11 Natural Ways to Get Rid of Palmetto Bugs [Homemade Spray, Trap & Repellents]

Palmetto bugs are insects that are similar to American cockroaches. They are also called water bugs and flying water bugs. These insects are usually seen during the night, and they can be quite hard to find.

They are known to spread a number of bacteria and other microbes that can be quite harmful to humans, so it is very important to get rid of them as soon as possible. Apart from that, it is quite disgusting for them to be roaming around in the kitchen, which is where they are usually found.

Most people usually call an exterminator to get rid of these bugs, but if you like to use natural methods, there is nothing to worry, because there is a number of natural remedies that can get rid of these nasty insects. 

How To Get Rid of Palmetto Bugs Naturally?

Below are 11 effective natural ways to get rid of palmetto bugs.

These methods include natural palmetto bug repellents, homemade palmetto bug traps, homemade spray for palmetto bugs, homemade palmetto bug repellents, and several other natural methods and home remedies to get rid of palmetto bugs.

1. Soap Spray as Natural Palmetto Bug Repellent

Soap spray is an easy homemade natural insecticide that is very effective against palmetto bugs. You can easily make a homemade soap spray using dish soap and water. This will kill the palmetto bugs on contact.

If the soap is scented, it can also act as a repellent for a few hours. This method is tedious since you have to target and kill each bug individually, but it is a sure way to eliminate every last one of palmetto bugs. 

Required Items:

Step by Step Process:

  • Fill up a spray bottle with a cup of water, then add 2 teaspoons of dish soap into it. 
  • Close the bottle and shake to mix. Now you can use it. 
  • Whenever you see a palmetto bug crawling out of the sink, or over your kitchen counter, spray it directly with this soap spray and it should die very soon after. 
  • Once dead, discard the palmetto bugs properly, and clean up the surface with a wet rag. 


Do not forget to clean up the surface afterward, otherwise, the soapy surface can cause you to slip. 

2. Homemade for Palmetto Bugs Using Vinegar

Vinegar is a common household item, used regularly in the kitchen. Vinegar is also used as a cleaner, and it is great for getting rid of bugs such as palmetto bugs.

You can make a spray with vinegar and water and store it in your fridge to use whenever you need it. Vinegar spray will kill palmetto bugs on contact, so it may take a few days to get rid of all the bugs. 

Required Items:

Step by Step Process:

  • Make a mixture with one part of water and one part of vinegar. 
  • Pour this mixture into a spray bottle to use. 
  • Spray directly on any palmetto bug that you see. The bug should die in a few minutes.
  • Once dead, discard the insect properly, and wipe the surface with a wet rag. 
  • It may take a few days to get rid of all the palmetto bugs from your home, so keep using the mixture regularly. 


Since it takes a long time to get rid of all palmetto bugs from your home using this method, you should use some prevention methods along with this method. 

3. Diatomaceous earth

Diatomaceous Earth is a fine powder that is completely harmless to humans, but lethal for soft-bodied insects such as palmetto bugs. On a microscopic level, the powder appears spikey and sharp, almost like glass shards.

These tiny sharp particles pierce the body of the insect, so the insect starts to dehydrate, which eventually kills them. This method is very effective, however since these bugs usually live in moist areas, you may have to lure them out to a dry area to kill them. 

Required Items:

Step by Step Process:

  • Spray Diatomaceous earth powder in the areas that you commonly see palmetto bugs in. 
  • If you commonly see these bugs only in drains or wet areas, then you can use bread crumbs as bait. Simply add some bread crumbs in the diatomaceous earth powder, so that the bugs walk over the area. 
  • You’ll start to see dead palmetto bugs from the very next day. Discard the dead bugs immediately. 
  • You can clean up the diatomaceous earth powder using a vacuum. 


Always use food-grade diatomaceous earth powder, as it is the best in quality and most effective. 

4. Baking Soda

Baking soda is a commonly used method to get rid of insects and other pests. It needs to be used along with sugar to create a poisonous mixture for the palmetto bugs.

When the palmetto bugs consume the mixture, the baking soda starts to produce CO2 in the stomach of the bugs, which eventually kills them. This is a great way to kill a number of palmetto bugs at once. 

Required Items:

Step by Step Process:

  • Make a mixture of baking soda and powdered sugar in a 1:1 ratio. 
  • Put small amounts of this mixture everywhere in your kitchen, and anywhere that is affected by these bugs. You can use paper plates to put the mixture. 
  • The palmetto bugs will be attracted to the sugar, so when they eat the mixture, they will also consume the baking soda. The baking soda will create CO2 in their stomach, which will kill them.
  • You’ll see dead bugs around your house from the next day. Discard them immediately. 
  • Leave the powder in your house for a few days, until the majority of the bugs are dead. 


