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Land Crabs – what can you do?

The following information is from a University of Florida Extension publication.

Land crabs are by nature shy and pose no threat to humans unless caught and handled. Then they are capable of inflicting a memorable pinch. One of the most unusual features of the giant land crab, its burrowing behavior, also makes it a nuisance to humans living close to the shore. The adult life of the land crab is spent away from salt water. The adult will dig burrows 3 to 5in (8 to 13cm) wide and up to 5ft (1.5m) deep. These burrows can be damaging to lawns and gardens. Control of these crabs by chemical means is dangerous to humans and their environment. No chemicals are registered for control of land crabs because of the possible negative effects on groundwater quality.
Because of state regulations removal of crabs is limited to only the open season from November 1 of each year through June 30 of the following year. No crabs can be removed during the closed season beginning on July 1 and continuing through October 31 of each year. Note, by law (statue 68B-54.002), blue land crabs can only be caught by hand or with the use of a landing or dip net.
68B-54.002 Statewide Open and Closed Seasons for Harvesting Blue Land Crabs.
(1) Blue Land Crabs shall only be harvested during the open season, which is from November 1 of each year through June 30 of the following year.
(2) No person shall harvest, attempt to harvest, or possess any blue land crab during the period beginning on July 1 and continuing through October 31 of each year.
Bag Limit – No person shall harvest in any one day or possess at any time more than 20 blue land crabs.
For more information:

The links in this article were updated in April, 2013.

Photo Credit:
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, 1999

8 Comments on “Land Crabs – what can you do?

  1. I don’t know as we have the same problem. HELP!!

  2. I live on a canal and my lawn is full of land crab holes. I am concerned that someone is going to be injured because some holes are quite large and not always easy to see. Hoe can I eradicate them humanely?

      • Thanks for re-writing the arrival above. That was very helpful.

  3. Saw a green or blue crab, bigger than two adult hands wide, in Miramar, Fl. Do they hangout in canals and lakes too. Too dark for pictures. I thought it was a beach crab, had never heard of land crabs.

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  5. There used to be a large land crab population at the corner of VonPhister and Whalton. Unfortunately, the city has installed injection wells at the same corner and we no longer have crabs there. Is the city/public works subject to the rules listed in this blog?