Leeches are some of nature’s most frightening creatures. They suck blood from the person or animal they attach themselves to. Getting them off your body can be painful and tedious. You want to avoid them at all costs, no matter where you happen to come across one!
Depending on where you live in the world, there may have been instances when you found a few leeches in your bathroom or home. In those situations, you probably didn’t know what to do.
Thankfully, we’re here to help. In this guide to getting rid of leeches, we’ll take you through several bits of information that will help you with this problem. From telling you how to identify a leech to sharing a few do-it-yourself methods, we’ve got you covered.
Let’s get started.
What Is a Leech?
A leech is a segmented and parasitic worm that sucks the blood from humans and animals as its main diet. They have glossy, dark skin and fat bodies. Its body is tapered towards the end, and it has suction cups at both ends of its body. The leech uses those suction cups to stick itself to the host’s body and suck its blood.
How Do I Recognize a Leech?
If you tend to find worms in your bathroom quite often, there’s a chance that you might confuse one species for another. When identifying leeches, you need to look out for dark and fat worms with glossy bodies. The average leech is around three inches long. While many believe that these worms are black, they often have dark brown or dark green bodies.
Are Leech Bites Dangerous?
No, leech bites are not dangerous or harmful in any way. In most cases of a leech bite, there is very little need for you to contact a doctor and seek medical advice in any way. This is because you can remove it from your body independently.
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Please note, however, that even though leech bites are not dangerous, a significant amount of bleeding occurs at the site of the bite after you get bitten. This is because a leech’s saliva is an anticoagulant. As a result, your blood won’t clot the way it usually does after getting a cut or scrape.
How are Leech Bites Treated?
After removing a leech from your skin, make sure that you wash the wound out carefully with soap and water. It would be best if you took care to keep the wound clean. Apply an ice pack after washing it. You will most likely feel some irritation and swelling around the bitten area.
Suppose you are getting a leech bite treated by a medical professional. In that case, it’s important to remember that one’s treatment depends on the severity of the wound and how you reacted to the bite. On average, however, a doctor might prescribe an anti-allergy tablet to prevent allergies or antiseptic cream to keep the wound from getting infected. A doctor might cover the bitten area with a special bandage in some situations. This is because the leech might have bitten someone in an area of the body which is prone to infections.
When Should I Contact a Doctor?
You must contact a doctor when you start to feel sick after getting bitten by a leech; an infection usually causes the sickness. Some of the signs of being infected include feeling large amounts of pain from the wound, high fever, and redness around the wound. Additionally, if you notice any discharge from the bite, you must consult a doctor immediately.
If you are prone to allergies, your doctor will give you anti-allergy medication to prevent a severe reaction to a leech bite. However, you must consult a doctor if you struggle to breathe, feel dizzy or disoriented, or feel like you are losing consciousness.
How to Remove Leeches in a Bathroom
Finding worms of any kind in your bathroom isn’t fun, especially when there are leeches in there and you want to take a shower in peace. Thankfully, getting rid of bathroom leeches is quite simple!
First, we’ll look at several DIY methods followed by a list of chemical products that help get rid of these creatures.
DIY Methods to Remove Leeches in a Bathroom
One of the quickest and easiest ways to get rid of leeches in a bathroom is to pour salt on them. Thankfully, salt is one of the most commonly used ingredients in anyone’s pantry, so you don’t need to spend much time searching for it.
To try out this method, you will need:
- Two or three cups of salt
- A container with a lip to pour the salt.
We’d recommend that you keep at least two cups of salt at the ready to pour on the leeches, but you might need more if there are more than ten leeches in your bathroom.
Once you’ve spotted a leech, pour a large amount of salt all over it, roughly three or four tablespoons. Make sure that you cover the entirety of the leech’s body with salt. We’re recommending salt to help get rid of leeches because salt dries out the leeches’ skin and kills them.
Please note that this tip only works when the leeches are not in water. Therefore, they must be on a dry surface, such as the floor or walls.
Use a Combination of Salt and Soapy Water
If you find that leeches keep coming back to your bathroom after constantly trying to kill them, don’t worry. Try out this method regularly, and there’s a good chance that the leeches will stop infesting your bathroom.
