Swimmer’s Itch

Report swimmer’s itch cases here

We need your help to report all cases of swimmer’s itch. Swimmer’s itch can now be reported on your cellphone from this page. Spread the word, share the link with your friends.
If you would like to help with our efforts to fight swimmer’s itch, please consider donating or becoming a member of the association here.

How do I get it?


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What does it look like?

How can I avoid it?

SI is an allergic skin reaction to the parasites shown in the life cycle diagram and pictures. About 1/3 of the population is susceptible. If you’re a cottage owner, don’t feed waterfowl. Avoid swimming when the wind is blowing towards the shore, in the near-shore shallow areas, and in the morning. Some folks claim sunscreens protect you. “Swimmers Itch Guard” claims to be an effective repellent, and is available at several local pharmacies or online. A note of caution on “Swimmers Itch Guard”; it contains 20% eucalyptus oil and smells similar to “Vicks VapoRub”. LLLA communicates this information as a courtesy. LLLA has found no scientific studies that conclusively show any product as an effective repellent of SI. One of our members continues to work to develop an aesthetically acceptable and effective product.

What can I do if I get SI?

Itching may start from the time you are in the water up to a day later, and will last for about a week, accompanied by a rash. If itching and rash are severe contact a doctor for treatment. Temporary relief may be achieved through taking over-the-counter antihistamines, using anti –itch creams/lotions, or soaking in oatmeal or Epsom salts baths.

For a PDF info sheet on swimmer’s itch, follow this link.

MSU Extension Bulletin WQ-58.  Also, follow this link to learn more about creams and lotions to prevent swimmer’s itch.

Links and Results

Swimmer’s Itch Report Results
2017 North Lake Map
2017 South Lake Map
2017 Summary Report
2016 North Lake Map
2016 South Lake Map
2015 North Lake Map
2015 South Lake Map
2014 North Lake Map
2014 South Lake Map
2013 North Lake Map
2013 South Lake Map
2012 North Lake Map
2012 South Lake Map

SICON 2016 Final Report for “Bridge Program”.

SICON 2016 North Lake Leelanau snail sampling locations along with sampling data.

LLLA Swimmer’s Itch Benchmark Presentation to newly formed Michigan Swimmers Itch Partnership.

2 Replies to “Swimmer’s Itch

  1. Our dock and floating mat are swarming with a family of 9 brown ducks! The mess is horrific. I believe it is a merganser family that moves north along the shore from 2735 North Lake Leelanau Dr.
    Any assistance you could give us in locating the nest would be helpful.
    What diameter would the tree hole be? We have several holes in trees, but they seem too small for ducks.
    HELP!

  2. It sounds as if you are describing a family of mallards. We have surveyed North Lake as recently as yesterday, and found and removed only one merganser brood. Please send Wayne Swallow (leelanaubound@gmail.com) your email address and he will send you pictures of mallards and mergansers.

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