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Southern Pests: Palmetto Bugs


One of the most common and most screech-worthy pests in the south is the palmetto bug. The palmetto bug is also known as the American cockroach. While they look similar to their cousin, the German cockroach, they are much larger in size and are generally not interested in invading your home. If you find one in your home, chances are it wandered in while searching for food. Dark brown in color, the American cockroach also has wings and can fly. Let’s get to know this southern pest a little better.


Why is it Called a Palmetto Bug?

If it’s a cockroach, why do people call it a palmetto bug? The American cockroach got the alternate name of palmetto bug because they can often be found hiding among palmetto trees, particularly in trees near bodies of water such as ponds and lakes. They also like to hide out in wood piles and piles of leaves or other vegetation debris that might collect on your property. They have excellent night vision and tend to go in search of food at night when they’re less vulnerable to predators. So, it’s common to see them in the evening outside or hiding out in the dark if they happen to end up in your home.


Preventing Palmetto Bugs in Your Home

Generally, palmetto bugs don’t invade homes the way German cockroaches and other types of bugs do. They vastly prefer the outdoors so one way to prevent palmetto bugs from getting into your home is to make sure you aren’t attracting them outside in your yard. Eliminate wood piles, clean up leaves and vegetation debris they could hide in and keep garbage cans tightly sealed. Seal entry points such as cracks or gaps around windows and doors and check these spots frequently and reseal as necessary to help keep bugs and other pests out.

If you do have several palmetto bugs that make their way into your home, it is possible for them to reproduce and create an infestation, although this is uncommon. If you find yourself dealing with palmetto bugs in your home, call The Pest Force. We’ll assess your pest control needs and help you deal with your palmetto bug problems.