How to get rid of those blood-sucking Limatiks

Limatiks are scary. Just thinking about those creepy, blood-sucking mountain leeches already brings goosebumps into my system. Back when seasoned mountaineers share their encounters of these parasitic creatures, I would often wonder how in the world they survived such bloody attacks. So when finally I got a chance to hike mountains that are heavily infested with limatiks, I realized how traumatic the stigma we have placed upon those leeches that are just are thriving for survival.

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How to get rid of limatiks

So before you back out or decide to push for that major climb of yours – to Mandalagan, Guiting-guiting, Kanlaon, Makiling, Halcon, Baloy-daku, Timpoong, Mantalingajan, and many other limatik-infested trails – here some friendly tips on how you can get rid of limatiks and prevent limatik bites:

  1. Read ahead.

Whether it’s your first time or another epic come back, it’s always better to read ahead and research about the mountains that you are bound to climb. With so many blogs available online and hiking groups to consult, there’s no reason for you not to be prepared.

  1. Wear appropriate clothing.

Of course, one of the best ways to prevent those leeches from directly contacting any of your body parts is to cover them with appropriate clothes for hiking. Make sure to wear armguards and leggings so that those limatiks won’t easily slip into your skin. Bonnets and earplugs are really helpful in covering your ears (those headgears can be effective piece too!).

It is also better to wear light-colored clothes so that it’s easier to spot those leeches when they crawl into your clothing. Make sure to wear socks that would fit perfectly and long enough to enclose the tip of your leggings to avoid any unwelcomed entrance. Gloves are also great in making sure that those limatiks won’t stick into your hands and in between your fingers; but they are best to use when removing limatiks because of their rough texture.

Limatiks trying to get into my shoes
  1. Apply insect repellant.

Don’t hesitate to apply insect repellant before and during the hike. The concept is simple: whatever deters mosquitoes from biting, works the same way with limatiks. While many hikers and guides would recommend the use of Off lotion, any repellants will do. During our hike to Baloy-daku, we found out that petroleum jelly works very well on the exposed parts of the body. As it is oily by nature, limatiks will have a hard time sticking into your skin.

  1. Spray limatiks with alcohol

In case those limatiks were still able to penetrate into your body despite the precautions, don’t freak out because all you’ll ever need is an alcohol spray to get rid of them. Simply spray the area where the limatik got stuck and it will eventually remove itself and spit out the blood it has ingested. As mountain guides are very much accustomed to these parasites, you may also for their assistance in removing these limatiks. However, in case the limatik is difficult to remove, don’t force it as it may aggravate the wound or cause infection. Just leave it as it is; once it’s done with its bloody meal, it will eventually leave you in peace.

Limatik after being sprayed with alcohol
  1. Use eye drops

Cases of limatiks entering into the eyes is possible but this won’t definitely blindness – unless you react carelessly on this scenario. Some hikers share that it is possible to take out limatiks from the eyes by using tweezers or simply pulling them off. To avoid irritation or infection and easily remove the limatik, you may use eye drops to help the limatik move out from your eyes. But to avoid further damages, the mountain guide we had back then on trail to Mandalagan shared that you just have to wait until the limatik will leave your eyes. Once it’s full, it will loosen its grip and on its own will move out from your eyes. But of course, nothing compares to having your eyes check by medical professionals to ensure that there won’t be threats on your vision and complications in the eyes.

  1. Work with a hiking buddy.

Nothing compares to the security felt when there is someone whom you can constantly ask if there are limatiks already feasting on your body parts. You may take turns with your hiking buddy and check on one another most especially if you are passing through a limatik-infested area. Working in pairs and teams will also help when sealing tents at night and making sure that no limatik has trespassed your private space.

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The thought of limatiks sucking through your skin can be scary at first but after having been exposed to them, I’ve realized that they are not as scary as they seem. Limatik may bite but it won’t hurt as much as they it secretes painkilling substances. However, forcibly removing it from your skin can result to wounds and infections. These leeches may have caused a little inconvenience and scare to some, but they are also living proof that the biodiversity of the place is still healthy. The presence of limatiks on trails can also add to the challenge while hiking; hence, making the journey worth remembering.

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Limatik ready to attack

Have you been bitten by limatiks as well? Where? How was it? Let’s share each other’s’ thoughts and stories about these ‘creepy’ creatures? Comment down below or message me on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter! I’d like to her your stories. See you!

PS. As these are all based on my limited experience, you may add up other helpful information or correct some misconceptions included on this blog. Thank you for spending your time here and for having to reach this part! More powers, more mountains to climb!

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