Leeches

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Leeches

Postby the_camera_poser » Tue 06 May, 2008 10:01 pm

So how big do Tassie leeches get?
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Re: Leeches

Postby BarryJ » Tue 06 May, 2008 10:34 pm

Depends how long they have been sucking your blood!!!!!!

They start out around the thickness of a match and finish up thicker than a slug.
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Re: Leeches

Postby the_camera_poser » Tue 06 May, 2008 10:37 pm

well, as long as they're not African Queen size....
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Re: Leeches

Postby tasadam » Fri 09 May, 2008 1:44 pm

I've got a few photos that come to mind. I'll add them to this post when I get time to find them.
I've found the black leeches ranging anywhere from 1cm up to about 5cm in length - before feed.
I've only ever come across one tiger leech, up at the walls. It was perhaps 3cm when stretched to take a "step" or to "sniff" for blood (body heat).
Leeches can go short and fat when they "squat".

I hate em. Though I am more used to them now than I ever thought I'd get, if I find one that's not sucking, a flick is easy to get rid of them. Salt for suckers.
If you get bit, you need the will power not to scratch - it only makes it worse. Try & live with the itchyness as scratching WILL make it worse.

With such a leading question, it was tempting to steer you astray with the confusion between leeches and tiger snakes, alas I am not a good liar :P

EDIT Removing Salt for suckers. because it's better to scrape with fingernail to break the seal, so they don't spew into you when hitting them with salt / match, whatever, and you get all infected.
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Re: Leeches

Postby Son of a Beach » Fri 09 May, 2008 5:05 pm

tasadam wrote:I hate em.


Yeah, leeches suck!
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Re: Leeches

Postby walkinTas » Sat 10 May, 2008 11:52 pm

the_camera_poser wrote:So how big do Tassie leeches get?


You should hear TasAdams story (experience) of Leeches on Mary Creek Plain. Blood thirsty leeches hunting in packs. Its the stuff of nightmares.
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Re: Leeches

Postby the_camera_poser » Sun 11 May, 2008 11:57 am

walkinTas wrote:
the_camera_poser wrote:So how big do Tassie leeches get?


You should hear TasAdams story (experience) of Leeches on Mary Creek Plain. Blood thirsty leeches hunting in packs. Its the stuff of nightmares.


Maybe I should skip that one at the campfire.

Two things that give me the utter horrors, ticks and leeches. After 5 years of living in SE Qld, I had recovered my habit of constantly sweeping my body for parasites. I'm already starting to twitch again....

At least I love snakes, and don't mind spiders. :-)
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Re: Leeches

Postby flyfisher » Sun 11 May, 2008 12:23 pm

Snakes 'n spiders-------yuuuuuukkkkkk

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Re: Leeches

Postby Son of a Beach » Sun 11 May, 2008 3:14 pm

flyfisher wrote:Snakes 'n spiders-------yuuuuuukkkkkk

FF


Yeah, snakes and spiders are two of the four creatures than give me the creeps sometimes (the other two are doctors and dentists). I've been known to exit a moving car on sighting a hunstman in the car - the passengers can deal with it while I'm gone. I'm a little more controlled these days - now I just veer off the road across all other lanes of traffic without giving way and slam on the brakes before exiting (I think the thing that gives my wife the creeps is my driving).
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Re: Leeches

Postby corvus » Sun 11 May, 2008 7:53 pm

All creatures great and small deserve their place ,Snakes frighten me Leeches make me itch for days if they get to suck but the only thing I will go out of my way to destroy would the European Wasp and our Mossies nothing else worries me.
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Re: Leeches

Postby flyfisher » Sun 11 May, 2008 9:03 pm

Yes, I'd agree with that Corvus otherwise I wouldnt be a Flyfisher. Walking stream banks and lake shores is a great place to meet them.Only time they really give me a start is when I come across them unexpectedly at close range. :o :o :o :o :shock:
Western lakes area past Ada and out towards the walls is classic tiger snake habitat. :| :|
LEACHES are worse IMHO because of their secretive nature and although they normally dont do too much damage I HATE THEM. :shock: :twisted: :evil:

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Re: Leeches

Postby the_camera_poser » Sun 11 May, 2008 9:46 pm

Tiger snakes are fine. I'm NOT going to miss Brown Snakes- they do give me the willies. I've had pet snakes since I was 4, and I'm now 37, so I have a bit of experience with them, and I must admit, Brown Snakes just ain't right. Snakes are supposed to haul butt away from you, not come and check out what you're doing.
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Re: Leeches

