Florida lifeguards are warning swimmers about stinging sea lice and have posted flags along Pensacola area beaches.
According to Tampa station WFLA, sea lice are really the larvae of marine life, like jellyfish.
Sea lice is also called sunbather’s eruption, according to the Florida Department of Health. Residents and tourists along 250 miles of Florida’s southern Atlantic coastline have previously complained about the rash. Sea lice are often reported during the months of March through August.
The Florida Department of Health says the surface area of a bathing suit may increase the area where stings can occur. Female bathers wearing one-piece suits and children and adults wearing T-shirts in the water can increase the risk of a more severe reaction.
The FDOH said it is not unusual to see evidence of 200 or more stings under a person’s bathing suit.
Experts say if you do come in contact with sea lice, you should wash your swimsuit and dry it under high heat. Calamine lotion can help reduce the rash and itchiness.
According to the Pensacola Beach Lifeguards Facebook page, purple warning flags indicating dangerous marine life have been flying along the shore this week thanks to an itch-inducing pest commonly called “sea lice.”