What would happen if you put a leech on a mosquito bite?

There actually seems to be some benefits from letting a leech suck on your mosquito bites.

What would happen if you put a leech on your mosquito bite?

Obviously I’m not expecting the leech to just suck all the poison, toxins and allergens out and then Bob’s your uncle, however I was curious about what effects you might see, good or bad.

I began researching (maybe that’s too strong of a word, perhaps I should say “searched google” lol) and I was unable to find any actual documentation on this, so naturally I began discussing it with my good friend, Dr. Chat GPT, and here’s what we came up with under the following scenarios.

1. Using a leech a few hours or days after being bitten by a mosquito.

  • Pain Relief and Itch Relief: Leeches secrete a variety of substances, including anesthetics, which might help reduce the itching and discomfort associated with a mosquito bite.
  • Anti-Inflammatory Effects: Leech saliva contains anti-inflammatory compounds that could help reduce the swelling and redness of the bite.
  • Anticoagulant Effect: The anticoagulants in leech saliva might cause the mosquito bite to bleed more than usual, potentially leading to prolonged bleeding at the bite site.
  • Infection Risk: There is a risk of introducing bacteria from the leech to the mosquito bite, which could lead to an infection.
  • Histamine Reduction: Leech saliva contains histamine-like substances that can help increase blood flow and might help in reducing the local histamine response caused by the mosquito bite.

2. Immediately putting a leech on a mosquito bite.

If you were able to get the leech onto the mosquito bite immediately after being bit, the effects may be more pronounced and noticeable, for example:

  • Immediate Relief: The leech’s anesthetic properties could provide immediate relief from the itching and pain caused by the mosquito bite.
  • Reduced Inflammation: The anti-inflammatory compounds in the leech’s saliva might help prevent the typical swelling and redness from developing.
  • Increased Bleeding: The anticoagulants in the leech’s saliva would likely cause increased bleeding at the bite site, which could help flush out some of the mosquito’s saliva and reduce the intensity of the body’s immune response.
  • Possible Infection: There’s still a risk of infection from bacteria carried by the leech, which might be higher if the leech is applied to broken skin immediately after a bite.
  • Histamine Modulation: Applying the leech immediately could help modulate the histamine response and potentially reduce the overall reaction to the mosquito bite.

While these effects could potentially provide some benefits, the risk of infection and other complications makes it essential to proceed with caution.

Are there any budding scientists out there willing to weigh in on this? Anyone who has access to a pond full of mozzies and leeches who’s willing to try it and share the results? If this works, I might set up an aquarium full of leeches. My wife is from Britain and when she gets bit by these skeeters in the Northland, she welts up something fierce and they cause her pain and itching for a week! I feel so bad for her and we’ve tried everything we can think of to stop the swelling and itching. You can actually feel the heat coming through her trousers from the bite.

Are YOU feeling itchy right now?


Not all leeches are suitable for medical use. Medical leeches belong to specific species, primarily Hirudo medicinalis, also known as the European medicinal leech. This species is used for various therapeutic purposes, such as improving blood flow and reducing blood coagulation in certain medical conditions and surgeries.

Key reasons why Hirudo medicinalis is preferred for medical use include:

  1. Anticoagulant Properties: These leeches secrete a powerful anticoagulant called hirudin, which helps prevent blood clots.
  2. Analgesic Properties: Their saliva contains anesthetic compounds that reduce pain during the leeching process.
  3. Antimicrobial Properties: Their saliva also has antimicrobial agents that help prevent infection.

Using non-medical leeches could pose significant risks, such as infections and uncontrolled bleeding, due to the lack of these specific properties. Therefore, it is crucial to use only certified medical leeches for therapeutic purposes.

Excellent information about using Hirudo medicinalis and where to purchase medical leeches: https://leeches.shop/leeches/

What would happen if you let a leech suck on a mosquito bite?
What would happen if you let a leech suck on a mosquito bite?

Rachel M Johanson writes about Bushcraft, Survival and Hypothetical Catastrophe scenarios for ApocalypseDiscussion.com