Is My Hermit Crab Scared? (7 Interesting Facts)

In general, most of the people who acquire hermit crabs as pets are beach tourists. Many beach shops have attractive signs that promise a free hermit crab if you purchase the hermit crab care kit.

The most common question the hermit owner asks is that is my hermit crab scared? Hermit crabs are vulnerable animals. Yes, there is a probability that the hermit is scared of its owner. Some of the signs of a scared hermit include peeing on the owner, refusal to eat or drink, avoiding the owner’s contact and running away, constant digging into its substrate, trying to escape by climbing, hiding in its shell when the owner comes around.

Is my hermit crab scared
is my hermit crab scared?

There are many different kinds of hermit crabs. Some live on land (terrestrial), others in the oceans (marine). It is important to note that you cannot put a land hermit crab in a saltwater pool and expect it to live and vice versa.

There are many factors that a hermit owner should consider to reduce fear and stress among their pet hermits. Some factors include environment, handling and food.

From tourists and beach perspective, the problem is, those people who work in the stores don’t know much about hermit crabs, and the “crab care kits” are tiny cages with a sponge and a small food container. Tourists leave expecting to have everything they need for their new pet.

Unfortunately, it is not the case. These poor creatures often don’t live as long as they should and their unsuspecting owners don’t have any idea.


Is My Hermit Crab Scared?

After adopting a hermit crab, the very first thing many owners notice is fear and may ask, is my hermit crab scared? It is very possible that the hermit crab is scared of the owner. It is recommended to leave the hermit in its terrarium for a few days so that at first it gets comfortable at its new home. The owners should try to engage with the hermits slowly and gradually.


Why Is My Hermit Crab Scared Of Me?

Hermit being afraid of humans is very common. It is obvious from their size why they get scared in human company. Humans are very big in proportion to hermit crabs and often the owners make the same mistakes again and again which leads to scare and stress the hermits.

Another reason why hermits are scared of humans is that naturally, hermits don’t come in contact with humans in the wild. So it is often a hard transition for hermits to become pets and get habitual to encounter humans and their touch daily.


Why Is My Hermit Crab Scared?

After understanding that the hermits are scared of humans, owners may ask why is my hermit crab scared and what factors contribute to that?

Causes For Scared Hermit CrabsExplanation
Poor environmentEnvironment plays an important role in the stress and fear levels of hermits. Hermit crabs require good conditions to live in. Lack of improper food, environment causes stress and fear among the hermits.
Lack of handlingIf the owners don’t interact with the hermits, they often fear their owners. Owners should try to create an interactive environment, where they meet and engage with the hermit regularly.
Over handlingOverhandling and excess holding of hermits also cause fear especially if the hermits are not used to their owners.
Natural instinctAn instinct in hermits causes fear when they are handled by humans. In the wild hermits are picked like this by predator birds. It is vital for the owners to first get their hermits used to their scent.
DominanceIf the owner has more than one hermit, the reason for fear among one hermit can be the dominance of the other hermit. The owners should separate the dominating hermit from other hermits.


How To Make Your Hermit Crab Not Scared Of You?

Is my hermit crab scared? How to make it comfortable? Unlike other social animals, hermits don’t engage with the owners. They are not as tame as any other pets. However, the owners can make their hermits comfortable in the enclosure.

Many factors can help to make the hermit crab relaxed and comfortable but the most important aspect is the engagement of hermits with their owners. However, the owners shouldn’t also be available all the time to hermits as it may promote unaffectionate among hermits for their owners.

Hermits should be given attention and at the same time, they also should be given some space. Before a hermit can get used to its owners, it is required that they have a comfortable home. Provide natural and versatile props in the terrarium of the hermit.

Is my hermit crab scared
is my hermit crab scared?

The owners should always remember to add a hiding spot and many lost shells and a proper clean environment with proper food and water.

Even though hermits don’t like being handled, the owners should try to interact with them after 2-3 days of putting them in their new enclosure. Slowly picking up the hermit, with gentle hands and patience, keeping the hands intact to bear any bites, hermits may make.



Hermits should be fed something that they enjoy at the hands of the owners so that they know that the owner is their friend. Some of the favorite foods of hermits include eggs, jam, small pieces of meat, fish, fruits, vegetables, oatmeal, insects, nuts and grains.

The owners can feed their hermits by small spoon, or by hand or by plucker. Hand feeding will create a bond between the owner and the hermit. They will get used to the smell of their owners and build a positive association with the owner.



