If a trip to Florida’s Gulf Coast is on the agenda this summer, better listen up! Florida’s Department of Health is warning beachgoers about an outbreak of “sea lice” on the state’s northwest shores. The beaches around Pensacola now have purple flags to alert swimmers about the underwater creatures, which leave itchy, irritated rashes with bumps and welts.
They’re not really lice, but actually tiny jellyfish larvae. The Department of Health said that the sea lice typically appear on Florida’s shores between March and August, with varying degrees of severity. And here’s the interesting thing: To avoid the sea lice, it’s actually best to wear less clothes than more, as the ugly little buggers get caught in one-piece bathing suits or t-shirts. The Department of Health recommends that women wear two-piece bathing suits, and everyone should avoid going in the water with a t-shirt. And you thought “Jaws” was the only thing keeping you out of the water!