Leeches, commonly found in the rainforests of Madagascar, mainland Africa and Southeast Asia, can easily attach themselves to a human body and start sucking off the blood therein. While they do not cause any disease or result in significant blood loss, having a leech sticking on to your body is surely disgusting and might make many people simply pull them off. However, it is advisable to refrain from such an act, as it might make the wound infected. Rather, you should try to remove it by a simple use of your fingernails. In order to help you out with the task, we have listed the complete procedure on how to remove leeches, in the lines below. Go through it and try to stick to the steps listed therein.
Removing A Leech
- In order to remove a leech from your body, you will have to locate its anterior (oral) sucker, also known as the head of the leech, first of all. For the purpose, you need to figure out the narrow end of the leech, attached to the wound.
- Next, you will be required to make use of your finger, placing it on your skin adjacent to the oral sucker.
- With a gentle, but firm, motion, move your finger toward the wound where the leech has attached itself to your body. Now, you will have to quickly slide your fingernail under the sucker of the leech and try to push it sideways, away from your skin.
- After you have dislodged the oral sucker, it is the time to quickly move on to the posterior (rear) sucker as well. For the purpose, look over to the fat end of the leech and dislodge it in the same way as the oral sucker.
- Finally, you have detached the leech from your body. Now, quickly flick it off, lest it tries to re-attach itself to your body.
- As the last step, you will be required to clean the wound. Wash it with soap and water and then bandage it properly.
- Make sure to keep the leech wound clean, till the time it heals fully. Though the leech itself is not poisonous, the wound can get infected easily, especially in tropical climates.
- As the leech wound heals, you will experience an itching sensation in the area. However, refrain from scratching it, as you might end up interfering with the healing process and introduce other infections.
- Never ever try to pull a leech from your skin, in order to remove it. It might lead to regurgitation and the risk of infection. Pulling can also tear the wound further, apart from leaving parts of the leech's jaw in the wound, thus causing further infection.
- Some people apply a flame, lit cigarette, salt, soap, caustic chemical (like alcohol, vinegar, lemon juice, insect repellent or heat rub) or carbonated drink to the leech, to remove it. However, it is not at all advisable, as this might lead to regurgitation by the leech and cause infection.