Postby corvus » Sun 11 May, 2008 11:29 pm

G'day t-c-p,
Do tell ,What are these Brown Snakes you are talking about and as an Herpithingimly are you happy to advise us that our wee slitherin beasties in Tas are happy to retreat rather than to slink aboot chasin us I hope.
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Re: Leeches

Postby the_camera_poser » Mon 12 May, 2008 10:15 pm

corvus wrote:G'day t-c-p,
Do tell ,What are these Brown Snakes you are talking about and as an Herpithingimly are you happy to advise us that our wee slitherin beasties in Tas are happy to retreat rather than to slink aboot chasin us I hope.
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This little friend (2 metres tip to tail) charged me from 5-6 metres away- with me up on a porch 80cm above ground. I think he wanted to give me a love nip. No crap, after I beat a hasty retreat insider- he slithered 1/2 around the house, looking in all the windows, and then went and curled up under my car.

I'll miss brown snakes.

Image
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Re: Leeches

Postby flyfisher » Mon 12 May, 2008 10:42 pm

Man thats a big leech.I wouldn't like him [or her ] latched onto me.[wee bit off thread here perhaps--maybe]
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Re: Leeches

Postby the_camera_poser » Mon 12 May, 2008 11:42 pm

flyfisher wrote:Man thats a big leech.I wouldn't like him [or her ] latched onto me.[wee bit off thread here perhaps--maybe]
FF


I bet it'd itch for about.....8 hours after he let go! LOL Glad I had my salt with me!
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Re: Leeches

Postby corvus » Mon 12 May, 2008 11:43 pm

Hey Nic,
Thats a hard call on your Rellies :D
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Re: Leeches

Postby corvus » Mon 12 May, 2008 11:47 pm

G'day t.c.p. ,
That is a good reason to live in Tasmania, do you know why the are so aggressive .
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Re: Leeches

Postby the_camera_poser » Tue 13 May, 2008 8:59 am

corvus wrote:G'day t.c.p. ,
That is a good reason to live in Tasmania, do you know why the are so aggressive .
corvus


Look Corvus, I have had pet snakes for 33 years, and I know a bit about them, but I've never encountered a snake here or in the US that is so aggressive. I don't really have a complete understanding of it. But I suppose really it could be two thigs:

A) They are the "top" predator- anything bitten by them is going to die, if they can get a fang in, and therefore they have a levle of confidence that goes along with this. But really, other top predators aren't that bold either, so I'm not sure of that one,and their defensive mechanism isn't instant, so it's not like a Grizzly Bear, who can immediately defend itself.

B) They do have a flee instinct, but this is strongly counter-weighed by an attack instinct, that works like this:

1) First sensing of of danger, investigate and ascertain food or foe. (this is where they come and check you out). If food, eat it. If foe, then to #2

2) Flee from foe if possible, otherwise threaten then attack.

3) If foe in anyway impedes flight, OR if they do not respond with equal shock and flee, turn and advance on foe with a clear visual display.

4) If foe does not flee after visual display, continue charge and then bite.

I am a VERY amateur herpetologist, so that's really just my analysis of the close encounters I've had with them (several).
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Re: Leeches

Postby Son of a Beach » Tue 13 May, 2008 9:01 am

corvus wrote:Hey Nic,
Thats a hard call on your Rellies :D


heheh... I suppose so. But maybe it's because of my rellies. ;)
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Re: Leeches

Postby flyfisher » Tue 13 May, 2008 10:47 pm

Iv'e heard that they are aggressive.
Fortunately our tigers and copperheads are almost friendly by comparison--I have been so close ,so many times and have never had one actually strike at me.

They flatten heads like cobras and tigers stand up ,but mostly in defence , and usually they just like to get away.

I dont think I'd like to wander the river with eyes glued to water with those little chappies about.

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Re: Leeches

Postby flyfisher » Thu 22 Jan, 2009 5:16 pm

Plenty of leeches on our walk last weekend but not too many drew blood.
Deet is good stuff to keep them away and even when firmly attached a bit of deet will soon make them let go. :D

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Re: Leeches

Postby ClockworkLemon » Sat 24 Jan, 2009 12:09 pm

tasadam wrote:If you get bit, you need the will power not to scratch - it only makes it worse. Try & live with the itchyness as scratching WILL make it worse.

The itching is the one thing I hate about leeches, I don't have a problem with them otherwise. One thing I've discovered though, is that I really only itch badly if I interrupt their meal. If I ignore them, and let them go until they've had enough, I don't itch too badly, but If I pull them off, then I'll itch for well over a week.

