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Land crabs become social media stars as migration begins

Posted: 2:46 PM, Aug 06, 2019
Updated: 2019-08-06 21:56:27-04
WPTV-STUART-CRABS.jpg

STUART, Fla. — They are creepy, crawly, and if they have an unfortunate encounter with your car, crunchy. They are land crabs and they're making themselves more visible these days.

The video Abriel Arnel of Stuart posted on her Facebook page Monday night was of hundreds of blue land crabs skittering at her feet.

“There were all the crabs. It was like a plague or a stampede of crabs getting ready to leave my neighborhood," said Arnel.

Arnel said there was a handful at her door Tuesday morning. She’s never seen them in this number before.

🔽 WATCH VIDEO OF CRABS 🔽

“Not like this. I heard rumor of them but yesterday made all those rumors come true.”

The spawning and migrating season for the land crab actually started at the end of June.

“This time of year they are migrating in huge numbers out to the water areas," said Mark Perry with the Florida Oceanographic Society. He says the crabs burrow into the ground, and they usually come out to feed at night. Heavy rains can force them out of their homes.

“They’re actually pretty harmless but they do look ominous," said Perry.

Where the crabs can be harmful, your tires.

Over at Golden Gate Tire and Service, it won’t be long before many customers come in after an encounter with a land crab.

“We discover a lot of having to fix the tire from the internal part because the puncture is quite large in diameter, it’s not a small nail hole," said Gordon Frederick.

Frederick says it doesn’t always mean the customer has to get an entirely new tire.

Crab mating and the migrating season runs until November, usually peaking in October.

A similar scene unfolded in Port St. Lucie last month when hundreds of land crabs invaded a man's property.