DESTIN, Fla. (WKRG) — The beach flag warning system is flying yellow and purple Monday for reports of sea lice in Destin waters.

“Sea lice is just small jellyfish larvae that comes off bigger jellyfish and basically they’re sort of invisible in the water, you can’t see them, but they live on like bigger jellyfish and they’ll come off and they, you know, give you a little bit of a sting, some irritation on your skin. Some people definitely more susceptible to it than others,” said Lt. Bryce Orchard with Destin Beach Safety.

Destin Beach Safety issued a post on Monday afternoon about a large number of people being stung by sea lice in the Gulf of Mexico. Lt. Orchard said the sea lice were being felt all along the Destin coast.

“Some people are more susceptible to the sea lice bites, but usually you’ll see a little bit of red welts or just some like redness or itching to the area.,” said Orchard. “It’s sometimes they can be like, well, still come up as bumps, but it’s different from person to person.”

Lt Orchard said there are multiple ways to help relieve the pain of sea lice stings.

  • Use vinegar to kind of dilute the sting. 
  • Have a nice hot shower to kill off some of the excess sea lice. 
  • With bad welts, you can try using an ice pack wrapped up in a cloth for the swelling.
  • If it is really bad, call 911 or go to an urgent care center for treatment.

Lt. Orchard expects this sea lice migration to last for a few days based on weather conditions. He said the timing is hard to predict but jellyfish larvae are more common in the summer months.

Destin Beach Safety said residents and visitors can keep up with flags and warnings by following their social media pages.

Destin Fire Rescue also sends daily beach flag updates by text. The code to join is BEACH texted to 44144.

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