How To Get A Hermit Crab Out Of Its Shell? (3 Clear Steps)

Hermit crabs are animals that need a shell as essential protection to maintain their soft abdomen. As hermit crabs grow, their bodies will get bigger and need a new shell.

Every pet owner will care about the hermit crab’s condition and prepare an alternative house in the tank. But what if the hermit crab doesn’t change shells?

How to get a hermit crab out of its shell? Let the hermit crab leave its shell at their own pace. Never try to pull the hermit crab away from its house by force. Your pull can make hermit crabs lose their limbs and harm their health.

Simply place the superior shell in the tank and let the hermit crabs switch shells when ready.

How to get a hermit crab out of its shell
How To Get A Hermit Crab Out Of Its Shell?

Understanding how hermit crabs come out of their shells will help us identify their needs. Let’s read this article to the end.


How To Get A Hermit Crab Out Of Its Shell Alive?

It depends on what you want the hermit crab to come out of its shell for. Sometimes hermit crabs insist on their remaining shell even though they are no longer fit because of their growing size. A small shell will restrict the hermit crab’s mobility.

You need to check the health of the hermit crab from the color of their skin and the way they move and check for mold or fungus on their bodies.

One way to remove the hermit crab from the shell is to use a lighted match or cigarette lighter. Light the lighter for one to three seconds outside the shell.

Hermit crab will detect the heat and come out of the house. Cool the shells in saltwater before allowing them to return after you get information about the hermit crab.


How To Get A Hermit Crab To Come Out Of Its Shell?

Hermit crabs that don’t come out of their shells, don’t want to eat, and always sit still will worry us. Checking the condition of hermit crabs by trying to get them out is what needs to be done.

But don’t use tools or your hands to pull hermit crabs out of the shell as this stresses them out.

Try putting hermit crabs in the isolation tank and giving them new shells. Wait a while until the hermit crab chooses a house, and you can watch what happens to your pet.

If this method does not work, you can use a lighter by lighting it near the shell. The hermit crab will feel the heat and come out rapidly.


How To Get A Dead Hermit Crab Out Of Its Shell?

Sometimes we bring home dead hermit crab stuck in shell when we pick up some shells in the ocean. To find out whether the hermit crab is dead or not, you need to put the hermit crab on the sand and wait for the hermit crab’s reaction to come out of the shell or not.

They’re dead if you grab hold of their leg and the hermit crab doesn’t move.

Use tweezers or needle-nosed pliers to tug on the crab’s body. Remove the dead hermit crab and bury it like any other pet. If you struggle to take a dead hermit crab, freeze it for several hours. The hermit crab’s body will stiff and allow you to grasp it more than before.


How Do You Get A Hermit Crab To Come Out Of Its Shell?

There are several signs that the hermit crab is not healthy. When hermit crabs don’t often come out of their shells, don’t eat, and don’t go near the water to bathe or drink, then you should have their health checked. There is no other way but to try to get them out of the shell.

There are two ways to make hermit crabs come out of their shells, placing several empty shells or applying heat to the outside of them until they come out.

How to get a hermit crab out of its shell? Put the new shell where the crab can see it. Boil and wash in saltwater for each new house so that it has a special scent and the hermit crab notices it. If the shell has sufficient humidity, the hermit crab can move to a new shell.


How To Make A Hermit Crab Get Out Of Its Shell?

An inadvisable way is to pull them out of the shell. But this method will harm the crab and create trauma or stress. You can do this naturally by putting other shells in their habitat and waiting for them to come out of the shell and grab a new house.

Sometimes hermit crabs insist on their shell even though their body shape is almost bigger than the shell. Hermit crab becomes challenging to move and stressed. Put some alternative houses and let them run out of their old shells.


How To Get A Hermit Crab Out Of Its Shell Without Killing It?

There is a professor at the university who taught a trick when he want to research the health of hermit crabs. Apply heat around the shell using a lighted match or cigarette lighter. You don’t need to heat it too long because it only takes a few seconds.