Make sure your pets do not accidentally eat the mixture, as it can cause them to vomit and become sick. 

5. Boric Acid

Boric is an ingredient commonly used in many household products. It is also a great insecticide.

To use it as a palmetto bug killer, you can simply spread it around the areas that the bugs commonly visit. The boric acid will be absorbed into their body, which will then poison them and eventually kill them. 

Required Items:

Step by Step Process:

  • Sprinkle boric acid powder all over your kitchen counter, under the sink, around the sink, and around any storage areas. You can also use it anywhere else that may have these bugs. 
  • If you think you need to lure them out then spread a few bread crumbs in the areas that have been sprayed with boric acid. 
  • When the palmetto bugs walk over the areas, the boric acid will be absorbed in their body, and poison them. 
  • You’ll start to find dead bugs within hours of spreading the powder. Discard them immediately. 
  • You can vacuum up any remaining boric acid powder and then wipe down the surfaces with a wet rag. 


Boric acid can cause toxicity in your pets or child as well, so keep them away from the areas that have been treated with the powder. 

6. Glue Traps

Glue traps are great for capturing crawling insects like palmetto bugs. Although these bugs can fly, they do not usually do so. You can add bait to the glue trap to make them more effective. This is a great method because it is cheap, but can capture a lot of bugs at once.

You will have to place these traps a few times if you have an infestation, but if you are dealing with only a few bugs, then you can get away with using these traps only once. 

Required Items:

Step by Step Process:

  • Place a number of glue traps all over your kitchen or any other area that is usually affected by palmetto bugs. 
  • Place a few peanuts on each trap to attract the bugs towards it. 
  • You can also place these traps under furniture or under the kitchen sink, or even in a very cluttered area. 
  • Check about 12 hours later, and you should find a few palmetto bugs stuck to the glue traps. Fold the traps and discard them into the bin immediately. 
  • Repeat the process after 2 to 3 days again to get rid of more bugs if needed. 


Do not get the glue on your hands or your clothes as it can be very difficult to remove. 

7. Homemade Spray for Palmetto Bugs Using Peppermint Oil

Peppermint is a well-known insect repellent. It can easily repel and keep out palmetto bugs from your home.

You can easily make a spray yourself at home by using peppermint oil. It is cheap and easy to make and regularly using it will make sure that no bugs including palmetto bugs enter your home. 

Required Items:

Step by Step Process:

  • Make a half-half mixture of water and rubbing alcohol. Pour it into the spray bottle. 
  • Add 10 to 15 drops of peppermint oil into the mixture. 
  • Close the lid and shake the mixture well. Now it is ready to use. 
  • Spray everywhere in your kitchen, and any other place that is commonly affected by palmetto bugs. 
  • Concentrate the spray in cluttered and closed areas. 
  • The bugs will start running away immediately, and with continuous usage, they will all go away. 


Only regular usage will make this an effective option. Otherwise, they will start to come back. 

8. Essential Oil Spray

Essential Oils are great for getting rid of palmetto bugs from your kitchen. The strong smell of oils such as clove oil, Cedarwood oil, or catnip oil will drive out the palmetto bugs from your house and keep them out.

You can easily make a spray using any one or all of these essential oils at home and continue using it for as long as you need. 

Required Items:

Step by Step Process:

  • Make a mixture with ½ cup of water and ½ cup of rubbing alcohol. 
  • Transfer this mixture into a spray bottle. Add 5 drops each of Clove Oil, Cedarwood Oil, and Catnip Oil. You can also use 15 drops of any one oil. 
  • Close the spray bottle and shake well. Now the spray is ready to use.  
  • Spray this mixture everywhere in your kitchen, around your sink, in cluttered spaces, and anywhere else that may have palmetto bugs. 
  • The bugs will already start running away, but with regular usage, you can get rid of most of them.


Only regular usage can keep these insects away. If you stop using it, then the bugs will return. 

9. Neem Oil as Natural Palmetto Bug Killer

Neem Oil is a well-known organic insecticide that is able to get rid of a number of insects including palmetto bugs. You can directly spray a mixture of neem oil and water onto the bugs, but other than that, you can also make a bait using neem oil to poison these insects directly.

The spray form is usually more potent and much more effective, especially when used for an infestation. 

Required Items:

  • Neem Oil
  • Dish soap 
  • Water 
  • Spray Bottle 

Step by Step Process:

  • In a spray bottle, add 1 cup of water, and 1 teaspoon of dish soap. 
  • Add 2 tablespoons of Neem oil into the mixture and shake well. 
  • Once the solution gets foamy, start spraying it around the areas that is usually affected by palmetto bugs. 
  • You can also spray it directly on palmetto bugs to kill them. 
  • Spray a few times over the course of a week, and most of the palmetto bugs should be dead by then. If you find any dead bugs, discard them immediately. 


