Insects Predicting Weather

This article is a fun collection of old-time sayings, with links to a few others. I'm not sure how much faith I put in the old folklore though. For example, I've kept an eye on the wooly worms around here for years, and never found them to be particularly reliable forecasters. Their color seems a fair guide to the first part of the winter, but not the later part.

Does anyone know an old saying like these that really does work for weather prediction?


  • marjstratton
    marjstratton Posts: 1,132 ✭✭✭✭

    Hum interesting. I love watching the wooly bears. I always had thought that they were supposed to look woolier if the winter was going to be longer. My mistake. Probably why I had really never noticed any difference.

  • kbmbillups1
    kbmbillups1 Posts: 1,314 ✭✭✭✭✭

    We always know the seasons are getting ready to change from summer to fall when we see spiders in our garage - those big wolf spiders.

  • dipat2005
    dipat2005 Posts: 1,225 ✭✭✭✭

    @MaryRowe thank you that was an interesting article. I had never heard of that before.

    COWLOVINGIRL Posts: 954 ✭✭✭✭

    Very interesting.

  • Michelle D
    Michelle D Posts: 1,415 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The ant hills did not get very large here this July. Hopefully, that one is correct and we will have a mild winter.

    Very interesting. Thank you for sharing @MaryRowe

  • judsoncarroll4
    judsoncarroll4 Posts: 5,353 admin

    We have a whole festival on this theme here: Woolly Worms | Woolly Worm Festival

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,356 admin
    edited August 2021
    • When cicadas are heard, dry weather will follow, and frost will come in six weeks.

    Now I will have to check out, if I can, when I heard those critters. Also, its been dry for 2-3 years already.

    • If ants their walls do frequently build, rain will from the clouds be spilled.

    Again, its been dry. No high walls on the ant hills here.

    • The more quickly crickets chirp, the warmer the temperature. 

    I will have to ask my oldest daughter. She kept some as pets. I'm glad that was at her place!

    I had always heard that when the spiders come out and are easily seen in a house, that it will rain. I really don't know about that one. I've seen them come out a few times this summer, and I think that maybe I just happened to see more that rain.

    I've also heard about the wooly bear thing. It hasn't held true here, but they are cool little catepillars. On occasion, we have also found white ones!

    Ninety days from fog will be rain or snow. We tested that one out and it didn't work.

    Now, if a muskrat builds a higher mud hut, it is supposed to indicate a wet year.

    I do believe that animals and othernatural things can be great predictors, but I don't think that we have enough smarts to truly figure those things out. Somehow, I think that most things done are quite subtle and we are just too busy in our own worlds. I also think that many of these things are often very regional and don't always translate well from one area to another.

  • RustBeltCowgirl
    RustBeltCowgirl Posts: 1,403 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Actually, it's supposed to be the size of the center stripe, which is orange. Quoted from the below link. "It is the larvae of this species which are the subject of common folklore, which has it that the forthcoming severity of a winter can be predicted by the amount of black on the caterpillar; this is the most familiar woolly bear in North America."

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,356 admin

    @judsoncarroll4 @RustBeltCowgirl What a great idea! If the current situation wasn't as it is here, I might have suggested starting something like this up somewhere locally. Done right, it certainly could draw a good and celebratory crowd!

    It's fantastic how these festivals can be built around the beloved caterpillar.

  • MaryRowe
    MaryRowe Posts: 736 ✭✭✭✭

    As much as I enjoy watching the woolly worms on my place, I never realized how much more so many other people love them! Festivals even! And reading through the articles it just now dawned on me why rural folk around here call them woolly worms and city folk call them woolly bears--yet another example of Missouri's mixed Southern/Midwestern heritage. Countryside settled by Southerners, cities built up by Northerners and Upper-Midwesterners, but everybody sharing a fondness for these little wooly critters.

    Still, I doubt their reliability as weather forecasters, since in any given year I can usually find the little critters all different mixes, ranging from mostly black to mostly brown. If they are forecasting the winter, there is certainly no consensus among them, though I guess at least a few must inevitably be right....

  • MaryRowe
    MaryRowe Posts: 736 ✭✭✭✭

    Should have known the woolly worms/woolly bears would have their own page on the Old Farmer's Almanac site!