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If you swim in fresh water or walk through marshy areas, there will be leeches in the water. If you are from a 'pool' community or the shore, aka New Jersey or LA, you probably have never seen a leech. They are gross. They are like worms but they stick to you and suck your blood, and you can’t pull them off. Leeches used to be medically employed in the olden days to 'suck out the bad blood.' They are used still today in the medical field for some unknown reason. Some leeches are big - resembling a long flat worm (3-5 inches long or bigger) and some are small, resembling a piece of shell shaped pasta that could fit on a quarter or smaller. They seem very scary, but really they are not. The biggest crime they are guilty of is being gross.

If you should ever go swimming in fresh water or walk through a marsh and you happen to have a leech on you, just stay calm. You will think it is a piece of dirt or something at first, and try to swat it off, but it won't come off. They have suckers on the bottom of their bellies that are too strong to pull. In some cases you can yank them off if they haven't attained proper suction, but most likely, it isn't the easiest way to go. Once you have acknowledged that it is probably a leech, you have two easily attainable weapons on your side: Leeches hate salt and they hate fire. So, just keep a salt shaker or salt packet (from McDonald’s or some other restaurant) and a book of matches on hand. If you get one on you, just shake some salt on it or light a match and hold it up to it. They will shrivel up and fall off. They don’t do any damage or hurt you, they are just gross.

Leeches live in the reeds and in the mud. They don’t like rocky bottoms or sandy bottoms too well. Just don’t go into the reeds and don’t stick your feet around in the mud and you will be leech free.