Hermit crabs will feel uncomfortable with the heat from the lighter, and they will come out in haste. Once you’ve checked the condition of the hermit crabs, don’t forget to wash the shells in saltwater before letting them re-enter the old or new house.


Can A Hermit Crab Survive Without A Shell?

The back of the hermit crab’s body is soft. They need a shell as a protective barrier on the sensitive part of the exoskeleton. In addition to keeping the soft body parts, the shell will prevent the hermit crabs’ bodies from drying out.

Hermit crabs cannot live without a shell because they are vulnerable to light, heat, and water. The hermit crab’s body must remain moist to breathe and avoid suffocating. Hermit crabs that are getting bigger will look for a larger shell so they can move freely again.


How To Get A Hermit Crab Back In Its Shell?

It depends on how big the hermit crab is. The larger the hermit crab’s body, the longer it will take them to steady on its new shell. Hermit crabs had to adapt their bodies to their new shells.

Once the hermit crabs feel like they’re fitting into the new shell, they’ll start carrying the house wherever they go.

Hermit crabs that need a new shell take their time to check whether their new house is what they need or not. Starts from the space in the house to their ability to carry it.

How to get a hermit crab to come out? If hermit crabs notice an empty shell around them, then there is a good chance they will come out voluntarily.

You don’t need to force the hermit crab out of its shell by pulling or heating it near the house as long as there’s nothing unusual about your hermit crab.

Another way to get hermit crabs out is to wait for them to hold your hand and toss them in the saltwater. Don’t put hermit crabs in deep water to keep them from sinking.


Do Hermit Crab Need New Shells?

Every hermit crab needs a variety of shells and lets them choose which one they want or need. Hermit crabs can be quite picky about which shell they prefer, so you need to prepare any goof shells for your pet.

If you don’t have enough good hermit crab houses, you will need to find them near shore or at a pet store with several different types.

Sometimes crabs will fight for shells. Provide plenty of empty shells in the tank to reduce the chances of aggression between hermit crabs. Ensure each hermit crab has no cracked shells or is not suitable, as hermit crabs need a proper shell to hold their body moisture.


Do Hermit Crabs Leave Their Shells?

Hermit crabs need their shells and rarely leave their house for no apparent reason. If hermit crabs don’t return to their shell immediately, they have no protection from heat, predators, or air. Hermit crab’s soft body on the back makes them rarely come out of their shells.

Sometimes pet owners want hermit crabs to come out of their shells for several reasons. The table below lists some situations for tempting hermit crabs out of their houses.

When do we need hermit crab out of its shellExplanation
Health checksA sick hermit crab will rarely come out of the shell and not be as active as usual. Ensuring the health of hermit crabs must look at the condition of their whole body.
Determining sexFor pet owners with concerns over mating, they need observation from hermit crab feet. It will be clearer if the hermit crab comes out of the shell.
Wrong shell choiceThe shell no longer fits and restricts crabs mobility.


How If Accidentally Brought Home A Crab In A Shell?

You won’t realize you’re carrying a shell with a hermit crab until they come out of the house and check their surroundings. You don’t need to panic, and you have to be ready to take care of them when you don’t have access to return them to their natural habitat.

Provide a tank with a size of 2.5 gallons and fulfill other requirements such as substrate, humidity, water needs, and proper diet.


Why Won’t My Hermit Crab Come Out Of Its Shell?

There’s a chance the hermit crab won’t want to come out of its shell. Sometimes when you put several hermit crabs in the same tank, several hermit crabs do shell raping by forcing one of the hermit crabs out of the shell.

The battle is not fierce, it’s just that there is a specific hierarchy that will make the leader in the colony the right to choose the house he wants.

Another possibility is that female hermit crabs refuse to leave their shells because they don’t want to get male attention. The female hermit crab will not respond to the male’s actions and remains in the shell.


