How to Warm Hermit Crab Without a Heater (7 Different Ways)

If it gets too cold in your hermit crab’s cage, they could hibernate, or potentially even die. Naturally, this is something you will want to avoid, and oftentimes, heating is the best and easiest solution. That’s not always a possibility. Sometimes, you have no electricity or no heating is available. Maybe you’re even transporting crabs and need a quick and portable solution to ensure your crabs reach their destination safely. Whatever your reasons, we’ve got seven perfect solutions for you that will help keep your crabs warm without heating.


What is the Ideal Temperature of Hermit Crab?

hermit crab in the tank

Before we start talking about how to warm up your crab’s habitat, it’s important to understand the temperature your crab is comfortable in. Temperatures that rise too high or fall too low can be fatal for your crabs. On the low end, hermit crabs can withstand temperatures of 65 degrees Fahrenheit (F), while 80 degrees F is about the pinnacle of how much heat they can handle. You must keep their cage between these temperatures for your crabs to thrive.

Checking Your Crab Cage Temperature

This begs the question: how can you tell the temperature in your crab habitat? All you need is a simple thermometer that can be hung on the wall inside the enclosure, allowing you to monitor the temperature inside. Our favorite is the dual-use thermometer/hygrometer, and they display digital readings of the temperature and humidity in the cage, making it easier to maintain the right conditions for your crabs. In addition to warm temperatures, hermit crabs need humidity levels between 70% and 80%.

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7 Ways to Warm Hermit Crab Without a Heater

Hermit crab

1. Spray with warm water

Increasing the humidity in the cage will help warm the atmosphere. Spraying warm water will not only help increase the humidity, but will also directly increase the temperature thanks to the heat of the water.

2. heat lamp

A heating lamp is an effective way to warm up your entire crab tank, but it’s easy to overdo it. Make sure you mount the lights far enough away from the cage so they don’t overheat and overcook your crabs. Observe the thermometer for a few moments until you are sure you have placed the heating lamp at the proper distance from the tank.

hermit crab in the tank

3. hand warmer

Hand warmers are the perfect solution when you need to keep crabs warm on the move. You can pick this up at almost any store. Once they start warming up, just put them in your crab cage and they’ll start warming up the area.

4. Move Them to a Warmer Area

It’s possible that your crabs were simply housed in a cool part of the house. Most people keep their homes in a temperature range suitable for hermit crabs, even in winter. You may just need to find a warmer place in your home and move your crab tank to that area.

5. Run Humidifier

Increasing the humidity in your crab tank can help keep it warmer; especially if you use a warm humidifier. This device heats the water to create humidity, which will also warm the area where it is located, giving you the dual benefit of warming the crab while ensuring the humidity remains high enough.

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6. Enclosure Insulation

You can try wrapping a towel or blanket around your crab tank to contain the heat. This works especially well when combined with the hand warmer method. Put the hand warmer in the tank and then wrap some towels on the outside to keep the heat in. The temperature inside will start to rise quickly and won’t go away very quickly because the enclosure is insulated with a blanket or towel.

7. Add More Substrate

Generally, it is recommended that hermit crabs get about 4 inches of substrate. But if you add a little more, it can help make your crabs warmer. The deeper the substrate, the easier it is for them to dig, which helps them to stay warm by insulating themselves within the substrate.

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Don’t Use Heating Stone

hermit crab in the sand

While there are many ways to heat up your crab’s environment, heating stones is one method you should never use. Heating stones may be suitable for certain animal species, but hermit crabs are not one of them. This device most often heats up in only one place, and if a crab steps in there, it can easily burn its legs.

Never Heat Your Crab

When the temperature inside your crab cage starts to climb into the 80s, things get dangerous. Your crab will start to suffer and may even die. Be sure to never heat your crab tank by using multiple heating methods at once or trying new heating methods without supervision. Take a look at the thermometer and see how it is. If the temperature starts to rise too high, you may need to rethink things.

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There are many different ways to heat up your crab’s environment. To be honest, the hermit crab heater is probably the best option. They come in many forms, but some are simple adhesive heaters that you can stick to the wall inside their tank to raise the temperature safely. However, there are plenty of alternatives, and we’ve covered seven of the best here. In a pinch, this method will keep your crabs warm, healthy and most importantly alive. Be sure to keep an eye on the thermometer and don’t let the temperature drop below 65 degrees or rise above 80 degrees Fahrenheit and your crabs will be fine.

Looking for more information about hermit crabs? Try this article:

  • How to Tell a Hermit Crab Type (with Pictures)
  • Why Do Hermit Crabs Dig? 4 Possible Reasons
  • Is Your Hermit Crab Leaving Its Shell? Here’s What To Do!

Featured Image Credit: Zuzha, Shutterstock