WTSP-TV, Tampa-St. Petersburg, Fla.
To the dismay of beach goers, sea lice are popping up all over Gulf Coast beaches.
While many sightings are along the panhandle, biologists say they expect to start seeing more move south along the coastline.
The microscopic ‘sea lice,’ aren’t like head lice, but are actually jellyfish larvae, and while they are tiny, they still have the same stinging cells as a full grown jellyfish, and they’ll leave a mark.
The rash they cause is called sunbather’s eruption. Many times the sea lice will get caught beneath a swimmer’s bathing suit. Because they sting like jellyfish, sunbathers eruption can be treated just like a jellyfish sting.
While they can be found throughout the year, sea lice are most active from the months of April through August.
If you think you can avoid sea lice by staying away in the surf, think again. Sea lice are microscopic and impossible to spot in the water.