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Sea Lice

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posts: 33
Sea Lice

Hey I'm going to Key West on May 17th, does anyone know if the ocean is having a problme with sea lice right now?


Summerland Key...
posts: 2,204
1. Re: Sea Lice

I haven't heard any reports, but I haven't really been in the water yet. Sea lice -- actually a kind of jellyfish larvae -- can be an issue anywhere on this coast from early spring through the summer. I've seen quite a few jellies, so I would imagine there are larvae about too.

Collingswood, NJ
posts: 30
2. Re: Sea Lice

actually, just reading about this makes me quite interested. Is it a sort of rash? does it (they) get under your skin like scabies or something? how does one know if they have sea lice, and how do they get rid of said lice? I'm quite curious, lol. something good to be aware of as well.

Palm Harbor, FL
posts: 200
reviews: 13
3. Re: Sea Lice

Be sure to stay out of any seaweed! We were at beach once when it was wavy & I kept winding up with clumps of seaweed washing on to me. By the time I got out of the water I was covered in hives which got continually worse over the next week. The doctor said it was most likely either jellyfish larvae or sea urchin larvae that was in the seaweed. The hives kept me up at night & I swear some of the hives were as big as a dinnerplate! The doctor prescribed some sort of steroid to make the hives go away.

Westwood, NJ
posts: 983
reviews: 28
4. Re: Sea Lice

Is this a problem off the beaches themselves or can I expect this to be an issue in the snorkel sites where they take you by boat?

Summerland Key...
posts: 2,204
5. Re: Sea Lice

Sea lice are tiny larval jellyfish. They don't bother me much, but they give my boyfriend fits. They can be found anywhere in the Atlantic, particularly in late spring and early summer, but we've run into them the most while diving in the Bahamas.

The tiny critters end up trapped between your clothes and your skin and start stinging, so the best way to deal with them is to wear as little in the water as possible if you hear people saying they've run into sea lice. Don't wear T's, one-piece swimsuits, etc.

Sunscreen, particularly the really waterproof gels, offers some protection -- it's all I need -- and there's also some kind of anti-sea lice gel that you'll find in any dive shop. (I don't remember what it's called.) It's more expensive than sunscreen, and I'm not sure it works any better. We make sure we shower and change as soon as we get out of the water, which seems to help, and we take benedryl if we get stung.

Westwood, NJ
posts: 983
reviews: 28
6. Re: Sea Lice

you sure are knowledgeable Islandkitty!

New Orleans...
posts: 2,457
reviews: 61
7. Re: Sea Lice

Thanks so much for this info...I have never even heard of sea lice... and I just purchased a one-piece swimsuit (Sob!)! I'll just hope for the best...

falls church va
posts: 2,105
reviews: 11
8. Re: Sea Lice

Same as alot of the other posts, I also had not heard of it so I googled it and found this-http://www.palmbeachpost.com/health/content/health/guides/sealice.html .Might help with any other questions.But thanks island kitty for all your info-I've read alot of your posts.

Summerland Key...
posts: 2,204
9. Re: Sea Lice

I'll be snorkeling this weekend -- unless the wind gets too much -- so I'll let you know whether sea lice make an appearance.