To my knowledge, there are 2 kinds of leeches in this world. One small brown one and one bigger black one. The smaller one "pacat", brown in colour, about 1 inch in length is found in the bushes or in the jungle - sways from point to point on land. Whilst the bigger "lintah", black in colour, about 2 to 3 inches long are normally found in the padi fields - swims in the water.
Whenever I go through the jungle on the way to the rubber plantations either to clear the area or to bud graft those young rubber trees, I am normally equipped, among other normal things; with a handful of tobacco. It is not for smoking, but to wipe it on your legs to avoid the small leeches (pacat) to climb on you and suck your blood. Nevertheless, these pacat are not dangerous neither they would harm you. If it does climb and suck on your legs, you can just pull it away and throw it back into the bushes. However, you will feel itchy at the place where it clawed and sucked your blood.
The bigger leech (lintah) normally black in colour is found in the padi fields. Whenever we are ploughing or weeding the padi fields, we may be clawed and blood sucked from your legs. It would cling and after it is full it will just drop off. The trick to take it off is to use your saliva on your fingers and apply it to where it is clinging to you. With the saliva between your fingers, applying it to the leech (lintah), it may just let go your feet. These bigger black leech is also not dangerous, however, like the smaller leech (lintah), it will make your leg feel itchy, where it bite.
Now we have 'folks who rear leeches' (the bigger black ones), where it is sold to medical practitioners to be used to suck out the 'dirty blood' from you. Kampong folks are so used to these 2 kinds of leeches (pacat & lintah) that it has become a way of life we are used to whenever we go to the jungle or to the padi fields to do our normal daily chores.
2 weeks ago