Mitten Crab Invades German Woman’s Home

  • The woman called police, then trapped the ten-inch crab beneath a trash can.
  • Once in police custody, the crab was taken to a local vet office.

As far as unusual animal stories go, this is one is more bizarre than most. A woman near the town of Unterlauchringen opened the door to her terrace and in walked a 10-inch mitten crab. The Associated Press described the woman as shocked, which, fair enough. But she called the cops–on a crab.

Photo by Andras Kovacs on Unsplash

Before the police arrived, she leaped into action and trapped the crustacean in an overturned trashcan. The way you do with any giant bug, I guess. The police took custody of the crab and brought it to a local vet, but there’s no word on what happened to it there.

Mitten Crabs Could Be Outside Your Door Right Now

Photo by Phil Hearing on Unsplash

There’s no way to know how the crab ended up on her terrace. Mitten crabs are native to China, but are an invasive species worldwide, including many German Rivers. Unterlauchringen isn’t far from the Rhine, so it’s possible the crab grew tired of life in the river and was hoping to move up in the world. At 10-inches, the crab was about full-grown and probably ready to move into his own place–until that upside-down trashcan foiled him. 


Mitten crabs aren’t exactly dangerous to humans, but they really wreck ecosystems like most invasive species. They’re a burrowing species that can devastate riverbanks with erosion or even undermine city infrastructure. This is also super gross, but they’re a host for lung fluke, which I refuse to Google, but is a worm that infects people’s lungs if they eat raw or undercooked crab. 

People Deal With Invasive Species in Weird Ways

Photo by Henry Be on Unsplash

Mitten crabs have lived in the Thames in England for at least a hundred years. So far, conservationists are unable to curb their population, which some estimate to be in the tens of thousands. Lung worms aren’t a concern for Richard Sharp, a reporter for the Independent in the UK, as he caught and ate crabs right out of the Thames. Gross. I can’t imagine eating food from a city river, without even getting to the possibility of a parasitic infection. The article provides a recipe in case you live in an area where mitten crabs are a problem. 


The woman in Germany is fine, despite now feeling the lingering threat of the natural world which may, at any moment, breakthrough our terrace doors.