Hermit crabs can provide hours of late-night entertainment as they go about their nocturnal activities. They poke their soft abdomens into the cast-off shells of other sea creatures to protect them, and they rarely leave their little body helmets behind. Shells are fragile, so you have to handle them with care. Keep your hermit crabs above a soft surface such as carpeting or a bed if you hold them, as a drop to a hard surface from 3 feet can kill a hermit crab.
If You Drop Your Crab
If you drop a hermit crab or notice one appears hurt, check for cracks in the shell. If a crack exists, encourage him to change into a new shell by providing an extra couple of shells within his environment. Do not force your crab out of his shell, as he is easily injured. If he leaves his shell but does not take up residence in a new one, you can encourage him by filling an empty shell with cool water and gently inserting the crab, abdomen-first, into the shell. A light tap on his head will encourage him to withdraw inside.
First Aid for Hermies
If your crab is moving normally, chances are he's alright. Sometimes a fall or other stressful event causes a claw or limb to fall off. Crabs regrow their limbs; you will probably notice one developing in a little jelly sac by the time of his next molt. If your crab has a scratch, you can bathe him in non-chlorinated water with a water conditioner that will help remove dirt and restore his slimy coating.
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