By Helen Pierpoint
A WAVE of jellyfish has invaded the Costa del Sol leaving thousands of bathers with painful stings .
The number of beachgoers treated for stings reached a staggering 1,200 in the space of just three days over the weekend.
The lack of rain and high temperatures coupled with a reduction in the number of turtles which feed on them, has encouraged the jellyfish to breed more and led to a scourge of the stinging varmints.
‘’We saw a few people who got out of the water and threw sand on their arm or leg. They had been stung by a jellyfish.’’ said Maria, a bather.
The most heavily affected areas have been the beaches around the Malaga region such as Marbella and Estepona where the red flag was flown prohibiting bathers from entering the water.
The culprits are of the species Pelagia noctiluca, identifiable by their purple colour and length of 3-4 cm.
They are said to be small but able to administer an excruciating sting.