If you’ve ever seen a ghost crab, you know where they get their name. They’re small and white and are pretty hard to spot during the day. Here’s how to hunt ghost crabs on your next Outer Banks vacation! Just don’t poke, prod, or attempt to harm them. They’re still an important part of the Outer Banks’ ecosystem and they will try to poke you back!

Wear Darker Clothing + Stay Quiet

Ghost crabs are typically skittish critters. They don’t like loud noises and don’t really like to be seen (which is why it’s rare to see them during the day).

Have Your Camera + Flashlight Ready

Keep your flashlight a good distance in front of you so you can see the crabs scurry in the light and avoid stepping on them. When ghost crabs get caught in the beam of light, they freeze for a few seconds which is the perfect time to snap a picture and get a closer look! Just respect their space and don’t touch, pick up, or mess with them!

Go To Quiet + Secluded Beaches

The best place to go ghost crab hunting is on a quiet, secluded beach, that’s where you’ll find the most! Ghost crabs also tend to be closer to the shoreline. They live in holes in the sand that can range from about the width of a nickel and to get as big as a silver dollar.

Pick The Perfect Time

From late May to early September, ghost crabs can be found in abundance around the shoreline! If you head out with your family at night during the summer months, you’ll be sure to have a blast and making memories chasing down ghost crabs!