Palmetto Bug vs Cockroach | Home Remedies for Palmetto Bugs

Depending on where you reside you might have heard palmetto bugs being known by a few different names. Some regions call them water bugs, some big roaches.

Palmetto bugs can be as huge as one and a half inches and are a reddish-brown color. And, moreover, they can fly a little. So take some consolation in that.

They are much more proficient at gliding to get out of risky situations, namely you holding a broom trying to get rid of it. But, don’t be shocked if they fly directly at your face, it’s a defense tool.

The Palmetto bug has a three-phase life cycle: egg, nymph, and adult. Nymphs are much tinier, 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 of the categories called palmetto bugs may take up to a full year to become adults.

What Attracts Palmetto bugs?

Palmetto bugs are roaches, and roaches are enticed to two main things: water and food. You have a kitchen pantry reserved with food and pipes that get you freshwater. Your home is like a five-star hotel for palmetto bugs.

If you’re noticing bugs in your home, there’s a high chance you have food lying around somewhere that’s persuading them. And If you have a leaking tube somewhere in your home, they may be persuaded by that as well

Palmetto Bug vs Cockroach

A cockroach species commonly called a “palmetto bug” is the American cockroach. Adult American cockroaches are large and winged. Their coloration is dark brown with a cream-colored prothorax.

They prefer damp conditions and often are found in sewers, woodpiles, and mulch. They will 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.

Home Remedies for Palmetto Bugs

1. Clean, Clean and Clean More!

It can’t be worried enough that you are required to keep your home spotless when you’re struggling to get rid of palmetto bugs. Every crumb, every dirty dish, every drop of food left out in the open will only keep these guys reaching back for more.

  • Store all opened food in airtight bottles.
  • Maintain your pantry, counters, and stove free of crumbs and food remnant.
  • Sweep and rinse your floors daily.
  • Vacuum carpeting every day.
  • Clean plates right away.
  • Make sure veils stay tight on trash cans and pet food jars. 
  • Declutter your kitchen to give palmetto bugs no place to hide.

Many suggest restricting eating in just one space to prevent the bugs from spreading to other areas of the house. If you have kids, you will need to be extremely active in cleaning up if you really wish to get rid of palmetto bugs.

2. 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.

3. Caulk Cracks and Crevices

Remember, these bugs can make their way into your home through the smallest of cracks. Take the time to caulk up any openings and holes that you may find, especially near doors and windows. Copper mesh or steel fiber can also be utilized to seal up cracks.

If they’re creating their way up through floor drains or pipes, wire screens can carry them out.

4. Boric Acid

Like other roaches, palmetto bugs are exposed to boric acid – it kills them. If you’re looking for a powerful, non-toxic palmetto bug killer, boric acid would be it.

Sprinkle the powder out where the bugs are found – usually kitchen counters and behind utensils. Do be thorough with boric acid. Never spot the powder anywhere near where food is made, and keep it off from kids and pets.

5. Diatomaceous Earth

If you have pets or kids – or you just want a harmless way to get rid of these bugs – diatomaceous earth is a decent option.

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

6. Plants that repel palmetto bugs

Only plants can’t repel the palmetto bugs entirely but it doesn’t harm to have them around in the house. Here are some plants that palmetto bugs may dislike.

7. Chrysanthemums

This flowering plant comprises a natural insecticide compound called pyrethrins. Once the plants are 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 potentially poisonous to dogs and cats.

8. Catnip Plants

Growing catnip is a win-win condition for households with cats. They contain specific chemicals in the plant that may prove beneficial in repelling palmetto bugs and other species of roaches.


So now there won’t be any problem to get rid of palmetto bugs as you can now try any of the methods mentioned above. So now it’s the time to say goodbye to the nuisance palmetto bugs.

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