How To Remove Leeches

Leech therapy

Removing leeches isn't hard to do, but should be done in a way that is safest. It isn't advisable to use salt, heat or flame, or other products on the leech (which are very common methods) because they will usually vomit into the wound and then detatch. This can cause an infection and make the wound worse, as well as increasing the chance of disease.

  1. Locate the head. The head of the leech is the end with a sucker attached to the wound. To locate it, figure out which is the narrow end. This will be the head.
  2. Slide the sucker off. Using your fingernail or another thin flat object, quickly slide it under the sucker of the leech. This will detatch the leech without causing it to vomit.
  3. Slide the body off. You will then want to use the same object to slide the body of the leech off (which is also connected by a sucker).
  4. Flick the leech away. Now that the leech is no longer attached, quickly flick it away before it bites you again and reattaches to the new wound.
  5. Treat the wound. A leech wound should be washed with soap and water and then bandaged. It is likely to bleed for some time because there are anti-clotting enzymes in the leech's mouth. You may have to check the wound every fifteen minutes or so to see if it is still bleeding, and apply new bandages as needed.

Leeches aren't likely to kill you. However, they aren't something most people like. You can leave them be and let them eat their fill. They will suck your blood for about 20 minutes and then drop off to digest. If this is easier for you than trying to remove it, it won't cause you additional harm.

If a leech is inside an oriface such as your mouth, ear, nose, or attached to a more private zone, it is best to seek medical assistance for removing it.

Keep the area clean and watch it for infection over the next few days. If you removed the leech carefully using the above method, you should heal fairly quickly and not have infection issues.


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