Hermit crabs are often kept as pets in modern times. For many, these pets will be practical since they don’t take up a lot of space.
They’re fascinating creatures to observe, too. You’ll find that hermit crabs are fun to watch because they have such great personalities.
If you’re thinking of buying hermit crabs for your home, you might be worried about potential problems. For example, you could be concerned about the hermit crab pinching you.
When you try to handle the hermit crab, is it going to pinch you? Is this something you can avoid or is it very likely to happen?
Read on to learn about whether hermit crabs pinch. You’ll learn about what to expect and you’ll get important tips to help you when you’re handling your pet hermit crab.
Hermit Crabs Will Pinch
Yes, it’s normal for hermit crabs to pinch. It’s actually pretty likely that hermit crabs will pinch you when you first try to handle them.
Some hermit crab owners try to keep handling to a minimum. It isn’t truly necessary to handle hermit crabs all that often.
You will have to pick hermit crabs up from time to time, though. For example, you’ll need to move the hermit crab into a temporary holding tank when you’re cleaning its habitat.
There are many reasons why a hermit crab will try to pinch you. At first, the hermit crab will be rather wary of you and it might try to pinch you because it doesn’t truly trust you.
Over time, a hermit crab can learn to see you as a positive thing. It’ll come to understand that you give it food and that you don’t mean it any harm.
Building a bond with a hermit crab can take time. Even when you bond with the hermit crab, you might get pinched if you do things wrong.
Hermit crabs are never particularly going to enjoy being handled. Being handled is a fearful experience for them in many ways.
You can mitigate such issues by learning how to handle a hermit crab properly. This should make it less likely that you will get pinched by the crab.
How to Handle a Hermit Crab
Handling a hermit crab properly is essential. While it’s a good idea to keep handling the hermit crab to a minimum, there will still be occasions when you might want or need to handle the crab.
Knowing how to do things safely is important. You want to keep your pet in good health, and you also want to prevent yourself from getting pinched too much.
To start, you want to put your hand in the hermit crab’s habitat. Don’t make fast motions since that will frighten the crab.
Instead, you want to slowly approach the hermit crab with your dominant hand. When you have the opportunity, firmly grab the hermit crab’s shell and lift it off of the ground.
Remember to approach the hermit crab from behind. The claws are in the front of the crab.
If you approach from the front, the hermit crab might try to attack your hand. This is why you need to approach slowly from the back and then grab onto the hermit crab’s shell.
When lifting the crab, you want to move slowly. Fast motions could cause the crab to panic.
With your non-dominant hand, you want to put your palm underneath the hermit crab’s legs. Allow the hermit crab’s legs to touch your palm.
This will give the crab a way to rest its legs while being handled. This is very important.
Keep all of your fingers together and touching each other. You don’t want your fingers to be spread out while you’re allowing the hermit crab’s legs to touch your palm.
You’re allowing the hermit crab to feel like it has safe footing. Do things right to make the crab feel secure.
You can let go of the hermit crab’s shell at this point. It should feel okay if you’re doing everything as described above.
If all goes well, the hermit crab won’t try to pinch you. Sometimes the hermit crab might get scared and it’ll pinch your non-dominant hand.
When this occurs, it’s important not to react strongly. You want to stay calm and try to coax the hermit crab to let go.
One way to do this is to offer the hermit crab a piece of food. Offer the food in the opposite direction of where you’re being pinched and the crab should take it from you while releasing its pinching grip.
It should also be noted that you’re never supposed to lift hermit crabs high in the air. A hermit crab should never be too high off of the ground because a fall could seriously injure it.
Ideally, you want to keep the hermit crab only a few inches off of the ground. You should hold it above a table or the floor.
Do your best to stay relaxed and keep your hands steady when holding the hermit crab. If you can’t do this, it’d be better not to handle the hermit crab.
Why Do Hermit Crabs Pinch?
Generally, hermit crabs pinch people because they’re threatened. When a hermit crab is frightened or threatened, it’s going to respond by protecting itself with its claws.
The claws are the only way that hermit crabs have to protect themselves. They can try to pinch you with the claws to get you to back off.
Whenever a hermit crab pinches you it shows you that you’re doing something that the crab doesn’t like. You might be making the crab feel uncomfortable by doing something or another.
Fast motions can frighten the crab and so can handling the crab roughly. You should always try to make the hermit crab feel comfortable so it won’t want to pinch you.
The more threatened a hermit crab feels the harder it’s going to pinch. Keep this in mind and you should be able to protect yourself from being pinched.
Do Hermit Crab Pinches Hurt?
Yes, hermit crab pinches do indeed hurt. How much the pinch will hurt depends on the type of hermit crab that you own.
There are many different types of hermit crabs out there. Some are going to be larger than others.
As you might expect, some hermit crabs will have larger claws. A big hermit crab is going to be capable of hurting you more than a small hermit crab.
