Far too much has been written on leeches. I don’t mean scientifically. I mean sensationalist scare-mongering. It’s all over the internet. Truth is, leeches really aren’t a big nuisance. I’d take them any day over a tsetse fly (infuriatingly persistent) or a horse-fly (painfully rasps open your skin) or a swarm of sweat bees burrowing into your every orifice. Welcome to Africa, on all accounts.
Best thing of all, leeches don’t spread any (known) diseases. If anyone can tell me why, let us all know. Here’s an animal that seems just a perfect vector – it’s so good at finding (and latching onto) hosts. Is it something about the frequency of bites, or the number of different hosts a given leech bites? Or the mechanics of how it bites? Anyway, it’s a blessing, and means that leeches are certainly no reason to be apprehensive over visiting Borneo’s forests.
For those of you who are interested, here’s what (terrestrial) leeches looks like in Borneo, and what their bites look like afterwards:
Of course the worst aspect of leeches is their uncanny ability to seemingly teleport to any part of your body. And I mean any…