Neem oil can be poisonous if ingested, so keep it away from children and pets. 

10. Lemon or Orange Peels

The scent of lemon or orange can drive palmetto bugs away. You can easily make a spray out of lemons or oranges yourself at home. This spray can easily drive out the palmetto bugs from your home.  You can also store the spray in your fridge to use daily. 

Required Items:

  • 4 or 5 Lemons/Oranges 
  • Water
  • Spray Bottle 

Step by Step Process:

  • Peel the skin off the oranges or lemons. Cut the peel into small slices.
  • In a pot, add 1 cup of water, and add the peel slices into it. Put it on the stove and let the peels simmer at low heat in the water for 20 minutes. 
  • Strain the water and pour the solution into a spray bottle. 
  • Spray this solution everywhere in your kitchen, around your sink, in any cluttered spaces, or even under furniture. 
  • The smell of the lemon or orange will drive out the palmetto bugs. 
  • Repeat the spraying process every 2 to 3 days to keep the bugs out. 


Do not boil the water, as it can destroy the smell of the lemon or orange. Make sure to use the lowest heat setting. 

11. Homemade Palmetto Bug Trap Using Sticky Tape

Similar to the sticky trap, the tape trap can catch the palmetto bugs while they walk around your kitchen floor or walls. You should always use the strongest or the stickiest tape you can find.

Also, make sure to use a bait, otherwise, the bugs may simply avoid the tape. It is a good method if you do not have sticky traps, or if you’re simply trying to get rid of a few palmetto bugs. It may not be very effective against an infestation. 

Required Items:

Step by Step Process:

  • Cut out a long strip of tape and lay it on the place you want to set the trap. Cut two smaller pieces of the tape and lay them on each side of the long strip to attach it to the surface. 
  • You can do this as many times as you want and in all the areas that may be affected by these bugs. 
  • Put a few breadcrumbs or a few peanuts on each of these traps. 
  • When the palmetto bugs crawl over the tape to get to the crumbs or the peanuts, they will get stuck. 
  • Come back around 12 hours later and there should be some palmetto bugs stuck to the tape. Carefully unstick the tape from the surface and fold it onto itself to trap the bug and then discard it in your bin. 


Make sure to use strong tape, else they can easily escape and the trap will fail. 

How to Keep Palmetto bugs Away?

Below are 5 natural ways and home remedies to keep palmetto bugs away. These methods help you to prevent palmetto bugs and to keep them away from house.

1.  Regularly vacuum and clean your kitchen

Palmetto bugs are attracted to your kitchen mainly for food and water. They may be able to get enough water from your drains, pipes, etc, but to get food, they would usually travel to your kitchen. This is how most people end up with a palmetto bug infestation in their kitchen.

This is why it is important to clean up your kitchen thoroughly. Vacuum your kitchen every day to get rid of any food crumbs that may have fallen to the ground.

You should also clean up your kitchen with a product that has a strong smell so that any food smell is masked by it. 

2. Clean your Pipes and Drains

Palmetto bugs are also called water bugs because they are commonly found living in the drains and pipes, where water is abundant.

Cleaning your drains and pipes will clean out any food scraps or blockages in your drain, making it harder for these insects to live inside them. The drain cleaner can also kill and remove any existing bugs in the pipes. 

3. Fix any leaks

Normally bugs cannot get inside pipes if there is no leak. So if you have been seeing a lot of palmetto bugs, you should check your plumbing for any leaks.

If you end up finding any leaks, try to fix them immediately. This will make sure that the bugs cannot enter from outside, making it much easier to get rid of them. 

4. Fix any gaps

If you have a lot of cracks and holes in your walls, or floor, it could be where the bugs are entering your home from.

Palmetto bugs also often chew through glue and caulk, so it is important to seal these gaps with proper filling, something that these bugs cannot eat through. Cement or strong caulk should be good for this purpose. 

5. Get a cat

Cats are known to chase around and kill palmetto bugs and cockroaches. This is why they are the perfect pet to have in your house if you have a palmetto bug infestation. 

Top 5 Natural Repellents to Get rid of Palmetto Bugs

If you are looking for readily available natural repellents to get rid of palmetto bugs, check below listed best Natural and Organic Palmetto Bug Repellents.

Final Words:

We all can agree that Palmetto bugs are quite disgusting to have around. They are commonly seen in cluttered and dirty areas of the house. This is why it is very important to keep your house clean.

It is also important to declutter your house and regularly clean your pipes and drains, as they can become common breeding grounds for these insects.

Thankfully there are many natural ways to prevent them and to get rid of them. We hope you found the methods in the article helpful, and that you can use them to get rid of the palmetto bugs from your home as well.