Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Today We Learned About Leeches

It's hot, so the kids and I headed down to spend the afternoon by the river.  The plan was for the boys to wear themselves out splashing in the water while I finished the book I'm reading. And that's more or less what we did for four and a half hours.

Except for the bit with the leech.

I was up to my shoulders in the water when Leif suddenly screamed "Mom, there's a leech on you!" That didn't surprise me. I was expecting that maybe I had a wet leaf stuck to my shoulder....or that he just thought it would be fun to see how high he could make me jump. Turns out that he uses the exact same tone when he's kidding as he does when a skinny green thing is actually affixed to my arm.

Do you know how to properly remove a leech?  We sure didn't. Teenage daughter tried to pull it off and it didn't really want to let go....but when you're standing in the middle of the river, proper technique isn't a high priority. She tugged harder and it came loose. I Googled it when we got home. The right way to remove a leech is to scrape it off with the edge of your fingernail.

So we'll know what to do next time. If there is a next time. We've been swimming in that river for ten years and this was our first leech. So I'm telling myself they can't be all that common, right?  And I'm wondering what blood thinners do to leeches. I don't think my little friend had had time to really attach himself properly. I'm hoping for both our sakes that he hadn't.

Everyone did go back into the water and there were no more little parasites trying for a free meal. Believe me -- we checked!


lvkwilt said...

If my memory serves correctly, you can pour salt on a leech and it will let go...not sure if it kills it or not. Grew up in Minnesota and saw many a leech but it's too many years ago for me to remember.

Terri said...

My niece had one on her foot. We walked up to the cabin and got her mom to put some salt on it.... that worked!

Angie in SoCal said...

You're all ready having summer adventures - way ahead of us here in CA.

Judy S. said...

Saw leeches in WI long ago, but they were black. Nasty little critters, they are for sure. School's still going here till the end of next week, I think.


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