Jellyfish are those pesky little things that can ruin your ocean swimming experience.
We often get asked: when is the jellyfish season in Puerto Rico?
That is a tricky question because jellyfish are in the ocean year-round but there are certain times of the year when they are more prevalent.
So, here is the rundown on Jellyfish:
What are Jellyfish?
Jellyfish are gelatinous, free-swimming marine animals. Their bodies are made of an “umbrella-shaped bell” and trailing tentacles. The bell (body) vibrates to allow jellyfish to move and the tentacles sting to capture prey. Jellyfish are found in every ocean and every depth and there are many different types of found throughout the world.
The reason that these organisms present a problem to swimmers is that the tentacles contain a neurotoxic venom and when contact is made with the stinging tentacles, they inject the area with microscopic stingers that cause pain.
The kicker is that the pain will spread and continue for a while and can even reactivate at a later time.
When is the Jellyfish season in Luquillo?
Jellyfish tend to show up at the beaches during late summer, when the water is warmest. In Luquillo, they have been observed mainly in the months of August – November.
During these months, it is common to encounter jellyfish on Luquillo’s beaches. However, this does not mean that you will be stung; there are many people swimming and enjoying our waters without ever having a “brush” with a jellyfish.
How to treat a Jellyfish sting?
As with any other stings, different people can have different levels of reaction. Here is what WebMD.com has to say about jellyfish treatment:
- Rinse the area with vinegar for at least 30 seconds. If vinegar is not available, a solution of baking soda can be used. This will deactivate the stinging cells.
- Next, soak the area in hot water for at least 20 minutes if possible. Cold packs can be used instead if the area can’t be soaked in hot water..
Obviously, if you are having a severe reaction, seek medical treatment immediately. In Luquillo, there is an emergency clinic about 150m from La Pared beach (just off of PR3 across from the post office).
Although, it is possible to get stung by a jellyfish when swimming in Luquillo, it is not a common occurrence. With a little caution and understanding of how to treat a sting if it does occur, swimming in the ocean can be a pleasant experience all-year round.