the process.

Snails and slugs do not consider sleep that important, so if they don’t sleep that long, they keep going and doing the activities they wish to do.

While these are slow-moving creatures, they do indeed remain very active for long periods of time, sleeping only for short periods of time and only when they feel they need to nap.

Where Do Slugs and Snails Go During the Day?

Snails and slugs come out to eat at night, and during the day, they can usually be found in dark, damp places. These include under rocks and planters, logs and stones, and even low decks and underground cover.

Anywhere that is damp and moist and preferably hidden from the rest of the world will be considered a good place to find all types of slugs and snails.

Part of this time, they will be sleeping, but even when they’re not sleeping, they like to hide from both humans and other animals.


The main reason slugs and snails come out when it rains is that they love moisture, and their bodies need water to survive. Water is also good for mating and laying eggs, and it keeps snails and slugs safe from their predators since most predators are more active during dryer weather.