Live Leeches

by Stephanie
(Fairbanks, AK)

Types of Live Leeches

Types of Live Leeches

What do live leeches look like?

We went swimming in a gravel pit last nite. I was only wading while my husband and children swam.

I got out of the water and had tiny little worm like things all over my feet. At first I thought they were baby leaches since they were only 1/4" long, if that, and thin like a needle.

I had my husband get them off of me. They were easy to remove. Then he got them off of him and our children.

Well, one was still on my foot and what caught me as strange was the fact that it was trying to burrow in my skin.

I have called every one I can think of to help me identify them and have had no luck. What do you think? Oh yeah, they were skin tone color not black.

Hi Stephanie,

What do leeches look like? Pretty much the way you described them. :) They don't have to be black because there are different kinds of leeches as you can see in the picture of leeches above.

The fact that the little critter you discovered was trying to burrow into your skin isn't really that unusual. What is a leech? It's a parasite that attaches itself to you and sucks your blood until it has gorged itself and falls off when it's full.

The problem with leeches is that they can carry bacteria, germs, viruses, etc., and pass them on to you when they attack your blood supply.

I doubt you'll have much trouble with these tiny leeches you encountered (if that is indeed what you discovered), but just to be on the safe side, I'd give everyone in your family some extra probiotics over the next couple of weeks, like Florafood.

The good bacteria should be enough to counteract anything you may have picked up from the little "leeches."

If you do find that anyone in the family seems to develop a problem, then an herbal cleanse would be a good idea. Since you were able to get them off immediately, the probiotics should be sufficient.

Hope you enjoyed the swim in spite of the fact that you had live leeches swimming with you. :)

To your good health!

Comments for Live Leeches

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Mar 18, 2015
medical leeches NEW
by: Laura

I have purchased medical leeches and used them. They work by injecting blood thinners into the would they make and one's resident parasites will migrate to the site of the wound and be eaten by the leech. Then, the leech spends 6 months digesting the parasites in its gut with the special bacteria that break them down. The leech has evolved to get its nutrients from blood and whatever is living in it. I felt great the day after I used the four medical leeches. They got huge when filled up with blood. Each one can hold a couple of table spoons of blood. If you have Lyme disease, this is the treatment of choice. It is used in other countries in regular medical leech clinics.

Jun 23, 2013
help with leech please my son is ill NEW
by: angel white

HI my son was swimming in a pond then a creek thanks to his dad im furious but he didn't say anything till we got home he went ot pee at friends a black looking worm like as his description was attacted to his private he pulled it off through it in toilet then told us his penis is swollen twice the size mind u he is only 7 years old an it is red an blue an purple the head of it is blood red looks as if its bleeding out it but it aint u can see lil blisters visable it looksas if he is brusied to in a way its weird it hurts he says. put some antibiotic cream on it then today he felt really nauseated an has a low grade fever mind u this is a child that immune system does not work he is allergiv to everthing u can think of an is on 14 meds an two shots a week I am worried to death bc he stays in hospital I am worried this is serious can anyone help I will be takin him to dr in morning for sure thank you you can also email me at

Oct 09, 2010
Leech disease transmission
by: J

Just a note, there is no evidence to show that leeches can carry any diseases, except a certain bacterium which lives in some leeches gut. Even this is rarely of any concern and only causes minor infection of the bite site.
Also, I'm sorry to keep correcting you, but I thought you should also know that leeches do not burrow. They have no need to. There are only two (general) groups of leeches which feed on blood, one has a proboscis, and one has biting jaws, neither actually go any further than the surface of the skin.
Also, if any infection was suspected, medical assistance will prove far more useful than probiotics, though the body will often deal with this alone.

Jul 24, 2010
Leech Bite
by: Angie

It sounds like you may have developed an infection from your leech bite. If you pulled the leech off, you may have left little bits of its mouth still in your skin which is irritating the area and causing you pain.

If you don't want to go to a doctor, you can try putting some drawing salve on the lump to try to drain any possible infection.

You could also try using peroxide to cleanse the area as well.

Lastly, you may want to try applying an ice cube to the area in an effort to reduce the pain and swelling.

Jul 24, 2010
by: Anonymous

I also went swimming and about an hour after I found the leeche between my toes, only one and it stung like an ant bite. That was 1 week ago and now there is a lump there and it hurts. I do not know what to do

Jun 01, 2010
leach story
by: Anonymous

The exact same thing happened to me and my family yesterday. I wasn't for sure if they were leaches but I know now they were. My husband and two kids and I had them all over are feet. They were light brown and came off easy. I have only one blood blister in between my toes.

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