All filters
image image

How to avoid and get rid of Bloodsucking leeches

Things to Know

leeches are a type of segmented worm, with many similarities to the common earthworm in your back garden. They are hermaphrodites – meaning they have both male and female reproductive organs. they are widely spread around the world, your chances of encountering leeches are much higher in the areas such as south-east Asia. especially places such as streams, and rainforests – but are largely absent from arid areas. leeches are Admittedly categorized as creepy creatures by general consensus, each leech is known to have 32 brains and even a few sets of eyes.  Leech bites are not dangerous or painful, just annoying. Unlike some other creatures that bite, leeches don’t cause stinging, carry diseases or leave a poisonous stinger in the wound. Leech bites are almost painless and accompanied by secretion of an anticoagulant, so the first clue to their presence may be an expanding red stain in your socks or clothing or the squelch of blood in your boots. Leeches live in a humid area. So you can expect more leeches near the river and during the rainy session. The place that has more wildlife tend to have more leeches too. Leeches not only hide on the ground, but you also can find them on the leaves and twigs of low shrub. Leech is the most abundant in lowland forest. 

There are many methods to Avoid leeches:

  • Get yourself a pair of leech socks. the anti-Leech sock is the MOST effective way of preventing leech bite. Wear it like socks and tie it just below your knee, this will prevent the leech from getting in between your toes and feet. 
  • Tuck your shirt into your pants. This will prevent the leech from crawling to your belly, armpits and anywhere warm.  Also, closing your sleeves and bottoms of pants and also around the collar on the neck with a rubber band or small ropes is better, as this would stop the leech from getting inside your clothes and the probability of it reaching your private parts. Cover yourself well so that it doesn’t give the blood-sucking creature any opening to creep into your body. 
  • Leech does not exist in dry and hot places. Keep walking and not lean on anything in the rainforest. If you need to stop and take a rest, find a spot with direct sunlight. 
  • Insect repellent can help to protect any exposed areas. Clothing can also be treated with clothing spray to make it insect repellent.
  •  Always ask the locals – Local villagers working day in n out in the forests come up with most innovative leech-proof ideas. Feel free to ask, they will be happy to help.
  • Tobacco can kill leech in minutes. Spend a few money to buy some grinded tobacco leaves from the local market. Put it in a container and soak it in water. Soak the socks in the tobacco water overnight. Leave the socks dry up the next day. If you wear this sock, leech may crawl on it but it’ll halt moving after a while due to the poisoning by tobacco.
  •  If you walk in a group, the people at the front have less chance of getting leech bite, most victims are people at the back. Leech is sensitive to body heat and vibration. The first person passing by will “wake” them up, making them active and look for the next comers. 

There are many methods to get rid of a leech if it is biting you. 

"If you do find a leech attached to you, don't pull it off, as the mouthparts can remain under your skin and leave a slowly healing granuloma, or lump. so don't try to pull off the leech because the force of its sucker is stronger than the integrity of its body and you'll be left with a dead leech head stuck to you."

STEP  Identify the anterior (oral) sucker which will be found at the small end of the leech.

STEP-2 Put your finger on your skin adjacent to the oral sucker.

STEP-3 Gently but firmly slide your finger toward the wound where the leech is feeding. Using your fingernail, push the sucker sideways away from your skin.

STEP-4 Once you have dislodged the oral sucker, quickly detach the posterior (rear) sucker (the fat end of the leech). Try flicking the leech or proceeding with your fingernail. As you work to remove the leech, it will attempt to reattach itself.


  • Pour salt directly on the body of any leeches found outside the water. The salt will dry out the leech's body and kill it.


  • Use some apple cider vinegar on it. Like salt, this can also kill it.


  • You can encourage the leech to detach on its own by heating it with a lighted cigarette; just as effectively, you can apply some alcohol or table salt. Apply antiseptic to the skin until it has healed.

NOTE:  it's quite easy to remove a leech by applying a flame, a lit cigarette, salt, soap or a chemical such as alcohol, vinegar, lemon juice or insect repellent. The leech will detach itself quite quickly but it's also likely to regurgitate some of the contents of its stomach into the wound in its haste, thereby increasing the risk of the wound becoming infected.

Post-removal care

  • Keep the wound clean minor cuts in tropical climates can quickly become infected. The leech itself is not poisonous. The wound will itch as it heals.
  • Get a clean towel or piece of cotton wool and clean off the blood so you can identify the bite site.
  • Wash and dry the wound, apply a generous amount of Dettol or any other antiseptic liquid or cream.
  • Clean the bite area using antibacterial wipes, alcohol pads, iodine or hydrogen peroxide.
  • Put a bandage over the wound.
  • Leech bites tend to get really itchy when they’re healing. You’ll notice this even three or four days after being bitten. Try not to scratch them, as this may delay the healing process and it will leave a scar. Apply an anti-irritant and immediately consult your doctor for medical help.


In the case that a leech invades an orifice like your nose, ear, or mouth you have a slightly more serious problem since the leach will expand as it fills with blood. If you have access to strong (drinkable) alcohol or hydrogen peroxide you can try gargling (if the leech is in your mouth). Worst case scenario you may have to puncture the leech with a sharp object.

Team ExploreBees


Login to comment
Email *
Password *
Show Password


Post as guest

Please feel free to leave a comment below. Your email address will not be published.