Attention Beach Goers – Sea Lice Are Real!
If you're heading to the beaches of the Gulf of Mexico anytime in the next two or three weeks you need to know about this. Sea Lice have been observed along the coastal beaches from the Florida Panhandle to South Padre Island.This includes some of our favorite destinations like Destin, Fort Walton, Orange Beach, and Perdido Key.
Like their on shore counter parts these "lice" are not necessarily life threatening but they can be a pain. A literal pain. The Sea Lice are actually jellyfish larva and according to Texas A&M - Corpus Christie Professor Dr. Kim Withers they can really put a damper on your beach trip.
Professor Withers told the Louisiana Radio Network that it's the extra clothing you might wear while swimming that could cause the biggest issues for you.
When you get out of the water, particularly, and whatever you’re wearing sticks to you, then that makes those baby jellyfish mad, and they sting you with their nematocysts.
The Professor went as far to say that you might be better off skinny dipping. However, local authorities might frown on that more than they frown on the Sea Lice.
Don’t wear a t-shirt, wear a two piece bathing suit, and then take your bathing suit off before you decide to rinse in fresh water because sometimes when the fresh water hits them, that also causes the nematocysts,
You probably want to wait until you're inside to remove that swimsuit.
The "sting" from the jelly fish larvae are usually not that severe. They are very irritating. You might notice some small whelps or red skin around the affected area. Since the creatures like to stick to clothing, that means most of the irritation is going to come around the lower torso. That means the sensitive areas around the bikini line and the swim trunks. You certainly don't want that if you're on your honeymoon or a romantic getaway.
There can be reactions to the stings that involve fever and nausea but for the most part the sting is just a minor skin irritation. If you encounter these Sea Lice the Professor says stay out of the water and enjoy the pool. In a few weeks these creatures will have moved on and you can return to frolicking in the waves.