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What Do Hermit Crabs Eat? (The Best and Worst Food Options)

What Do Hermit Crabs Eat? (The Best and Worst Food Options)

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This post is written to the author's best knowledge and is not intended to be used in place of veterinary advice. In addition, this post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Hermit crabs are good pets for many different reasons. They’re pets that don’t take a lot of your time each day.

It’s easy to care for hermit crabs so long as you give them an appropriate habitat. You have to keep the tank humid and warm enough for them.

Of course, it’s also important to feed the crabs a varied diet. You need to ensure that they get enough to eat so they can stay healthy and happy.

If you’re thinking of buying pet hermit crabs, you might be interested in learning about what they eat. What do hermit crabs need to eat to thrive as pets?

Continue reading to learn everything you need to know about hermit crabs and their diets. This will make it easier to care for hermit crabs since you’ll know what to do to keep them fed properly.

What Do Hermit Crabs Eat in the Wild?

Hermit crabs are omnivores that scavenge to get food. They will eat all sorts of different things.

Since they’re omnivores, they aren’t as picky as many other types of creatures. They have to eat what they can find to stay alive.

It’s common to see hermit crabs eating algae, plant matter, dead animals, dead fish, and clams. Sometimes hermit crabs might eat insects that can be found buried in the ground.

They truly do what they must to survive. Hermit crabs are known for not liking to eat the same thing twice in a row, but other than that, they’re not picky.

What to Feed a Hermit Crab From the Beach

Some people like to go to beaches to look for wild hermit crabs. You’ll have the best bet trying to look for hermit crabs at night.

Hermit crabs are nocturnal creatures that are more active at night. These crabs like to sleep during the day, and they’ll be much harder to spot when the sun is out.

Once the sun goes down, you can spot hermit crabs on the beach using a flashlight. It’s easy enough to catch a hermit crab if you’re truly interested in doing so.

However, you should keep in mind that there might be laws against taking wild hermit crabs from beaches. Depending on where you live, it might be illegal to capture crabs.

So you should always look up the local laws to ensure that you don’t get in trouble. If it is indeed okay to take hermit crabs from the beach, you can move forward.

Feeding hermit crabs from the beach won’t be different from feeding other hermit crabs. The hermit crabs that you find in the wild are the same ones that you can purchase as pets.

This is because hermit crabs are almost impossible to breed in captivity. People don’t generally breed hermit crabs.

Hermit crabs are caught and then sold as pets. So the beach hermit crabs will have the same dietary requirements as other hermit crabs do.

You’ll likely be feeding the crabs pellets or other types of commercial hermit crab food. Then you’ll be giving them veggies and fruits to supplement their diets.

Are Hermit Crabs Omnivores?

Hermit crabs are indeed considered to be omnivores. These little creatures are scavengers that eat whatever they can to survive.

A hermit crab will eat plants, but it’ll also eat dead animals. Some people say that hermit crabs are the cleaning crews of local beaches.

The hermit crabs love to eat dead fish, insects, clams, algae, and so many other things. Some foods are better than others for these crabs, but they’re not overly picky.

Can Hermit Crabs Eat Grapes?

Grapes are good food that you can add to the mix. Hermit crabs will truly appreciate being fed grapes as snacks.

Just keep in mind that grapes shouldn’t be a regular food that your hermit crab eats daily. It’s better to give the hermit crabs grapes sometimes.

Your hermit crabs will love the grapes that you give them. Remember not to overfeed the hermit crabs.

Can Hermit Crabs Eat Strawberries?

Strawberries can be good options as well. You need to be careful to wash the strawberries carefully before giving them to hermit crabs, though.

Since strawberries have a rough surface, it can be hard to completely rinse them off. You want to rinse the fruits and veggies that you give to hermit crabs since they might have traces of chemicals from pesticides.

Do your best to wash the strawberries using dechlorinated water and you should have no problems. Hermit crabs like eating strawberries a lot.

Can Hermit Crabs Eat Apples?

