Okay, so you’re ready to head off to vacation in New Smyrna Beach. Should you be worried about jellyfish? The short answer is no.
One of the oldest marine species in existence, jellyfish come in over 350 different types of varieties throughout the world, ranging from harmless jellyfish to those with painful, potent and sometimes even deadly stings. The good news is that most jellyfish in New Smyrna Beach have a mild sting, if any at all, and are mostly just a nuisance if they happen to be anywhere around while you are vacationing.
You may hear reports of a rise in jellyfish stings in Central Florida. However, there are just more beachgoers, increasing the percentages of stings – not the number of jellyfish.
Winds and currents usually bring jellyfish to our Florida beaches a couple times a year. Strong weather systems and tides can push jellyfish closer to shore. Overfishing can also increase the number of jellyfish because it eliminates predators that would normally keep jellyfish at bay. Warmer temperatures help jellyfish reproduce faster because their mating season is extended, so that can be a factor too.
Plus, it is pretty simple to keep from getting stung by a jellyfish. Purple flags are placed on the beach to warn beachgoers if jellyfish happen to show up in numbers, which doesn’t happen very often. Jellyfish wash ashore, dry out and die as part of their normal life cycle. Just be careful not to step on any that have washed up because they still have a sting, even if they are dead.
If you do happen to get stung by a jellyfish, usually the sting will subside in a few minutes. Washing the area with vinegar also helps. The one thing you don’t want to use to treat a jellyfish sting is alcohol. Believe it or not, alcohol will only worsen the sting.