Even the pinches from a small hermit crab have the potential to hurt a fair bit. Some describe a hermit crab pinch as being mildly uncomfortable, but others say that it’s worse than that.
It’s unlikely that a hermit crab pinch will seriously hurt you. The pinch can cause pain that might be likened to a bee sting.
In some cases, bruises might form near the area where you’ve been pinched. The skin can be broken, too, but this will only occur if a hermit crab pinches you really hard.
It should be noted that hermit crabs will pinch harder if they feel truly threatened. If a hermit crab is very scared, it’ll pinch hard in an effort to protect itself.
Do Hermit Crabs Bite or Pinch?
Hermit crabs pinch, but they don’t bite people. Biting simply isn’t something that hermit crabs are capable of.
This is because hermit crabs don’t have normal teeth. Since they don’t have teeth that they can bite with, their claws are their only defense.
You never have to worry about hermit crabs biting. Pinching is something to keep in mind, though.
It’s easy enough to avoid being pinched by hermit crabs. Just keep handling to a minimum and be sure to handle the crab properly when you need to pick it up.
Do Hermit Crabs Have Teeth?
No, hermit crabs don’t possess normal teeth. This means that they can’t bite you.
Instead of teeth, hermit crabs utilize maxillipeds. These are small mouth parts that hermit crabs can use to crush food into tiny bits.
It’s something that must be done for the sake of digestion. They don’t have teeth, but the maxillipeds are used in sort of the same way.
This doesn’t mean that hermit crabs can bite you, though. So don’t worry about biting or anything like that.
Are Hermit Crabs Dangerous?
Hermit crabs are not dangerous in any way. These creatures can pinch you, but they only do that when they feel threatened.
A hermit crab doesn’t pose a threat to a human. They can’t truly harm you and they also don’t carry any diseases.
Pet hermit crabs can’t make you sick and they generally make good pets. You’ll even be happy to hear that they’re hypo-allergenic.
This means that they’re fine for people, kids, and pets that have allergies. You truly don’t need to be concerned about welcoming a hermit crab into your home.
These are easy pets to care for and you don’t need to be worried about them causing problems. You will have a positive experience so long as you do your best to care for the crab.
Are Hermit Crabs Poisonous?
If you’re worried about hermit crabs being poisonous, you shouldn’t be. Hermit crabs are certainly not poisonous.
They can’t poison you by pinching you. These creatures don’t carry any toxins or poisons in their bodies.
Hermit crabs are perfectly safe pets to own. This is why they’re becoming so popular as of late.
Over the last decade or so, the popularity of hermit crabs as pets has boomed. It’s likely that hermit crabs will continue to be sold in pet stores for years to come.
How to Make Hermit Crabs Feel Comfortable
There are many ways that you can make hermit crabs feel more comfortable in your home. You should start by giving the hermit crab an appropriate habitat.
Make sure that the hermit crab has all of the basics taken care of. Give it a habitat that is large enough to suit its needs.
These crabs need a habitat with sand that they can use for digging. They also love to have various toys that they can play with.
Give the hermit crab toys such as things to climb. Ensure that the habitat has the right humidity level and feed the hermit crab high-quality food.
It’s also wise to keep hermit crabs in small groups. Often, people keep hermit crabs in groups of three or four.
This gives the crabs the opportunity to play with each other. To prevent the crabs from fighting among themselves, you should keep multiple shells of each size in the tank.
So long as you’re doing this, it should be easy enough to keep the crab happy. Handling the crab sometimes is fine if you do things right, but you don’t need to handle hermit crabs all the time.
Your crab will bond with you as you feed it and interact with it. All of the hermit crabs will come to trust you, but you’ll still need to be careful not to get pinched.
You know a lot more about hermit crabs and pinching now. Hermit crabs will pinch people and it’s pretty common for hermit crab owners to get pinched.
These creatures will pinch you when they feel threatened or when they get scared. Often, people get pinched when they attempt to handle hermit crabs.
You can make it less likely that you’ll get pinched by handling the hermit crab the right way. Approach this situation carefully to get the best results.
It also might be wise to keep handling to a minimum. Handling is a stressful experience for hermit crabs in many ways.
Simply do your best to keep the hermit crabs in your tank happy. Care for them well and you shouldn’t get pinched too often.
If you do get pinched, it might hurt a little bit. Even so, it’s not that bad and it only hurts a little bit.
It’s not something you want to experience, but it isn’t something that should cause an overreaction. Now that you know more about what to expect, you should feel more at ease when planning to buy hermit crabs as pets.
Jeff has always enjoyed having pets, but as a child, he was drawn to his family’s fish tank. Being able to maintain a small ecosystem and observe the behaviors and interactions in the underwater world peaked his interest early on and has kept him hooked until this day. On Avid Aquarist, Jeff shares everything he’s learned about helping aquatic life survive and thrive in a home aquarium.