It’s very common for people to dice up apples and give them to hermit crabs. This is a good healthy fruit to give to your pet crabs.

They contain many nutrients that your hermit crabs need to thrive. Apples contain vitamin K, vitamin C, potassium, copper, and antioxidants.

This fruit should become one of the fruits that you rotate in and out of the hermit crab’s diet. You want to mix things up to keep your hermit crabs from getting bored.

Can Hermit Crabs Eat Tomatoes?

You can feed hermit crabs tomatoes if you want to. Just know that feeding them tomatoes won’t be very useful.

Sadly, tomatoes don’t have a lot of nutritional value for hermit crabs. The hermit crabs will enjoy eating tomato chunks, but it won’t be the best option.

You can find fruits that are far more nutritious to give to hermit crabs. So tomatoes should only be given to hermit crabs occasionally if you don’t have anything else to give them.

Can Hermit Crabs Eat Carrots?

Raw carrots will be excellent sources of nutrition for hermit crabs. These carrots contain many nutrients that hermit crabs need.

You can cut the carrots into little pieces for the crabs so they can enjoy them. This is another good type of veggie that your crabs will enjoy eating.

It’s wise to give them carrots fairly often. The beta-carotene in the carrots helps the hermit crabs to stay healthy.

Can Hermit Crabs Eat Blueberries?

Blueberries contain vitamins and nutrients that are beneficial. Hermit crabs will enjoy eating blueberries, too.

You shouldn’t give the hermit crabs blueberries daily, but they can be part of the mix of what you’re feeding the hermit crabs each week. It should be acceptable to give hermit crabs two or three blueberries per week.

Simply be sure to wash the blueberries well before giving them to the crabs. It’ll be another good fruit option that you can turn to.

Can Hermit Crabs Eat Celery?

Celery is something that you might keep in your house often. Many people eat celery because it’s a good diet food.

Is it good for hermit crabs to eat, though? It’s safe for hermit crabs to eat celery, but they don’t like eating celery stalks very much.

They seem much more interested in eating the leaves. A hungry hermit crab might eat bits of the celery stalk, but there are better options out there.

Can Hermit Crabs Eat Mangoes?

Mangoes are perhaps some of the best fruits to give to hermit crabs. This is because they contain many things that hermit crabs need.

When hermit crabs eat mangoes they will get plenty of vitamin C, copper, iron, and calcium. To add to this, mangoes are also a source of beta-carotene and zeaxanthin.

If you love eating mangoes yourself, you should share some with your hermit crabs. Wash the mangoes first and cut them up into small pieces for the crabs.

Can Hermit Crabs Eat Pineapples?

Little pieces of pineapple are known to be good for hermit crabs. If you like pineapples, it’s fine to give them to your hermit crabs.

You might have some pineapples sitting at home that you’d like to use up. Wash the bits of pineapple that you give to the hermit crabs and all will be well.

This is a nutritious type of fruit that should be great for hermit crabs. They’ll happily eat the pineapple chunks.

Can Hermit Crabs Eat Cucumbers?

Cucumbers are another fruit that you can give to hermit crabs. Many hermit crabs seem to love eating cucumber slices.

However, there are some hermit crabs that don’t like it as much. It isn’t bad for hermit crabs in any way, and that means that it’ll be a good food to try giving to your crab.

The cucumber slices will give your hermit crabs a bit of calcium. They can also be quite refreshing on hot summer days.

Can Hermit Crabs Eat Cheese?

Cheese is another thing that you might be curious about. Is cheese an acceptable thing to give to hermit crabs?

Giving hermit crabs cheese would be a very poor idea. Generally, you want to avoid giving pets dairy products.

This is especially true for hermit crabs. Cheese won’t kill your hermit crab or anything like that, but it’s not a natural food.

There isn’t a reason to feed cheese to hermit crabs. It’s best to stick to feeding the crabs natural foods that provide them with the right nutrition.

Can Hermit Crabs Eat Lettuce?

