How to Remove Leeches From a Garden Pond

Written by nathan mcginty
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A healthy garden pond stocked with plants and fish is a complete and unique ecosystem. It will eventually attract insects and other backyard creatures, such as snails and frogs. Unfortunately, this means it will also attract other animals, such as leeches. This isn't necessarily bad, as leeches serve an important part in your pond's life cycle by feeding on the muck that winds up on the bottom. In the absence of predators, however, a pond's leech population gets out of control and they must be removed.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Garden pond with leeches
  • Plastic basket (the kind that strawberries and other fruit comes in at the grocery store)
  • Plastic ties
  • String
  • Chicken or beef liver
  • Rocks

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  1. 1

    Take the piece of liver and the rocks and put them inside one of the strawberry baskets. Set this on a table on its side.

  2. 2

    Take the other strawberry basket and set it next to the first one on the table so that the two open ends are touching. Take two plastic ties, spaced about 2 inches apart, and secure the two halves together at the top. Turn the basket over one-quarter turn. Do the same thing on this side. Repeat for the other two sides of the basket. The end result will be a rectangular cage with a piece of liver inside and two stones.

  3. 3

    Tie a piece of string to the basket cage though the middle portion. The length of the string depends on the depth of your pond. You want the basket to float freely in the pond, about 6 inches off the bottom. So, for example, if your pond is 2 feet deep, you'd need a string of a 1 1/2 feet, plus enough to be able to tie the basket off to a nearby rock or branch.

  4. 4

    Drop the whole thing into the pond. Make sure it gets submerged. Do this at dusk.

  5. 5

    Check the basket in the morning. Leeches should be clinging to the liver. Discard the liver and leeches.

Tips and warnings

  • Leeches lay eggs in the muck at the bottom of ponds. You might need to repeat the process several times.
  • If you are using a large piece of liver, the basket will sink on its own without the rocks.

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