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Jellyfish Awareness…and those pesky Red Ants

Pays to be Aware of Peak Jellyfish Activity Dates

One of the last things anyone would think about when planning a vacation to Hawaii is jellyfish!  In particular, Portuguese man-o-war and box jellyfish, who’s stings can be quite painful.  So, if you’re the least bit flexible with your vacation dates, you may want to avoid the dates associated with the greatest chances of encountering these pests.

While it is always possible to have a run in with a jellyfish, the most prevalent time period is roughly 8-10 days following a full moon.  For 2013, these dates are:

2013 Hawaii Jellyfish Sting Caution Dates

  • January 4 to 6
  • February 4 to 6
  • March 5 to 7
  • April 4 to 6
  • May 3 to 5
  • June 2 to 4
  • July 1 to 3
  • July 30 to August 1
  • August 29 to 31
  • September 27 to 29
  • October 26 to 28
  • November 25 to 27
  • December 25 to 27

Jellyfish and Red Ants Tips

Awareness. Its always a good idea to check with a lifeguard for sure and look for jellyfish washed up on the sand as an indication of a problem.  It takes only seconds and could save you from a painful encounter.

And, while I’m on the subject of painful encounters, you may also want to pay attention to where you put down your beach blanket or ground cover.  While Hawaii does not have fire ants, their smaller cousins are quite widespread and just as aggressive.  So, check for these little red ants and avoid the multiple bites that result from sitting on or walking over a nest.

One popular area that is filled with these pests is Magic Island at the Diamond Head end of Ala Moana beach.  (I only mention that in particular because we failed to look close enough one evening around dusk and it was only a matter of seconds for us to quickly relocate!  As chance would have it, I was the only one who got bitten…of course!)


In the event you are going to the beach, it might be a good idea to take some vinegar with you as a cheap precautionary measure.  Vinegar helps to alleviate the pain of being stung by a jellyfish should you have an encounter with one in spite of your being alert.  There are other treatments that can be used, but vinegar is cheap to buy and easy to tote a small bottle in your beach bag or backpack.

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