Lettuce is a great food to give to hermit crabs. Hermit crabs seem to really enjoy leafy veggies.

Not only do they enjoy lettuce, but they’ll also love eating kale. You can feed romaine lettuce to hermit crabs fairly often and it’ll be good for them.

As usual, washing the lettuce ahead of time is crucial. Do this and you can confidently feed lettuce to your hermit crabs.

Can Hermit Crabs Eat Oranges?

Yes, hermit crabs like eating oranges. Oranges contain many different vitamins and minerals while also being a good source of fiber.

Since this is a good way to give hermit crabs vitamin C, it’s wise to give oranges to them every so often. Your hermit crabs will always love eating small orange slices.

Sadly, there is some false information online about citrus fruits being bad for hermit crabs. This simply isn’t true, and hermit crabs are even known to sometimes eat citrus fruits in the wild.

Can Hermit Crabs Eat Watermelon?

Watermelon is a very sweet fruit that can be a special treat for hermit crabs. The sweetness makes it something you should limit to a once-a-week treat.

It’s said that eating watermelon will help hermit crabs digest food better. Also, since watermelon has such high water content, it’ll help them to stay hydrated.

So long as you’re not feeding hermit crabs watermelon too often, it’ll be a good fruit to let them enjoy. You can give them a little bit of watermelon and feel good about it.

Can Hermit Crabs Eat Bananas?

Bananas are a good treat for hermit crabs to enjoy. These sweet and tasting fruits are easy for hermit crabs to eat since bananas are soft.

You likely already know that bananas are a great source of potassium. It’s fine to feed hermit crabs bananas, but you need to exercise moderation.

Bananas aren’t an appropriate daily food for hermit crabs. They should be treated like watermelons and only be given to the hermit crabs occasionally.

How Often Do Hermit Crabs Eat?

Hermit crabs are meant to eat daily. You should feed your hermit crabs every single night.

Since hermit crabs are nocturnal, you want to feed them in the late evening hours. Hermit crabs are going to be hiding and sleeping during the day.

Hermit crabs can go for a while without food if necessary. Some crabs can live for ten days without food, but others might die if they’re not fed within three days.

You should always feed your hermit crabs on a schedule. Consistency is best because hermit crabs will become stressed if you forget to feed them.

How Much Do Hermit Crabs Eat?

You’ll find that hermit crabs don’t eat a lot of food at once. Serving sizes don’t need to be large.

It’s common for people to feed hermit crabs ½ of a teaspoon of fruit. Sometimes it depends on the type of food that you’re serving.

Do Hermit Crabs Eat Algae?

There are marine hermit crabs that are known to eat algae. Marine hermit crabs are creatures that live underwater.

Land hermit crabs are the ones that are commonly kept as pets. Marine hermit crabs can be kept in fish tanks, and sometimes people buy them specifically to keep algae under control.

Do Hermit Crabs Eat Snails?

Sometimes hermit crabs will eat snails. Many people have tried to keep snails and hermit crabs in the same tank.

Marine hermit crabs might leave the snails alone if they have enough food. However, it’s common for hermit crabs to kill snails and take their shells.

Snails aren’t a primary food source for hermit crabs, but they still might eat them. If an opportunity presents itself, hermit crabs won’t hesitate to kill snails either for a new home or a quick meal.

Do Hermit Crabs Eat Coral?

Hermit crabs will certainly eat coral. Even marine hermit crabs that are advertised as being reef safe are known to eat coral.

This doesn’t have to be seen as a negative thing, though. It’s common for people to use marine hermit crabs to keep coral tanks under control.

Do Hermit Crabs Eat Shrimp?

Feeding shrimp to your hermit crabs will surely be a big hit. Both land hermit crabs and marine hermit crabs can be fed shrimp.

You need to make sure that you’re feeding them shrimp that hasn’t been seasoned, though. Cooked shrimp is fine so long as it hasn’t been seasoned, but you could just as easily feed them raw shrimp.

Can Hermit Crabs Eat Fish Food?

