Most backyard ponds suffer from the leech problem at some point. So long as the leeches are few, they shouldn’t be a treat to your fish, or to the persons who wade through the water. But if you have small children who are fond of splashing in your pond on sunny weekends, you don’t want to take any risks – you have to remove those little blood-thirsty monsters. The brief guide below will show you how to effectively remove leeches with tips to maintain your pond. Step 1 – Don’t Rush to Buy Chemicals You’ll find on the market plenty of products that promise to kill pond leeches. Most of them do what they say, but with a nasty side effect: they disturb the balance of the chemicals in the water, making it unhealthy for the fish. Sometimes they even damage the fish and the plants, ending up doing more mischief than the leeches. It’s wrong to say that all anti-leeches pond chemicals are bad products that should be avoided. Some are okay. But the fact is that these products are not nearly as effective as algae-killing products and so should be used with caution. It’s best to remove leeches naturally and to try to prevent them from reappearing than to use ‘magic’ chemicals. Step 2 – Clean Your Pond Leeches thrive in the muck and debris that lies at the bottom of your pond. To fight them, begin by disturbing their habitat, that is, use a lake weed rakes to remove weeds and algae, decomposing leaves, and any other organic debris floating in your pond. When you’re done, add beneficial bacteria that in time will eat up the leftover muck. Step 3 – Destroy Leeches You’ll have to sacrifice a coffee can or two. Using an awl, poke leech-sized holes in the sides of the can, making sure you leave some nasty burrs inside, and then stuff the bottom of the container with raw liver or chicken meat, weight it down with a small rock, and place it in shallow water. Wait a day or two and then remove the can from the water and exterminate the leeches. Repeat this step as many times as necessary. Also, keep in mind that any fish larger than the leeches will usually try to consume the latter. Step 4 – Prevent Leeches From Reappearing Clean your pond frequently, at least once a season (except winter of course). When you procure pond plants, keep them in bleach water for a few days before planting them, to remove leeches and other parasites. Don’t overfeed your fish – if you do it, they will fill the pond with their ‘byproducts’ and foster leeches and algae. Never fill your pond with water you take from unclean sources. Step 5 – Options: Exterminate Leeches In ponds that are exceedingly dirty, leeches can become so numerous and audacious that they must be treated with more severity. In other words, they need to be exterminated. To exterminate leeches, drain your pond, remove fish and plants, clean the mucky bottom with a pressure-cleaner and then rinse it with diluted bleach. For a week keep the plants in bleached water and the fish in a tank. Then fill your pond with clean water and add the plants and the fish. If leech problems persist, it may be because you don’t have enough aeration. Living Water Aeration can offer you a high-quality yet affordable aeration system.