Land Crabs Florida neighborhood: Blue Land Crabs Creating Nuisance in Florida.

A Port St. Lucie homeowner is sharing his story after big land crabs invaded his property earlier this week.

“Oh my goodness, I saw all those crabs and I said, wow!” Dan Skowronski told WPTV on Friday.

Skowronski said his home was covered in crabs after heavy rain hit the area earlier this week, forcing the crabs to evacuate their burrows.

“I would say a good 6 inches, 7 inches long,” said Skowronski. “They were a pretty good size with real big claws, real big crab claws.”

Skowronski’s video showed hundreds of crabs of all shapes and sizes crawling on his backyard porch screen. Not only were they creeping onto his home, but scurrying all over his property.

“I post some goofy stuff with my friends on Facebook and I thought they would get a good kick out of this. And they really got shocked and amused out of this, so I thought, maybe I should forward this to somebody and they might like it too.”

The crabs eventually cleared out. When WPTV toured Skowronski’s property on Friday, our news crew only spotted three crabs.

When land crabs fly

Pat Steinbergs did a double take. Something strange was slowly walking sideways across the screen roof over her pool.

“I wasn’t really sure what I was looking at so I had to get closer to it,” said Steinbergs, of Vero Beach. “It was the biggest crab I had ever seen in my life.”

To say Steinbergs was surprised is an understatement. Mildly scared was a little closer to reality.

Her first order of business was to ensure the giant land crab above her head was actually on the outside of the pool enclosure, and not on the inside.

“It was, and that was good,” she said. “I’ve seen crabs in my neighborhood before when I’m out walking the dog. They’re pretty common in some places, and you can see them coming out of their holes. But never before have I seen them climb anything.”

Looking up at it with the blue sky behind it made it look a little like it was flying, she said. Within seconds, her images were posted on her Facebook page, drawing comments of bewilderment and fascination from friends and family around the world.

Pat and husband Andy Steinbergs have been residents of Florida for most of their lives and have lived on Florida’s Treasure Coast since 2005. Their home of the past three years is adjacent to a red mangrove marsh on the western shoreline of the 156-mile-long Indian River Lagoon.

They love it there, Pat Steinbergs said, even with the mosquitoes and no-see-ums, and occasional attack of the killer giant land crabs.

“If you leave your garage open, you’ll have them in there,” she said. “I had one right after we moved in that just refused to budge. I did everything I could to get him out, but he just hid until he died.”

Living with critters adorned with claws, stingers, teeth, spikes, shells and poisonous spines is just part of life in Florida. The stories of human interaction with these reptiles, mammals, fish, arthropods and birds generate lends itself to an entertaining podcast theme. The eight-episode Wild Florida podcast series produced on the USA TODAY Network statewide by a team of journalists from TCPalm, FLORIDA TODAY, the Pensacola News Journal and Fort Myers News-Press is sure to be time well spent.

Engaging tales of how our daily lives are affected by the fauna of Florida will educate, enlighten and entertain the listener. Episodes began Aug. 29 and as Podcast Production leader John Torres promises: “It is not a nature documentary; we’re not going to drown you in animal facts. Instead, we’re going to tell you stories that we guarantee you’ll be retelling to anyone who isn’t listening. We’re going to offer up these wonderful, strange and sometimes scary critters through stories of firsthand encounters.”

No one loves hearing a well-told story more than I do. It’s why I volunteered to get involved in collecting sound bytes about a curious creature that basically only makes a sound when it sadly meets the steel-belted radials on your car along State Road A1A’s blacktop. But the land crabs have an interesting life cycle, suffer from environmental impacts you may not think about and show a humorous ability to adapt to our infrastructure needs.

Somehow, they continue to survive despite all the ways we have interrupted their lives. Remember, to these coastal crustaceans, we’re the invaders.

So on Sept. 7, tune in for a few minutes of land crab learning fun. Then stay for Pat Steinbergs’ wonderful laughter.

How to listen
The Wild Florida podcast is available on just about all major podcast platforms, including iTunes, Stitcher Radio, Google Play Music and Soundcloud. Subscribe now to the free podcast so you don’t miss an episode.


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