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Lifeguards issue warning about sea lice spotted at Florida beaches

Sea lice most common in the summer, according to lifeguards

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VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – It's sea lice season, and according to lifeguards in Northwest Florida, swimmers should exercise caution when getting in the ocean.

News 6 sister station WJXT reports that sea lice often leave itchy red bumps and are more common during summer months.

Pensacola lifeguards issued a warning on Tuesday about the creatures, which are microscopic jellyfish larvae about the size of a grain of ground pepper.

When the pests get caught in a person's bathing suit, they can sting while in the water. Officials from the Florida Department of Health said it is common to see 200 or more stings under a person's bathing suit, which often do not show up until a few hours after the fact.

The Florida Department of Health recommends showering directly after swimming in the ocean to avoid being stung. Officials also said swimmers should change out of their swimsuits as soon as possible after leaving the water.

If stings develop, officials from Minute Clinic recommend washing the site with a gauze pad soaked in vinegar.