The aftermath of Tropical Storm Isaias is still being felt throughout the tri-state, as thousands remain without power as a result of downed trees and power lines. But along the Jersey Shore, another repercussion has been felt in the way of a painful annoyance that can leave an itchy rash.
Sea lice, which are actually stinging jellyfish larvae found in water, were found on beaches along the Jersey coastline, as the tiny nuisances likely pushed up from Florida by Isaias.
Avalon Beach Patrol Lt. Ryan Black said that there has been an uptick in complaints from beachgoers about the creatures.
"They’re getting stung and they’re talking to the lifeguards and saying, 'What can be done.' But there’s nothing we can do," Black said. He thinks the sea lice move up starting around August 1.
"That day we had a huge crowd on 28th Street and almost all of them got out and they were reporting stinging and that kind of thing," Black said. "It's kind of continued throughout this week. We're still having reports today and yesterday."
Although they are commonly referred to as sea lice or seabather's eruption, the creatures are actually the larval form of a very small jellyfish called a thimble jelly.
"What happens is that because they're so small they tend to especially get under our clothing and then once that water with those larva are kind of trapped in there, the stinging cells start to go off and that's when you start to get that irritation," said Dr. Paul Bologna of Montclair State University.
Experts say irritation from the stings can usually be treated with an antihistamine, over the counter hydrocortisone cream or calamine lotion, similar to what would be used to treat an insect bite.