How to Wake Up Hermit Crabs

By Lori Lapierre

Hand holding a hermit crab image by Oleksandr Bondar from

Hermit crabs are noctural creatures with a variety of personalities. You may have a rather inactive little guy that sleeps a lot and moves very little. To check him during daylight hours, this may require some nudging on your part to wake him. Just remember to avoid the grumpy pinch.

Step 1

Pick your hermit crab up by its shell and place it in the palm of your hand. Keep your hand stretched taut; once the crab wakes up, he may decide to pinch you out of self-defense. Continue to hold him and talk softly to him until his natural curiosity kicks in and he begins to move about.

Step 2

Mist the hermit crab with a spray bottle of dechlorinated water. You are already doing this several times a day to help keep him moist and provide humidity in the tank. Two or three small squirts, at most, should wake him up.

Step 3

Check the temperature and humidity inside your crab's home. They require a temperature of 65 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit and high humidity. Without this, they may become inactive, withdrawn, sick -- and hard to wake. Make any necessary adjustments to keep your little guy comfortable.

Step 4

Bathe your hermit crab to wake him. Gently flip your pet over and dunk him in his water dish. Room-temperature water will get his attention but not shock his system.

Items you will need

  • Spray bottle of water
  • Water dish


  • Hermit crabs are social; with other friends in the tank, they will sleep less and become more active.


  • Some owners blow gently on hermit crabs to wake them. Pinching can occur if you get your face too close to his shell.

Photo Credits

  • Hand holding a hermit crab image by Oleksandr Bondar from


Lori Lapierre holds a Bachelor of Arts and Science in public relations/communications. For 17 years, she worked for a Fortune 500 company before purchasing a business and starting a family. She is a regular freelancer for "Living Light News," an award-winning national publication. Her past writing experience includes school news reporting, church drama, in-house business articles and a self-published mystery, "Duty Free Murder."

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