Any territory lived in by life creatures will lure mites. These small arachnids space all around us. Mites are particularly fond of hermit crab enclosures. This is because the warm, dry, and also dark problems of the habitat of her hermit crabs room nirvana because that mites.

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If you have actually a mite infestation, bathe her hermit crabs in saltwater 2-3 times a day. Rehome castle in a clean enclosure and also complete a root-and-branch deep clean of your aquarium. Never use one over-the-counter parasite killer because this will certainly kill her hermit crabs.

Learn the warning indicators that her hermit crabs have actually mites. This parasites differ from harmless to deeply distressing for crustaceans.

Table of Contents hide
1 perform Hermit Crabs get Mites?
1.1 What reasons Mites top top Hermit Crabs?
1.2 can Mites kill Hermit Crabs?
2 carry out My Hermit Crabs have Mites?
2.1 What carry out Mites Look choose on Hermit Crabs?
2.2 effects of Mites top top Hermit Crabs
3 exactly how to act Mites on Hermit Crabs
3.1 avoidance
3.2 added Insects
3.3 Molting
3.4 cleaning the Habitat
3.4.1 Floors and also Ceilings
3.4.2 Substrate
3.4.3 Decorations and also Spare Shells
3.5 shower the Hermit Crab
3.5.1 Self-Bathing
3.5.2 outside Bathing
4 can Hermit Crab Mites spread to Humans?
4.1 related Articles:

Do Hermit Crabs acquire Mites?

Many usual household pets battle with mites, and hermit crabs room no exception. Wild hermit crabs frequently welcome symbiotic relationships with other species. Mites, alas, are usually unwelcome visitors.

Hermit crabs room arguably likelier to attract mites than any other pet. A hermit crab habitat is warm and also humid, which room ideal problems for mites. They will certainly gravitate to together surroundings.

As every the journal of speculative Marine Biology and Ecology, roughly 15 species of mites connect to hermit crabs. In captivity, the most typical mites you will certainly encounter are:

Psocoptera – better known together booklice, paperlice or barkfliesDermatophagoides – aka dust mitesAcarus siro – aka grain mitesOribatid – aka floor mites or moss mitesLiponyssoides sanuineus – aka residence mouse mitesDemodex folliculorum – aka follicle mitesSarcoptes scabiei hominis – aka itch or scabies mitesTyrophagus putrescentiae – aka mold mites

Learning exactly how to determine mites, as well as the threats of their presence and the influence they have actually on hermit crabs, is vital. Some mites space harmless. Others will certainly make your hermit crabs unwell. It is constantly preferable to keep any trace the mites the end of an aquarium.

What causes Mites on Hermit Crabs?

Mites space all approximately us in the home. Oftentimes they space harmless, and also we execute not notice their presence. Mites love 4 things – warmth, humidity, darkness, and also hiding places.

The enclosure that homes your hermit crabs offers these in abundance. Also, there will certainly be a abundant supply the uneaten food for the mites.

You may even carry mites right into your hermit crab enclosure yourself, albeit unwittingly. New food may have actually tiny mites crawling on it. Equally, exterior sources that wood, rocks, or shells may residence mites. This is often how hermit crabs obtain mites.

Once mites have a foothold, they multiply quickly. A mite will just live for around 2 months. Mites lay up to 3 eggs every day, which flower in quick order. A small mite populace can quickly come to be an infestation.


Can Mites kill Hermit Crabs?

Some mites space harmless come hermit crabs. Unfortunately, others have the right to kill her pets. Mites that feed top top hermit crabs can pass on bacterial diseases. Also, the stress because of the uncomfortable of mites can end a hermit crab’s life.

If you find mites in her hermit crab habitat, yet not on the hermit crabs themselves, they will not be fatal. These arachnids have to still be disposed of together you carry out not want them to come to be dominant.

Do my Hermit Crabs have actually Mites?

Mites room not always easy to spot v the naked eye. All the same, friend should inspect your hermit crabs for traces the mites. White mites top top hermit crabs need to be immediately removed. Usage a magnifying glass, if necessary.

If friend cannot rely on her eyesight, inspect for unexplained behavior. Mites that affix to a hermit crab can reason discomfort. This physics distress will certainly be reflected in the way your hermit crabs behave.

What carry out Mites Look like on Hermit Crabs?

If girlfriend have accessibility to a magnifying glass or microscope, place a mite under it. You will notification the distinct body shape. They very closely resemble ticks. Mites can vary in color yet are frequently white, brown, black, or red.

When inspecting a hermit crab for mites, pay details attention to the complying with parts of the anatomy:

LegsAbdomenAntennaeEye stalks

They are locations that mites room likeliest to cluster. Girlfriend will notification the mites moving and also crawling around. If friend do happen to notice mobile specks on a hermit crab’s body, mites are almost certainly the culprits.

Effects that Mites top top Hermit Crabs

Essentially, mites room an irritant come hermit crabs. They space unlikely come bite a hermit crab. They will cause constant itching and discomfort, though. This will certainly make the hermit crabs stressed.

As discussed, mites top top hermit crabs room not always easy come see. You may need to rely upon watching the end for the impacts of this parasites. Too much bathing is a authorize of mite infestation. The hermit crabs are trying to to wash away your parasites.

Look the end for signs of hyperactivity in her hermit crabs, especially throughout the day. They are trying come escape the mites. The contrary can also be true if the mites have passed on a bacterial infection that renders hermit crabs sick and lethargic.

