Do Hermit Crabs Smell Bad? 4 Unique Cleaning Techniques

Most pet owners want their pets to be clean and smell fresh. Dealing with pets with bad odors will disrupt the mood and make us feel burdened with hygiene problems. Many people choose to keep low-maintenance pets such as hermit crabs, but we know every pet will have time to emit foul odors.

Do hermit crabs smell bad? A happy and healthy hermit crab will not generate foul odors. Bad smell depends on hermit crab stress or not. As long as you can provide water treatment, food, and the best environment, you don’t have to worry about hermit crabs getting stinky.

Do hermit crabs smell bad
Do Hermit Crabs Smell Bad?

For more details, let’s dive into how hermit crabs emit odors and anything related.


Do Hermit Crabs Smell Bad?

Every aquatic pet or crustacean has a distinct smell, but that scent won’t be a problem for your nose. If you feel that the smell of hermit crabs doesn’t suit you, then you don’t have to choose hermit crabs to be treated as pets from the start.

If you feel the smell of hermit crabs getting stronger and slightly foul, then something has happened to them. There are several possibilities, the hermit crab is sick, stressed, or dead already. Sometimes the smell does not come directly from the hermit crab but the conditions in the aquarium. If you neglect their habitats, you will invite bad smells into their environment.


Do Hermit Crabs Smell Bad When They Molt?

Hermit crab does the molting process or shedding its skin. The exoskeleton will drop off, and the larger exoskeleton will grow. The exoskeleton becomes dead tissue and starts to rot and smell. Many beginner owners mistakenly think that the molting process is the dying condition of hermit crabs due to this stench.

Hermit crabs will stay burrowed until the molting process is complete. You must endure an unpleasant scent until the molting process is complete. Hermit crab will dig more frequently, eat and drink more, and spill water to create humidity. If you see some of the characteristics above, your pet will be ready to do the molting process.


Do Pet Hermit Crabs Smell Bad?

Normal hermit crabs will not emit an unpleasant odor. The only odor emitted from the hermit crab is characteristic of every aquatic pet and will not irritate your nose. There are several possibilities for hermit crabs to emit foul odors, such as overheating, the buildup of waste, stress, and spoiled food around their cage.

Hermit crabs that get proper food, access to water, and grooming will not emit bad odors. You can notice the smell of hermit crabs that don’t receive any problems. It is different from a specific time when hermit crabs smell bad because of tank conditions or health issues.


Why Does My Hermit Crab Smell Bad?

The first possibility that hermit crabs can smell bad is due to stress. Hermit crabs release bad pheromones in bad tank conditions or conditions that make hermit crabs uncomfortable.

Do hermit crabs smell bad? You can notice foul odors from hermit crabs the first time you bring them into captivity. This scent will subside when the hermit crabs are used to being in the tank and adjusting to their new life in captivity.


How To Keep Hermit Crabs From Smelling?

If hermit crabs smell from stress, try to find some of the causes. Hermit crabs who first enter their new place will feel stressed because they are not in their natural habitat and feel foreign to their new place. But if hermit crabs have been in the tank long enough, there are some usual stress triggers.

Try to check if hermit crabs lack substrate. The hermit crab that will do the molting process requires a lot of substrates to bury its body in the sand. Or check if you have provided a hiding place for your pet. Hermit crabs need a hiding place to fill their time and a sanctuary if they feel uncomfortable.

Even if you have cute pets like hermit crabs, don’t handle them too often because hermit crabs get stressed due to excessive handling. Spread your arms, and let the hermit crab come and walk on your hands.


Do Hermit Crabs Smell When They Die?

Hermit crabs have a unique smell when they die. If you keep a lot of hermit crabs in one tank, you will see a lot of hermit crabs that can detect their dead comrades. The scent is more appealing than food, and they will gather while waiting for the shell to empty. Other hermit crabs will start to gravitate toward unmoving hermit crabs.

If the hermit crab’s body starts to rot, you can’t keep it in the tank. Remove the hermit crab and bury it in the ground. Leave the empty shell used by other hermit crabs.


Do Hermit Crabs Stink?

Not really. Hermit crabs that are kept healthy and have their tanks cleaned regularly will not stink. If you detect an unpleasant odor in the crab’s tank, try to see if there is spoiled food or if the hermit crab is molting.

