Ask Milo – Heating Wire Cages

Hanna submitted the following question:

So I just got 2 hermit crabs and they are in wire cages. but i have the heating pad in there but i did not take off the back side to the heater baecause it will melt the plastic. Will my crabs die!
Dear Hanna,

Wire cages are not appropriate for land hermit crabs for housing. You will need to buy a glass tank. You can often find second hand glass fish tanks at Yard/Garage/Tag sales or on Craigslist, eBay and other classified sites very cheaply. Wire cages do not keep the humidity in, and as their bases can be plastic, like the one you have, it makes it difficult to heat them without melting the plastic and causing suffocation of your crabs due to the fumes!

 A glass tank with lid helps keep in the temperature and humidity. The minimum purchased should be 10 Gallon.

Plastic Kritter Keepers can be inexpensive but they have ventilation holes which can release the temperature and humidity that your hermit crab so dearly need! They are plastic and scratch easily and will heat differently to glass tanks. You would need to purchase a heater for plastic tanks. A glass tank is really the best option for new hermit crab owners. You will be able to add an appropriate amount of substrate for the size of your crabs, add driftwood trees, hang nets, add food and water bowls and dishes. Just so much more than a wire cage can offer. Most hermit crabs die in wire cages.

Your friend in a pinch, Milo