Palmetto Bug vs Cockroach | Home Remedies for Palmetto Bugs

What Is A Palmetto Bug?

Palmetto bugs are called by different names in different regions. Some regions they are called as water bugs, big roaches, the American cockroach.

Palmetto bugs can be as big as one and a half inches in length and are reddish-brown in color. And, moreover, they can fly but are not good at it. 

They are much proficient at gliding to get out of risky situations. But, can fly when it comes to defense.

What Attracts Palmetto bugs?

Palmetto bugs are roaches, and roaches are attracted to two things: water and food. 

If you’re noticing bugs in your home, there’s a high chance you have food lying around somewhere that’s persuading them.

  • It might be garbage outside.
  • It could be an opened packet of food
  • It could be a portion of sweets
  • And If you have a leaking tube somewhere in your home, they may be persuaded by that as well

Life Cycle of Palmetto bugs

This bug has a three-phase life cycle: egg, nymph, and adult. Nymphs are much smaller, lack wings, and have slightly varied markings.

Adult females place their eggs in a case known as an ootheca that they hold around until the eggs hatch. Bigger outdoor roaches category of palmetto bugs may take up to a full year to become adults.

Palmetto bug Vs Cockroach

A cockroach species commonly called a “palmetto bug” is the American cockroach (Periplaneta Americana). Adult American cockroaches are large and winged. Their color is dark brown with a cream-colored prothorax that has dark markings that resemble sunglasses.

American cockroaches prefer damp conditions and often are found in sewers, woodpiles, and mulch. They can fly to lights. This particular behavior is disconcerting for homeowners who encounter a large roach that flies near their faces when entering doors with lights nearby in the evening.

How to get rid of palmetto bugs naturally

Clean, Clean and Clean More

  • Every crumb, every dirty dish, every drop of food left out in the open will attract these pests.
  • Store all opened food in airtight containers 
  • Maintain your pantry, counters, and stove, free of crumbs and food remnants 
  • Sweep and rinse your floor daily
  • Vacuum carpets every day 
  • Clean utensils right away
  • Make sure lids stay tight on trash cans and pet food jars 
  • Organize your kitchen to give palmetto bugs no place to hide
  • The important thing here is to remove all probable food sources, so these bugs have less of a chance to stick around.
  • Many experts also suggest restricting eating to just one space to prevent the bugs from spreading to other areas of the house. The kitchen or dining rooms are ideal because they generally have floors and surfaces that are easy to wash and clean after eating.
  • If you have kids, you will need to be extremely active in cleaning up regularly.

Repair Leaking Pipes

  • Sometimes, it’s not food that lures palmetto bugs but water. 
  • Lookout in the signs of leaking pipes in your home, and repair them as soon as possible. 
  • If water is what’s attracting these bugs, repairing a leak may be a fast way to drag them out of your home.

Caulk Cracks and Crevices

  • Remember, these bugs can make their way into your home through the smallest of cracks. 
  • Take the time to seal up any openings and holes that you may find, especially near doors and windows. 
  • Copper mesh or steel fiber can also be used to seal up cracks.
  • If they’re creating their way up through floor drains or pipes, wire screens can carry them out.
  • Invest in a bottom door sealer if you have a big opening underneath. 
  • A sealer will help curb these bugs from skittering into your house in the middle of the night.

Boric Acid

  • Like other roaches, palmetto bugs are exposed to boric acid – it kills them. If you’re looking for a powerful, (mostly) non-toxic palmetto bug killer, boric acid would be it.
  • Sprinkle the powder out where the bugs frequent – usually kitchen counters and behind utensils. 
  • Crawling through the powder is what will kill them.
  • Do be thorough with boric acid. 
  • Never spot the powder anywhere near where food is made, and keep it away from kids and pets.

Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth is a great option if you have pets or kids and you just want a harmless way to get rid of these bugs.

This powder kills palmetto bugs when they walk through it. The crystals scratch away at their feet, resulting in them to dehydrate and die.

Plants that repel palmetto bugs

Plants don’t only repel the palmetto bugs but it also doesn’t harm to have these around the house. Here are some plants that are useful to get rid of Palmetto bugs.


This flowering plant comprises a natural insecticide compound called pyrethrins. Once the plants have grown, you could crush them and spot them around the house to repel the palmetto bugs. Pet holders should not grow chrysanthemum as it can be poisonous to dogs and cats.

Catnip Plants

Growing catnip is a win-win condition for households with cats. Researchers have observed specific chemicals (nepetalactone to be exact) in the catnip plants that may prove beneficial in repelling palmetto bugs and other species of roaches.