Hermit crabs can build up waste because they are very likely to produce waste. Don’t let the hermit crab tank get dirty and neglect it because they can get stressed. You may find their tanks have a more pungent odor if hermit crabs start to get stressed. Keep the tank clean from uneaten food, poor hygiene, or unmet needs for hermit crabs.


What Do Hermit Crabs Smell Like?

Hermit crab has a distinct smell and is almost the same as other crustaceans or aquatic pets. Whatever smell they have won’t bother you because it’s not bad. Hermit crabs that smell bad when you first bring them home are a sign that they are stressed.

Every pet getting in a new place will feel anxious and confused about what it should do. Hermit crabs will return to their normal smell after they have been in captivity for a few days as long as their needs are met.


Why Does My Hermit Crab Smell Bad?

Try checking the needs of other hermit crabs. If the tank is not dirty, the water is clean, and no conditions that stress the hermit crab, try checking the tank temperature. Hermit crabs should be at 80 degrees Fahrenheit and 80% humidity. Hermit crabs will struggle with temperature regulation and make them dry out.

Do hermit crabs smell bad? An overheated hermit crab will have a musty smell. If this condition is not corrected immediately, the hermit crab will die. Temperature and humidity levels are the main requirements for hermit crabs. Use misting spray if you feel the humidity level is still low, and check the temperature until it matches your pet’s needs.


Can Hermit Crabs Smell?

Good or bad hermit crab smell depends on how you take care of it. Hermit crabs need both saltwater and freshwater for bath and drink. Check the tank temperature and make sure the humidity is up to 80%. Provide food of the best quality, and clean up uneaten or spoiled food. If you do these few things, hermit crab won’t stink.

You can feel the hermit crab smell because it is possible that their needs are not being met. Pet owners are fully responsible for all hermit crabs’ needs, from water, and the environment, to a proper diet.


Do Hermit Crabs Smell When Molting?

Molting is the process of changing the exoskeleton in hermit crabs’ bodies. If the exoskeleton that has been left behind remains in the tank, it will start to rot and attract pests, such as mosquitoes and flies. The dead tissue will emit an unpleasant odor. There is no other way but to pick it up and throw it from the tank.

Watch for some signs before hermit crabs molt. Prepare a little more substrate because they will burrow their body until the molting process is complete. They will smell when molting for months, depending on how long it takes them.


Is It Bad To Have Hermit Crabs As Pets?

Hermit crabs can be a great pet because they don’t carry any disease and are hypoallergenic. They are odorless pets and require low maintenance. Until now, there are no complaints from pet owners when it comes to caring for hermit crabs as they don’t need a large space either.

You can buy hermit crabs at the pet store, but don’t take hermit crabs directly from their natural habitat. Many states prohibit taking hermit crabs directly from shore because it can damage the population.


Are Hermit Crabs Bad Pets?

Hermit crabs are not bad pets. They are not aggressive, friendly, and fun when handled. Hermit crabs will not harm you even with their sharp pinch. It is used to grasp their food and not to hurt predators. They will only use their pinch if their footing is uneven or feels threatened.

You don’t need a large tank to care for hermit crabs, and their needs are not difficult. You can have a healthy pet when you provide a tank with a suitable temperature and humidity. Prepare both fresh and saltwater for their daily needs, don’t forget to give them a proper diet, and keep the tank clean.


How To Keep A Hermit Crab Tank From Smelling?

Hermit crabs are animals that rarely emit bad odors. If hermit crabs smell bad, find the reason and solve the problem. Sometimes hermit crabs smell bad because of stress or molting. Opening windows or spraying them with an air freshener will not solve the problem.

You must adjust the needs of hermit crabs and try to provide the maximum for your pet’s needs. Try deep cleaning of the tank to ensure the hermit crab has a proper place to live. Look at the condition of hermit crabs, whether they are sick or lack needs such as humidity, hiding place, or substrate.


Do Molting Hermit Crabs Smell?

Yes, molting hermit crabs will smell bad. You have to put up with the smell until they finish removing their old exoskeleton. Immediately dispose of the exoskeleton before it rots and contaminates the tank. Do not spray air freshener into the crab’s tank because it can kill your hermit crabs.

Clean crab tanks naturally without using chemicals that can harm hermit crab’s health. Don’t use any harsh chemicals like tap water or bleach.


Why Does Hermit Crab Smell Fishy?