How To Get A Hermit Crab To Switch Shells?

Try putting in some new shells slightly larger than their old shells. Don’t forget to wash the shell with salt water. Clean the inside from debris and anything that gets dirty inside it.

Place the shell where the hermit crab can see it. Leave the shell in the tank for a few days until they want to get out of their house and try a new house.

How to get a hermit crab out of its shell? There are several ways to do this, such as applying heat around the house, submerging hermit crabs into the water, or allowing them to come out on their own.


What Happens If You Pull A Hermit Crab Out Of Its Shell?

Hermit crabs will get stressed and can hurt their legs. Although a hermit crab can regrow its limbs during the molting process, the act of pulling a hermit crab roughly is cruel.

Hermit crabs without shells will be vulnerable to the outside environment. Leave them in the hermit crab habitat and choose a shell to protect their exoskeleton.


Why Is My Hermit Crab Staying In Its Shell?

Hermit crabs will stay in their shell when they are uncomfortable outside. Hermit crabs can sense a predator is targeting them and will protect themselves in their house.

Another possibility is that hermit crabs are stressed because some requirements don’t match their needs. For example, the humidity or temperature of the tank is not suitable and makes the hermit crab not want to come out of the shell.


How Do You Know When A Hermit Crab Needs To Change Shells?

Cracks in the shell of the hermit crabs look too narrow when they fit into their house. Hermit crabs will have difficulty moving because their house starts to feel tight. You’ll need to give it a new house to give the hermit crab room and free movement.

How to get a hermit crab out of its shell? Let hermit crabs out of their shells by keeping an empty house within reach. Do not pull hermit crabs out as they will resist and injure their limbs. Submerge hermit crabs in water or lure them out by applying heat around the shell.


Does Molting Hermit Crab Will Come Out From Their Shells?

Hermit crabs will leave their shell when ready to molt. After they shed their exoskeleton, hermit crabs will return to their house. Allow the hermit crab to come out of the shell and bury itself in the sand. The larger the hermit crab’s body, the longer it takes to molt.

What happens if you disturb a molting hermit crab? Hermit crabs will bury themselves in the sand to protect themselves just as they were in the shell. If you accidentally pick them up from the sand, it will cause stress and could injure or kill your pet.

Let hermit crabs molt even if it takes months to move them and put their health at risk.


Why Would You Need A Hermit Crab To Leave Its Shell?

Pet owners need information about the health of their pets. Hermit crabs that are either dormant or always in their shell are the most common signs that indicate they are sick.

You will need to remove hermit crabs from their house to see if they have fungi or other issues, such as shell cleanliness or tank requirements.

Sometimes there are hermit crabs who insist on staying in a shell that no longer fits their body size. You have to give a new bigger house to make free space for your pet.


How To Get A Shy Hermit Crab To Come Out?

Hermit crabs often hide in their shell when they sense a nearby predator or an inappropriate tank temperature. They must ensure that they get their needs and feel safe in captivity so that they want to leave without any threat.

Try to put the food near them until they can detect there is food and approach it. Or put the hermit crab in your palm and let the hermit crab feel safe in your hands. Don’t move your hands until they feel their footing is steady.

Hermit crabs are not shy but want to protect themselves from threats. Don’t leave hermit crabs in the shell for too long, and give them safety in every activity.


Final Verdict

Some pet owners want to check the condition of hermit crabs and want them to come out of their shells. The best thing to do is wait for them to come out without coercion. Roughly pulling them out of their house will traumatize them and become a cause of stress.

There are several ways to get the hermit crab out of its shell. First, use a lighter and light it near their shell. When the hermit crabs feel something hot around them, they hermit crabs will come out.

Another way is to submerge hermit crabs into the saltwater while you hold their claws. Don’t let the hermit crabs sink, and don’t force them out if the hermit crabs are protecting themselves by getting into their shells.

Post Disclaimer


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.

Leave a Comment