Leech Socks- How do we get rid of leeches while trekking in 2019?

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Hi, all today we are going to discusses about leeches that all those trekking and hiking enthusiast may be encountered with at least once. here are some facts about it.

First of all 

What is leech?

Leeches are actually worms. There are about 700 to 1000 species of leeches world wide and they can be found in variety of habitats. Some are used for medicinal therapy.

Leeches they don’t hear or see much but they are sensitive to vibration and body heat.

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leech bites can be avoided if you use leech socks

Leech bites can be avoided by using leech socks

If you have got a leech stuck, when you get out of water. Simply wait for it to drop off itself. If you can’t get over of the itching, sprinkle a little amount of salt on the leech this will help to drop off early but this is not advisable.

Keep the wound caused by leech bite clean or else this can quickly become infected. This wound will itch till it heals completely.

Avoid removing a leech by burning with cigarette, applying shampoos, salt , mosquito repellent or by pulling at the leech. This can worsen the wound much than the leech bite itself and can cause infection.

There are many type of leeches some are used for medicinal therapy, but this leeches can also cause hydrophila infection because all leeches carry bacterias in their gut.

Problems of leech bite

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    Chance of skin infection is high
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    Rashes on the skin
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    Swelling of the infected part
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    Profusion of water like blood
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    Dark red coloured acne cum blisters

What to do after leech bite

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    Never let a leech bite get older this may turn into eczema, consult a doctor
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    Do not scratch that affected area
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    Stop the bleeding with a piece of paper or cotton
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    Apply any antiseptic cream to avoid further infection
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    Apply moisturizers over it to avoid drying of skin

How you can avoid leech bites

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    Make a mix of coconut oil and tobacco and apply it on your legs
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    Apply mosquito repellent cream, if mixed with tobacco will increase its effect
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    Wear a leech socks

That leech bite on our trek path

Hi, friends now you all know some of the facts about leeches. Here iam going to share our story of trekking experience. Which we thought to be the most enjoyable trek but turns into the most horrible one.

On a weekend we planned for a trek. We all assembled together at the forest office for getting permission to enter the forest area.

We were accompanied by a forest guide  and we all followed his trails. It was just after the monsoon shower.

The entire area was enriched with greenery and into the forest we go to lose our mind and find our soul.

varayadmotta trekking

Varayadmotta in Trivandrum

We started our trek at 9.45 am and our plan was to reach top at 12.00 pm and to have lunch and to take 1 hr rest. From there instead of returning back we planned to reach the other end down hill at around 6.00 pm max.

We had to stop after every small trek to catch up breath as it was very steeply. We enjoyed a lot.  we reached at the top at 12.10 pm as we planned and had our food .

 While resting at the top one of my friend found  leeches  in his foot. We all checked ourself and found a dozens of those in my foot and my other friends also had these in there foot.

We were surprised to the fact that we were not able to feel any itchiness early . Some pulled it out and some used cigarette lighter .

Periyar tiger reserve border hiking using leech socks

 For some this was their first experience with leeches. Our forest guide told us to clean the wound with clean water otherwise it may get infected. We used  water in our water bottle to clean it.

Now we got delayed by about 20 mins. Some of us started feeling itching in our foot and we stopped six or seven times to check for leech in our foot on the way. This made  1hr delay .

Our forest guide told us to move faster as it was getting darker. So we hurried up and moved faster . Now we had to down hill for some distance and then up hill to reach the next mountain.

Our taxi will be waiting at below. After 1 hr of intense trekking we were totally exhausted and we badly needed a rest, but our guide insisted us to continue without rest because after 6.30 pm the sun will go down and the animals will start coming up and it will be completely dark.

indian gaur bison

Indian Gaur spotted during our trekking

All our water bottles were empty and we were feeling  thirsty. We were literally crawling and totally exhausted heavily. All were feeling so sick and after an hour we reached down and entered our vehicles.

Only thing in our  mind was a bed to sleep. Not even having the energy to say bye to friends all are weak and sick . This worst situation was due to  leech.

This worst situation followed us for a while, as the leech bite gone infectious to some of my friends.

 I was struggling in my office during working and meeting times as the itching starts to poke up in my foot and i badly need to rub my foot.

 All my colleague were annoyed by this action of mine, totally ruined my calmness.

 I got swelling in the infected part and could not sleep well , this all impacted my overall performance in my office.

Some of my friends started having  rashes on their skin, Dark red coloured acne cum blisters, some got serious infection.

After this bad experience i just googled and collected most of the facts about leeches bite, and how to prevent it.

Problems of leech bite includes  skin infection, Rashes on the skin, Swelling of the infected part, Profusion of water like blood, Dark red coloured acne cum blisters. This all were experienced my me and my friends.

Options

salt leech repellent

I googled and searched for preventing such situation, and i got some information like- Make a mix of coconut oil and tobacco and apply it on your legs.

Apply mosquito repellent cream, if mixed with tobacco will increase its effect. 

From my personal experience, applying  the mixture of coconut oil with tobacco, or salt, or mosquito repellent cream with tobacco is not going to work all time.

The chances of washing off the applied mix is high while crossing a stream and while sweating.

Periyar tiger reserve border hiking using leech socks

Periyar tiger reserve border hiking- leech socks were provided by forest department

Leech socks as a solution

Anti Leech Hiking Socks

Check the price on Amazon



My personal suggestion is to have leech socks because in our last trek we used leech socks which was provided by the forest department itself.

While trekking the leech entered our foot but were unable to penetrate through the socks material and gradually it falls off causing no harm.

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Karthik Suseel
 

Karthik Suseel is the Co-founder of riderstrail.com. He is a traveler and loves hiking.