Providing enough toys and hiding places and different apparatus in their enclosure will help them to take an adventure and explore more. They won’t get bored and this step will ensure that they will be less stressed in their environment.


How To Tell If Your Hermit Crab Is Stressed

It can be daunting to know that the hermit is scared of their owners when their owners want to provide a good and comfortable life to their hermits. Even though it is true that hermits get scared of humans, there are also some symptoms that the owners can observe to identify the stress among the hermit crabs and take necessary precautions likewise.

Some of the symptoms of stress or fear can include

  • Refusal to eat or drink
  • Constant digging into its substrate 
  • Avoiding the owner’s contact and running away
  • Peeing on the owner
  • Trying to escape by climbing
  • Shedding its limbs
  • Hiding in its shell when the owner comes around


Can Hermit Crabs Recognize Their Owners?

Studies show that hermits have quite good memories. Hermits can remember and recognize their family and friends including the hermits they live with and the same goes to the humans or hermit owners. Even though hermits don’t recognize others by their sight which is not a strong sense among hermits. However, they do recognize the voice and scents of others.

The majority of the time hermits rely on their smelling power to survive. If the hermit is used to the smell of the owner or if it trusts the owner, it will be relaxed when it smells the owner’s scent while the opposite is when there is no bond between the owner and hermit.


How To Know If Your Hermit Crab Likes You?

If the owner of a hermit has had enough interactions with its pet. Activities like feeding, playing, holding can build trust between the hermit and its owner. If the hermit crab also interacts with the owner, for example, if the hermit doesn’t hide away or doesn’t avoid human contact, it tells that the hermit likes the owner.

Overall, if a hermit is freely and comfortably moving around in the presence of the owner, that means that the hermit is comfortable and doesn’t fear its owner. The engagement between a hermit and its owner, food, and a good environment are three major factors that can help a hermit to thrive.


How Do You Get Your Hermit Crab To Trust You?

The owner of a hermit crab can build trust by being actively in touch with the hermit by interacting with it, feeding it, and playing with it. However it should be noted that hermits are very vulnerable pets, they should be handled gently without any force and tight hands.


What Do Hermit Crabs Do When They Are Scared?

When hermits are scared the most natural behavior of a hermit crab is to hide in its shell. When adopting almost any pet, owners are required to provide a hiding area so that the pet can get comfortable,  but hermits come with a natural hiding spot which they use when they are stressed. Other actions include running away, picking up etc.


Is My Hermit Crab Shy?

Hermits can persist in coming in contact with humans. As they consider humans as danger. When an owner is approaching their pet hermit, hermit can be rather stressed or scared rather than being shy. Stress and fear are caused due to their instinct of getting picked by predators.

Overall hermits are not shy, they just don’t like a human company or any other company. If possible, the owners should have more than one hermit in the terrarium so that the hermits can’t get comfortable with a company and to reduce stress among hermits, even though they have their shell but still the owners are required to provide a hiding place to the hermit.


How Do You Know When A Hermit Crab Is Mad?

The behavior of a hermit can be understood by its body language. A hermit crab can also show its aggressive side by picking up your skin with its claws and even biting you. However, the bite isn’t that harmful but it tells that the hermit is mad at something. Hermits don’t require much to survive. The most important thing that can make them aggressive is too much contact, toxic water or bad food.

The owner should look if there are any of these factors that promote such behavior among the hermit and such factors should be changed immediately.


Final Verdict – Is My Hermit Crab Scared

Many hermit owners wonder is my hermit crab scared? Yes, there is quite a possibility that a hermit is scared of its owner. There is no surprise to that because of the difference in the proportion of size that hermit and humans have. Owners should be careful when handling the hermits. Hermits should be held gently by a careful person. It is advised that the hermits shouldn’t be handed over to the children.

Many owners wonder why is my hermit crab scared? Hermits aren’t habitual of the human company so petting a hermit can naturally cause stress in them. Many owners ask How do you tell if your hermit crab is stressed? A stressed hermit will simply run away from the owner and the terrarium itself. Another symptom of stress is getting into its shell.

Is my hermit crab scared
is my hermit crab scared? is my hermit crab scared in captivity? is my hermit crab scared in the wild?

However, the owners can build a bond with their hermits, so that the hermit is less stressed and doesn’t fear the owner. Owners can do it by engaging and handling it but the owners shouldn’t overdo it. Feeding, playing, and creating a playful environment can help hermit crabs to thrive.

As a pet lover, make sure to learn about pet more and give your pet hermit crab a good and comfortable life!

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