Swimmers have been advised to avoid certain areas of West-super-Mare, following claims of a flesh-eating sea lice infestation in the resort town.
It affects Clevedon and Weston’s seafront lakes in particular, with swimmers reporting that they were “bitten” when taking a dip.
Upon getting out of the waters, some people noticed they had been left with red patches on their skin, after feeling “stinging” and “nipping” sensations.
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In some extreme cases, others found the insect-like creatures tucked away in their swimwear.
The Marine Lake Enthusiasts Society (MARLENS), which manages Clevedon's Marine Lake, advised people to avoid the areas until they get refreshed by an overtopping tide.
A spokesman for Clevedon Marine Lake said: “We've had a few comments and messages about bitey things in the lake.
“One theory is that they're sea lice. Another, is that they're baby jellyfish – little jellyfish larvae (Medusa) that are difficult to spot.
“These critters get in the lake when the sea comes over the wall and they do bite or sting. For most people, it's just a little scratch sensation, but some of us more sensitive types can get a rash.
“The bad news is that there's nothing we can do to stop them – it's natural water and sea life lives in it, plus the water coming over the sea wall is much needed to keep the lake water fresh.”
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Lake bosses have said that the public should wait until next weekend to re-enter the pools if they want to avoid the critters.
They also advised anyone suffering from a bad reaction to speak to their pharmacist and avoid swimming until their skin has healed.
It comes just weeks after swimmers were told to avoid Clevedon Marine Lake after high levels of e:coli was detected in the water.
Weston Marine Lake has recently been re-opened following refurbishment works totalling £300,000.
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