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in: Manly Skills, Outdoors, Visual Guides

August 18, 2016 Last updated: October 15, 2018

How to Remove a Leech

how to Remove a Leech illustration


Typically found in freshwater environments, leeches are tiny monsters come to life from a science fiction movie. Shaped like worms but equipped with suckers and teeth, they attach to your skin with one goal in mind: suck your blood. The danger in removing one of these little blood lovers comes from the bacteria that’s housed in their stomach. Rip them off carelessly and you risk pushing that bacteria into your open wound, causing a dangerous infection. Likewise, common removal techniques like salting and burning the leech have their own negative consequences, like making the leech vomit that bad stuff into your wound. If you find yourself functioning as an all-you-can-eat buffet, get rid of your best customer the right way.

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Illustration by Ted Slampyak

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