You will need:
- 600 grams of salt
- A bucket of soapy water; you can use dish soap or soap designed to clean bathrooms
All you need to do is combine the salt with soapy water. You must ensure that the two ingredients are thoroughly combined; otherwise, this method will not work.
Also, Read – How to Get Rid of Urine Smell in the Bathroom?
Once you’ve combined the two, pour this mixture all over the floors and walls of your bathroom. Ensure that you pour extra water in the areas where the leeches tend to lurk. Once you’ve covered the walls and floor with the salt and soap water mixture, scrub them with a plastic brush, then rinse your bathroom with plain water and let it dry.
As we mentioned earlier, you must repeat this process regularly to get rid of leeches and prevent them from coming back.
Use lemon juice
The best part about do-it-yourself methods to get rid of bugs and leeches is that their ingredients are most likely in your kitchen, pantry, or storage cupboard. For this method, you need one ingredient and a little patience.
You will need:
- The juice of six or seven lemons
- A spray bottle
Squeeze the juice of the lemons into a bowl or glass and distill it into the spray bottle. Next, spray all the areas in your bathroom that you found the leeches in, and let it sit for at least five or six hours before washing your bathroom. Additionally, if you see any leeches lurking in your bathroom, spray a large amount of lemon juice onto the leeches. These creatures reject the citrus that is in the lemons, and it will kill them quickly.
Since you’re not making lemonade, you don’t need to dilute the lemon juice with water. If you dilute it by mistake, we’d recommend that you drink the diluted mixture and start free with only concentrated lemon juice. The diluted mix will not be as effective as pure lemon juice, especially if you want to kill the leeches.
Use Apple Cider Vinegar
Another great ingredient that you might already have at home is apple cider vinegar. It’s a great addition to salad dressings and juices, and it’s also an excellent product that you can use to kill creatures like leeches.
To try this method, you will need:
- One cup of apple cider vinegar
- A spray bottle
Distill the apple cider vinegar into the spray bottle, and spray it directly on the leeches. You can also spray it in the areas of your bathroom where you have found leeches. Apple cider vinegar kills leeches very quickly, which is why this ingredient is perfect for getting rid of them.
What Chemicals Can We Use to Deal With Leeches?
Since there are several more natural methods to get rid of leeches than chemicals, we would recommend the following.
While copper sulfate is used to kill leeches in ponds, you could also use it in your bathroom. Please remember that you must not use it in your shower or bathroom sink. This is because copper sulfate is strong enough to erode the pipes in those two areas and can cause leaks or bursts over time.
Since leeches are often found inside toilet bowls, we’d recommend that you pour about a quarter cup of copper sulfate crystals down the toilet and flush. It will kill the leeches instantly.
What Not to Do When Dealing With Leeches?
A leech bite could get infected if you try and remove the leech by using materials like shampoo, fire, or insect repellant. Suppose you use one of these methods to remove the leech quickly from your skin. In that case, the leech will vomit blood into the wound on your skin, and you might be forced to deal with a painful infection, and in some cases, blooding poisoning.
Dealing With Difficult Leeches
If a leech is sticking to your skin and you cannot lift it off, you could try this method. You must not attempt to pull the leech off your skin with force. If you do that, it will grip your skin even harder and make it more difficult for you to remove it. Instead of pulling or tugging it, gently slide the tip of your index finger under the tapered end of the leech. By doing this, you are lifting its face and teeth off of your body and preventing it from sucking any more blood. Once you have lifted its face, slowly lift the rest of its body and throw it far away.
Why Were Leeches Used In Medicine?
Even though many of us want to avoid leeches like the plague, these worms are often sought out and used in medical therapy. Leeches were used as a healing method in ancient Egypt to treat issues like dental problems and skin abnormalities, but in the 21st century, they are used in plastic surgery and other forms of surgery.
Leeches can help heal medical problems like hemorrhoids, hypertension, and arthritis.
In this article, we showed you a variety of methods to help you get rid of leeches. Even though a a bathroom might be the last place you would expect to find one, leeches manage to find their way into all sorts of places with water and moisture. We includes several natural methods to help you kill them, keeping in mind that those methods are inexpensive and accessible to people with limited ingredients. The next time you encounter a leech, we hope that you proceed with caution and refer to our methods to help you!