Try checking the hermit crabs’ tank for spoiled food buried in the sand. Hermit crabs are rarely overeat. They are natural scavengers with small bodies and can leave excessive food if they feel full. Give hermit crabs enough food to avoid overeating or uneaten food.

Food or drink that is not replaced for days will cause an unpleasant odor. Another possibility is that hermit crab smells fishy because fresh and saltwater supplies can be spilled onto the sandy substrate. It will make a distinctive smell like a beach, but not everyone enjoys it.


Do Hermit Crabs Smell Bad Because Of Stress?

It’s possible hermit crabs smell bad because of stress. Hermit crabs that have an unsanitary living environment will emit a bad smell. Incorrect humidity and temperature stress hermit crabs from overheating and can cause them to dry out.

Try to put more than one hermit crab in one tank because they are social animals. Don’t leave them alone because hermit crabs can get bored and spend time alone without company.


Do Hermit Crabs Smell Bad Because Of Bad Foods?

Rotten food or spilled water makes hermit crabs smell bad. Although the main problem is not from the hermit crab, you will still feel the smell coming from the hermit crab. Try to check the portion of your pet’s meal, don’t get too much. Hermit crab that leaves too much uneaten food will cause the food to rot quickly and have an unpleasant odor.

Try to check when the hermit crab is molting. Hermit crabs that have been molted will not eat or drink, so you check the tank condition and remove uneaten food or drinks. Do not allow food to rot in the tank, as hermit crab will also give off a specific odor when molting.


Can Hermit Crabs Detect Bad Smells?

Hermit crabs have olfactory sensors on their antennae. They have a good sense of smell and can detect odor through air currents. You can put food in different places, and hermit crabs can detect where your food is.

If you put more than one hermit crab, don’t let one of them smell fishy. Investigate the problem by checking tank hygiene and your pet’s health.


Should We Provide New Shells If Hermit Crabs Smell?

Hermit crabs poop in the shells. You can tell when there is a fishy smell on your pet. Try to get an empty shell and clean it. Clean the sand and debris in the new shell using a toothbrush, don’t use any cleaning products, and clean it naturally.

Let the hermit crab move to a new shell and pick up any that have a foul smell or are broken. If you try to smell a strong odor on the inside, something might have died inside the shell. Setting up a new shell will provide a new home for hermit crabs.


Do Hermit Crabs Smell Due To A Bad Environment?

Hermit crabs are animals that can smell bad when they are stressed. Two possibilities cause hermit crabs to emit foul odors. First, the temperature is too hot, or the humidity is not suitable. Hermit crab will overheat and give off an unpleasant odor. Second, the hermit crab is not getting its needs met.

They need access to water for bathing and drinking. Hermit crabs can suffocate if they don’t get water for up to two weeks. Do not let hermit crabs live without water or inappropriate temperature and humidity.


How To Clean Hermit Crabs?

Do not use any chemicals when cleaning the hermit crab’s tank. Hermit crabs are very sensitive to chemicals that can kill them. Take out some toys and empty shells and soak them in hot water. Leave it for a few minutes and wipe it thoroughly.

Dry the items before putting them back into the tank. Wipe the crabs’ shells on the outside with the toothbrush to remove debris. If you feel the shell is smelly, prepare a new shell and let them move. Wipe the tank sides and clean them with a biodegradable cleanser.

Rinse the tank, and don’t leave any residue from the cleanser. Let the tank dry before rearranging the crab’s habitat and return the crabs to their environment. The table below is the steps to clean a hermit crab.

How to clean hermit crabExplanation
Get a small containerA clean small Tupperware as a bathroom.
Sea salt mixturePrepare a sea salt mixture to help pants a hermit crab.
Pour the saltwater to the containerEnsure the water is good enough for your crab. Leave the crab sitting out for a bit.
Don’t use any toolsLet the hermit crab bathe themselves for as long as they need. Pick up the crab once it’s enough.


Final Verdict

Hermit crabs are animals that do not have a strong odor if their needs are met. There are several possibilities that hermit crabs emit foul odor due to stress, spoiled food, spilled water, overheating, and molting.

Anything that starts to rot in the tank will produce a fishy smell and annoy you. Try to find the problem of the emergence of unpleasant odors by cleaning the tank regularly.

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The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. No material on this site is intended to be a substitute for professional veterinary advice, food recommendation, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or for pet food related questions.

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