Where Do Caterpillars Go When It Rains? {Best Hiding Spots Explained}

Are you wondering what happens to a caterpillar when it’s raining outside? Where do caterpillars go when it rains?

Do caterpillars drown in the rain? Where do caterpillars like to hide? What do butterflies do when they get wet?

All of these questions and more will be answered in this article focused on where caterpillars go when it rains.

Where Do Caterpillars Go When It Rains?

Caterpillars would like to find shelter when it is raining. They will look to hide under leaves or in logs. They may crawl under a rock as well.

A caterpillar that is crawling, will find its way through bushes or inside trees to avoid the rain. If the caterpillar gets wet, they must bask in the sunshine to dry off.

If a caterpillar is engulfed in water and cannot find a way out, it will drown and die.

How Do Caterpillars Survive Storms?

Caterpillars are able to use their very strong grip to remain motionless in a sheltered area. Sometimes it’s just the underside of a leaf. Caterpillars do not wish to stray too far from their house plants.

They will try to find the most sheltered and comfortable area on this plant to avoid the rain. If the storm is too strong, the caterpillar must make its way to a more secluded and covered shelter such as inside a tree or under a rock.

Some caterpillars do not survive storms. They get engulfed by the water and drown.

Do Caterpillars Like The Rain

Caterpillars, like many other insects, are not typically fond of heavy rain. While some caterpillar species are more tolerant of wet conditions than others, rainfall can have several negative effects on caterpillars:

  • Wet Environment: Rainfall can create a wet and humid environment, which may not be ideal for caterpillars that are adapted to drier conditions. Excessive moisture can affect their feeding, movement, and overall well-being.
  • Drowning Risk: Heavy rain can pose a risk of drowning for caterpillars if they are exposed to standing water or excessively soaked vegetation. Many caterpillars are not strong swimmers, and waterlogged environments can be deadly.
  • Food Quality: Rain can affect the quality and availability of their food. Wet plant material may become less suitable for caterpillar consumption, making it harder for them to find and consume the nutrition they need to grow.
  • Predator Activity: Rain can affect the behavior of predators and parasites that prey on caterpillars. Some caterpillars may seek shelter during rainy periods to avoid being hunted by these predators.
  • Vulnerability: Caterpillars are often soft-bodied and vulnerable to physical damage. Raindrops can cause harm by dislodging them from plants or causing physical injury.

That said, caterpillars are resilient and can endure some rain, especially if it is light to moderate.

Can Caterpillars Swim

Caterpillars are not typically good swimmers, and many species are not adapted for aquatic environments. They are primarily terrestrial insects and are more suited for crawling and feeding on land. Here are some reasons why caterpillars are not strong swimmers:

  • Soft Bodies: Caterpillars have soft and flexible bodies. They lack specialized adaptations for swimming, such as the streamlined shape or swimming appendages found in aquatic insects like water beetles or water striders.
  • Lack of Gills: Aquatic insects often have gills or other structures that allow them to extract oxygen from water. Caterpillars do not have these adaptations, and they primarily breathe through tiny openings called spiracles, which are better suited for breathing in air.
  • Feeding Adaptations: Caterpillars are adapted for feeding on plant material, which is their primary food source. Their mouthparts are not designed for catching prey or scavenging underwater.

While most caterpillars are not strong swimmers, there are exceptions. Some caterpillar species live in water or are adapted to temporarily surviving in aquatic environments. For example, certain species of aquatic moths have caterpillars that can live in submerged vegetation. These caterpillars may have some adaptations for life in the water.

Where Does the Butterfly Go When It Rains?

Butterflies are simply the adult version of caterpillars. They maintain similar behavioral instincts. Butterflies may have remembered some safe spots from the time when they were caterpillars.

They will try to hide under foliage that looks like an umbrella covering. They may be able to seek shelter under rocks. You might see a butterfly under rocky outcroppings or in crevices.

They will simply remain motionless and keep their wings behind them in order to not get soaked.

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What Happens if a Butterfly Gets Wet?

If a butterfly gets wet they must remain still. They have already spent the rainy period of the day motionless and trying to find the best spot to stay dry.

Unfortunately, some butterflies get wet. If they remain motionless under the sunshine, the water will evaporate from their body. Basking in the sun will help to try out their wings.

A butterfly will not attempt flight while it is still wet. This is a time when a butterfly is very vulnerable to being eaten by predators.

How Do Caterpillars Deal With Rain?

Caterpillars will begin looking for shelter when the rain starts to fall. Sometimes they can sense it when the sky grows dark.

  • Remain on host plant
  • Cling to underside of leaves
  • Climb between tall grasses
  • Tuck under rocks
  • Hide in cracks of crevices in trees

The first effort will be to remain on the host plant. They will try to cling with a very strong grip to the underside of leaves.

Some may be more adventurous and climb deep into tall grasses. Others may try to tuck themselves into crevices or cracks on rocks and in trees. Caterpillars also perform the same methods to save themselves from strong winds.

Do Caterpillars Drown in Water?

Yes. It is a problem for caterpillars, butterflies, moths and many other bugs when they become covered in water droplets.

A few drops of water can disturb you, but they can totally engulf caterpillars and cause them to drown. It is easy for caterpillars to get trapped in water when their chosen shelter ends up turning into a death trap.


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Jason Barrett

Hello, I'm Jason. I have 11 years of experience in dealing with pests. I try to provide you the best information that'll help you to make the pest control process easy & affordable