I discovered this quite by accident on a bush walk, where i had a leech attach itself, quietly have its meal and drop off again, all without my knowledge. The only reason I knew about it at all was the fact that I was bleeding where I got bitten (which is the other annoying thing about leeches, the bites just don't want to stop bleeding...).
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Re: Leeches

Postby johnw » Sat 24 Jan, 2009 8:23 pm

ClockworkLemon wrote:
tasadam wrote:If you get bit, you need the will power not to scratch - it only makes it worse. Try & live with the itchyness as scratching WILL make it worse.

The itching is the one thing I hate about leeches, I don't have a problem with them otherwise. One thing I've discovered though, is that I really only itch badly if I interrupt their meal. If I ignore them, and let them go until they've had enough, I don't itch too badly, but If I pull them off, then I'll itch for well over a week.

I discovered this quite by accident on a bush walk, where i had a leech attach itself, quietly have its meal and drop off again, all without my knowledge. The only reason I knew about it at all was the fact that I was bleeding where I got bitten (which is the other annoying thing about leeches, the bites just don't want to stop bleeding...).

This is what usually happens to me too. I believe there's an both an anesthetic and an anti-coagulant in leech saliva. First one means you can't feel the bite, the other keeps the blood flowing. I've read somewhere that if you pull them off or apply salt, DEET etc directly it causes the leech to release more saliva in a type of reflex/shock reaction. I think this is supposed to increase the likelihood of prolonged bleeding and itching (could be wrong though). Usual advice seems to be simply flick them off with a fingernail. Anyway that's what I do if I find them. If bitten sufficiently I always itch for a week or more. Try not to scratch, difficult as that may be, as it can also allow the wound to become infected. I don't get too paranoid about leeches, but do remove them promptly if found.
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Re: Leeches

Postby flyfisher » Sat 24 Jan, 2009 9:45 pm

On a recent off track hike we found DEET in sprey or liquid form to be extremely effective both to keep them off and to make an attached leeck release within seconds.
The bushman brand of DEET is availabla in 20% and 40% strength in tube fornm and in spray form.
We used the 40% stuff.The 20% product also contains sunscreen.
When leeches release themselves the bleeding doesn't seem as bad as when they are pulled off.

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Re: Leeches

Postby corvus » Sat 24 Jan, 2009 11:36 pm

With my experience you can only flick them off if they have not attatched however 80% DEET Bushman not only repells them but a tiny spot makes then drop off instantly,also if applied to gaiters they will not go beond the trace of the insecticide (ecept the very small ones that slip in underneath ) so dont forget to do your ankles :)
Last edited by corvus on Sun 25 Jan, 2009 3:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Leeches

Postby Nuts » Sun 25 Jan, 2009 1:03 pm

I did some work with a team pulling weeds at the wildlife park near mole creek. I reached into the grass and within (mili) seconds 3 of the largest leeches I have ever seen were attached (perhaps 7/8cm unstretched!!!) I'm guessing these are the famed 'tiger' leeches?

I have always just 'rolled' them under the palm- they dont seem to 'grab' when approached quickly with a flat palm (not pulling) Never used any 'product' much...

treated someone with the old leech behind the eye syndrome once- salt bath brought it out. It was supprisingly 'full' in the couple of minutes it took. I imagine they would come out when full anyhow (the eye socket is fairly flexible) though I wouldnt like to wait..
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Re: Leeches

Postby Pedro » Mon 26 Jan, 2009 2:27 pm

On one of my very early walks, one of the guys had an old pair of army surplus pants with a button up fly. Not quite as leech resistant as the zip up type. I don't think I have to tell the rest of the story. I believe we flared a match and used the hot end to persuade the leech to let go.

This well feed beauty was Murder's Tier in the southern Midlands:
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Re: Leeches

Postby the_camera_poser » Mon 26 Jan, 2009 9:57 pm

Ok- someone needs to lock this thread now and pretend this never happened. Pedro, that is #$%%^%^#@^^^$#^& disgusting. It looks like the #@$%$%#$^#@^% African Queen! ^$&$*%^*^%* %$$%^^&*&*$&* @#$^#$&*%#$#%^^%

(shivering)

Maybe I would choose brown snakes.......
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Re: Leeches

Postby the_camera_poser » Mon 26 Jan, 2009 9:58 pm

Please tell me you are a really little person with really really little hands.
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