Another usual reaction come mites is the severance of limbs or eyestalks. Hermit crabs regenerate shed legs once molting. They may take into consideration self-mutilation a temporary price precious paying. Alas, if hermit crabs lose too plenty of limbs in ~ once, they room unlikely come survive.

How to Treat Mites top top Hermit Crabs

If friend spot mites on your hermit crabs, you must never apply an anti-parasite treatment designed for other animals. Plenty of pet stores will sell sprays that kill mites ~ above the spot. If undeniably effective, these therapies will additionally kill hermit crabs.

Instead, dealing with mites in a hermit crab enclosure involves dedicated cleaning. In the interim rehome your hermit crabs and also bathe them until all unwelcome parasites are removed.

After this, friend will require to complete a thorough deep clean that the habitat. This means removing everything and also either washing, baking, or instead of it. Girlfriend cannot reduced corners in this process.


Naturally, the best method to store mites the end of a tank is to prevent them from gaining in. This is not always possible. Mites room so omnipresent that they are sometimes unavoidable. Take it these actions to minimization risk:

Spot clean a habitat daily and also perform a deep clean every 3 monthsGet one airtight lid to make access for mites difficultNever leave strong-smelling, uneaten food to lingerRemove any type of moss or bacteria ~ above sightThoroughly wash fresh food prior to feeding to hermit crabsBoil any kind of wood or shells in water before using to a tank

Additional Insects

The enclosure of captive hermit crabs can end up being its very own private ecosystem. If you introduce other, hermit crab-safe insects come a habitat, they may eat mites.

What’s more, these extr insects deserve to serve other valuable purposes. Many will clean the enclosure by eat leftover food and also waste. They even make a snack for her pets, if required. Hermit crabs periodically eat bugs.

Do not just collect insects from your backyard and also place castle in a tank. Some might be an ext antagonistic 보다 others or can have previously consumed insecticide.


If her hermit crabs are booked to molt, they will regularly speed up the process to rid us of mites. Mites affix themselves to the exoskeleton the hermit crabs. Molting removes this exoskeleton entirely, instead of it through a new, mite-free alternative.

Unfortunately, this is far from a permanent solution. The mites will continue to dwell in ~ an enclosure. If tho alive, the mites will certainly reattach to the molted crab’s new exoskeleton when it emerges. You room not resolving the problem, just kicking the have the right to down the road.

Cleaning the Habitat

If you notification mites in an enclosure, it must be thoroughly cleaned. The mites fastened to their pet room a small number of the total parasites. Many more will be waiting in the wing to take their place.

With this in mind, girlfriend must have at the very least two aquariums for her hermit crabs. Deep clean a hermit tank take away at the very least a day – usually two or three. Her pets will require somewhere come dwell in between.

Settle your hermit crabs into a short-term home, then clean their main habitat. Remove everything from the tank and get to work step-by-step.

Floors and Ceilings

Invest in a little aquarium vacuum for her enclosure and also apply this to the floor and walls. Do this prior to you begin cleaning, as these vacuums space most efficient on dried surfaces. They will suck up any kind of mites that space still hiding in ~ the now-spartan environment.

Fill a bucket or jug with warm water combined with white vinegar. Take a clean sponge and also thoroughly wipe down every surface in the tank. Do not use bleach. As impactful as it may be, remnants will certainly be toxic for hermit crabs upon your return.

Once you have actually wiped the tank’s walls and also floor, leave it external to dry in the sun. You can use a hairdryer very first if the is your preference. The tank will certainly not be prepared for rehabilitation until it has air-dried, though. The UV light ray of the sun will kill any type of lingering mites.


Before your tank is dry, you should decide what to execute with the substrate. There will virtually certainly it is in mites in ~ this substrate. If you use soil rather of sand, this is even likelier.

Arguably the safest choice is to litter away the substrate and also replace it. If you are unwilling or can not to execute so, you need to sanitize the substrate prior to recycling it.

To carry out this, bake the substrate in the oven. Heat it for around thirty minute at a temperature of 300 levels Fahrenheit. If you have any wood in the enclosure, bake this in ~ the very same time. Let the substrate and wood cool before restoring it to the aquarium.

Decorations and Spare Shells

Consider any kind of decorations in her hermit crab enclosure. This can include food dishes, swim pools, climb toys, and also rocks. If you save spare shells in the enclosure, these likewise need to be sanitized.

To achieve this, boil up a pot of water and also place the equipment within. Ensure the no hermit crabs are hiding in ~ shells first.

Once these items have been boiled for around twenty minutes, you must remove them and leave them to cool. When using sponges in your hermit crab enclosure, microwave these fairly than boil them.

Bathing the Hermit Crab

If you have actually a bona fide mite infestation, shower is essential for the hermit crabs. This takes two forms. The hermit crabs will certainly opt to submerge in saltwater themselves. You can also apply a little spot cleaning. Eventually, you’ll must offer a complete bath.


Initially, hermit crabs struggling v mite infestations will bathe us in saltwater. This will certainly go some means to clearing increase the problem. It’s advisable to let hermit crabs indulge in this behavior.

Place multiple bathing pools in the enclosure because that at the very least a day. Consider warming the water slightly, however not sufficient to danger burns.

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It’s the salt in the water that is important here. Together per afri Zoology, hermit crabs can grow in water with greater levels of salinity 보다 they are offered to. This should be naval salt together table salt contains iodine, i beg your pardon is toxicity to hermit crabs.