Most species of leeches found in ponds feed on the sludge at the bottom of your pond and are not blood-sucking parasites. Leeches get into your pond from a number of sources, but they usually come from the introduction of new plants, fish or rocks.
Parasitic leeches can be harmful to your fish causing anemia and can spread protozoal blood parasites between fish. Leeches found on fish should be picked off and skin swabbed with a disinfectant.
There are two common ways of getting leeches out of your pond.
The first method is proactive. Because the sludge at the bottom of your pond provides an excellent breeding ground for leeches, it is critical that you keep sludge to a minimum. In a rubber lined pond this can be accomplished by doing a full clean-out of your pond each spring and then aplying sludge-eating bacteria on a regular basis to minimize future growth. We recommend using:
- Bacti-Pur, Sludgebuster
- EasyPro Sludge Remover, or
- Microbe-Lift Sludge Away
If you have an earthen bottom or very large pond, each fall or spring the leaves should be removed with a seine net and then aply Pond Vive, which is a sludge eating bacteria on a weekly basis.
The second method will get more immediate results. This is accomplished by setting up a leech trap. To build a leech trap:
- Find a tin can with a plastic lid. Poke ¼” holes in the sides of the can using a nail.
- Put 1/4 cup raw meat in the can: chicken, ground beef, fish guts, turkey liver, heart or gizzard will work.
- Tie a string to the can, and place can in bottom of pond with a rock on it.
- Several times a week check pull up the can, remove the leeches and add more meat.
- Continue the process until the can is empty when you pull it up.