Is it okay to let your marine hermit crabs eat fish food? Or is this not going to be good for the crabs?

Fish flakes aren’t bad for hermit crabs, but they’re not good for them either. Essentially, fish flakes are just fluff that hermit crabs don’t need to eat.

It’s fine to let your hermit crabs eat fish flakes as a snack. Just don’t try to feed them fish flakes as a normal part of their diet.

They need to eat recommended foods that provide them with sufficient nutrients. Fish flakes simply aren’t formulated to give marine hermit crabs what they need.

What Are Hermit Crabs’ Favorite Foods?

You already know that hermit crabs are omnivores that like to eat a variety of different things. What are their absolute favorite foods, though?

Hermit crabs seem to really love eating leafy greens. So kale and lettuce will be high on the list of things that hermit crabs will want to eat regularly.

They also love eating many other types of veggies. Spinach and carrots should be two of the veggies that you give hermit crabs often.

Fruits are an important part of a hermit crab’s diet. They truly love eating bananas, apples, grapes, strawberries, and watermelons.

Some fruits are so sweet that they should be enjoyed in moderation. You want to mix up what you’re giving hermit crabs anyway, so you don’t need to give hermit crabs the same thing multiple times in a row.

Protein is important for hermit crabs as well. They need protein to be able to thrive.

Often, people give hermit crabs commercial foods to give them the necessary protein that they need to stay healthy. However, you can also feed hermit crabs shrimp, chicken, lean beef, turkey, and tuna to provide them with protein.

Eggs can be a solid protein source, too. You can give hermit crabs scrambled eggs or hard-boiled eggs.

What Human Food Can Hermit Crabs Eat?

Hermit crabs can eat all sorts of food that you would eat yourself. You’ve already learned that hermit crabs love various types of fruit and vegetables.

The same fruit and veggies that you eat daily can be given to hermit crabs. You do need to be careful to wash them so they won’t harm the crabs.

Crabs are very sensitive to chemicals. So long as you’re being careful and rinsing with dechlorinated water, it’s likely that everything will be fine.

Hermit crabs enjoy eating lean beef, chicken, tuna, shrimp, and turkey as well. Remember that you can never serve seasoned meat to hermit crabs.

It’s even fine to give hermit crabs eggs. So there are many human food options that can work.

What Can Hermit Crabs Not Eat?

There are things that hermit crabs shouldn’t eat. You shouldn’t give hermit crabs onions or garlic.

You want to avoid giving your hermit crabs table salt. Iodine is bad for hermit crabs and table salt contains iodine.

It’s not wise to give hermit crabs processed foods. For example, you shouldn’t give your hermit crabs potato chips or candy bars.

There are many types of human foods that need to be avoided. You also need to consider the fact that hermit crabs are very sensitive to chemicals.

Ideally, you need to feed hermit crabs foods that haven’t been exposed to chemicals at all. This is why it’s recommended to buy fruits and veggies from organic grocery stores.

Never feed hermit crabs fruits and veggies without washing them first. You have to rinse the food with distilled water or dechlorinated water to be safe.

Final Thoughts

You now have a lot of information about hermit crabs and what they can eat. Hermit crabs are omnivores that can eat so many different things.

In the wild, these creatures will pretty much eat whatever they can to survive. You can feed pet hermit crabs many different types of food as well, but it’s best to focus on giving them foods that offer the right nutritional value.

It’s common for people to feed hermit crabs pellet food. This is fine, but you must supplement the diet with fruits and veggies.

Various types of fruits and veggies are known to be good for these pets. You can give them apples, bananas, lettuce, carrots, mangoes, spinach, kale, watermelon, pineapples, and so many other things.

It’s also fine to give hermit crabs meat as a source of protein. They like to eat chicken, tuna, shrimp, lean beef, and turkey.

Just be sure not to season the meat if you decide to give them protein this way. Eggs are also an option when you’re looking for a protein source.

Feed your hermit crabs daily to keep them healthy. Since they’re nocturnal, they will like to be fed at night.

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