Crab Invasion!

I have been recently invaded by crabs!  No, ... not what you're thinking - Puerto Rico land crabs!

They have invaded my patio (hiding in the plants), the patio bathroom, even my living room (don't know how that one got in, but shocked me as it snuck up right next to the dog)!!

These arn't  small sand crabs or hermit crabs, these bad boys are BIG, as in as large as a 10" dinner plate.  Reminds me of small Dungeness  -  I've had several in the past few days, must be spawning or migration season here.

It's time to take action! I need a few traps and then we'll make crab dip! 

Anybody have a good trap design/plan?  Need Crab recipes too.   :D

Lucky, man, make some Salmorejo De Juejes (Stew of Crabs). :)
We put them in a cage with a basin of water and feed them some bread for a few days to get the mud out of them before you cook them.
Spanish Recipe: … ?numero=17
Or the good old Baltimore Maryland Style with Old Bay.

Jueyes!!! They sell for over $20/ dozen. But you need to check with DRN since there is a no capture time. You can get fine over $1K so check with them.

This happens all around the world during breeding season. In some places so dense you can't drive across the road. If you like crap, have a snack.

I remember long long ago when I was 10, they were crosing the road by the thousands, people stopped their car and filled their trunk with them. Back them they were not controlled.
Yes it is probably spawning season, the crabs spend part of their life in the sea thhen in mud flats and later drier ground. Adlin is right check if ok to take them

Rey, I remember those times as well. I used to stay on my grandma house in la playa de Ponce. When it rain they will come out by the dozens. Unfortunately with the overfishing they were getting extinct until the government had to put regulations in place to help them come back. Now during breeding season they're illegal to catch. They are making a comeback since DNR is cracking down on illegal fishing.

Don't know I can add any words of wisdom to this conversation.  Just had to chime in because my imagination is running wild. "The Invasion of the Crabs: the Sequel"  Be glad that there are no Land Jellyfish.

As long as they don't eat your dog, I think all be fine.

OK - when is the legal season to trap them?

Watched a video of trapping - the trap looks like a box with an open end placed near the crabs burrow

I'll try to build some traps if I can get more detail on construction.

Need call DNR (Department or Natural Resources. This site says you are not allowed to capture them between July 15 and October 15, size of carapace must be at least 2 1/2 inches and females with eggs can not be captured. But who knows if the dates vary year to year.
(Spanish) … cionn.html

Wow, big as saucers, haven't seen any that big in awhile. Did it rain a lot recently where you live? That's usually when the come out. Last year we had a bunch cornered in the front gated yard of my in laws, we did what we could and corralled them with a broom and long handled dust pan. Purged them for about a week and then had delicious crab stew.

Karenqc :

Wow, big as saucers, haven't seen any that big in awhile. Did it rain a lot recently where you live? That's usually when the come out. Last year we had a bunch cornered in the front gated yard of my in laws, we did what we could and corralled them with a broom and long handled dust pan. Purged them for about a week and then had delicious crab stew.

Way to go!
I really like it with Rice and beans also in Alcapurias and Empanadas, yum!
Those are frituras (Fried snacks) made from just about any type of meat, chicken, crab or fish) … ood-guide/

Great to raise your cholesterol and put on a few pounds.

Karenqc - Now that you mention it, yes we had a lot of rain at the time, perhaps there is a correlation.  Tell me how to purge them, apparently that is a necessary step.

Rey - the crab recipes look great!   thanks for the info.

More recipes, click on English version to see a bunch, each category has several recipes

Put them on a 55gal drum, feed them corn for a week, leave about 2-5" water in the drum. Change the water daily. Give it a week and them enjoy!


The legs are hairy  when the crabs are thin. Once they're fatten up they loose the hairs on the legs.


We love alcapurrias but yes, they aren't high on the health food chart :) A couple of times during the year our immediate family heads over to Piñones to our favorite stand and we go nuts. Here's a pic of my sweet FIL chowing down on some. The lady on the right makes the BEST hands down.

That looks like a great recipe site, I haven't seen that one before. Thanks, adding to my bookmarks!


Their dens get flooded and they are basically forced out, it usually happens in May when we get days on end of rain. Some say that during the waning moon is the best time to catch them.

Adlin20 gave great instructions, you basically just water and feed them to get any nasties out they might have eaten. I think my FIL fed them sweet potatoes? I have always wanted to try and feed them coconut to see if any of that flavor transfered.

Great info - thanks.  Now I just need to get or build a few traps.  Looking for a detail build tutorial.

Is the crab meat similar to crab like Dungeness or King or blue crab?   I got pretty spoiled living in Alaska for several years.  I could buy live Dungeness at the dock $5 each - those were the days!

We would purge clams that we dug at low tide.  Just put them a 5 gal bucket w holes in it and hang over the side of the boat in the harbor for a day or two - they cleaned themselves of sand just flushing sea water thru them.  Crabs did not need cleaning.

But I digress,  I think the land crabs are living under the shed and around the beach in their boroughs.   I read somewhere that peanut butter is a good bait for the traps. 

Can the females be determined by shell pattern on the underside like ocean carb?

Yes shell underneath is different, males have a section under that is narrower
About mid to back part section of the underside, males would have somewhat siluated male like shape of underside caparace

Land crabs taste nothing like their sea cousins. I would describe it as more pungent and earthy. I hear ya on the cheap crab days, hell I remember when almost any seafood was relatively cheap. Now we're over fishing, killing the coral reefs and depleting the oceans, can't imagine what it's going to be like in 20 years.

Lobster used to be feed to slaves because it was cheap, now is thru the roof and not as large as they used to get. It is mostly chicks 1 to 1 1/2 pounders, price goes way up for anything over 1 1/2 in the states.

Caribbean lobster are the same way. Their prices are thru the roof now. I remember when we use to go to the fishermen and get them off the boat for a few dollars each.

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