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“the worms go in and the worms go out,

the ones that go in are lean and thin,

the ones that come out are fat and stout,

be merry my friends, be merry”

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When I take people trekking into the jungle I tell them to check every-now-and-again for leeches and flick off any that are pioneering up their legs.   However there’s usually at least one person who will spend every single spare moment in an obsessive state of leech monitoring vigilance, oblivious to anything and everything else, and oblivious to the rain forest they came to explore.

This is stupid.

Leech bites are not a big deal if you have the self control not to scratch them.  If you spend any length of time in the jungle you will get bitten by them, so best to come to terms with that fact as soon as possible and stop worrying about them.

My own feelings towards leeches are a combination of admiration (for their tenacity and ability to launch themselves onto fast moving giants), annoyance (at making unscheduled blood donations) and pity (who’d want to be a leech?)

I find it truly amazing that people are so freaked out by leeches – the very same people don’t seem to mind mosquito bites (despite the greater health risk) – and fear of leeches is the single main reason tourists in Malaysia are put off going into the jungle.  Crazy!

In the video below I show you how to deal with leeches and, if you haven’t come across them before, it will get you familiar (and hopefully at ease) with these little creatures.

There is a fishing-trip friend of Baha’s whose hatred of leeches is such that he sprays himself from top-to-toe with Baygon (roach killing spray), wears plastic bin-liners on both feet and even carries a can of Baygon in hand as he walks through the jungle so that he can spray at leeches he spots on the way!!!  This is clearly the behaviour of a madman – don’t become like him, don’t let a little bite-or-few spoil your trip to the jungle.