4200 Dundee Road, Winter Haven, Florida 33884

Cockroach / Palmetto Bug

People tend to call five types of insects “Palmetto Bugs”. It can lead to misunderstandings and confusions, so if you are planning to use any chemical Palmetto Bug killer it is necessary to consult a professional: they can identify the species. 

These species are the following:

 American roaches are one of the largest roaches who may infest your home. They can be 50 mm in length and even a little longer. They are reddish brown, with a yellow band behind their head. The nymphs of these species are grayish brown. When they become adults, their wings develop, and mature American Roaches can fly. 

Australian cockroaches are similar in appearance to the American roaches, they are also reddish-brown and have wings. But they are obviously smaller than the American roaches, being approximately 40 mm in size. They have yellow edge of the thorax and yellow stripes near the wings.

Oriental cockroaches are shiny black or dark brown, and they are about 25–30 mm long. The females have short useless wings below their head. The males have brown wings that cover the majority of the abdomen, and they can fly 2 to 3 meters.

Smoky brown cockroaches are about 45 mm long, mahogany brown. These are good at flying too, their well-developed wings extend beyond the abdomen.

Florida Woods Roaches are also known as Stink Roaches, because they produce foul-smelling fluids to protect themselves from predators. According to the scientists, these guys are “proper palmetto bugs”. And one more name for them is Florida Woods Roaches. This name describes the habits of theses pests, as they usually live in areas with a lot of trees, and are common throughout Florida. Their size rages from 35 to 50 mm in length. They are dark in color, from reddish brown to black. Their body is wide and glossy. At first sight they seem to be wingless, but they actually have very small wings located close to the head.

Obviously all these pests have many common features: their size (from 30 to 50 mm in length); dark color from reddish brown to black; wide and glossy body. And their living habits are much alike as well: they all tend to live in Palmetto trees (that is where the name “Palmetto Bugs” comes from).

Q. What is the Danger of these "Palmetto Bugs"?

A. Actually none of the species referred to as Palmetto Bugs is really hazardous to humans. Very rarely they can contaminate your food with bacteria, such as Salmonella; also body parts and excretion of these pests may sometimes cause allergy. The good news is that they never sting or bite.

The main problem with them is that they are really creepy, these huge cockroaches living in your house, walking on walls and ceilings. And you always have a chance to see this monstrous palmetto bugs flying at you. Sometimes it gives an impression that the thing is attacking you. Some scientists claim that bugs act like that because they think you are a tree. Anyway it is impossible for this insect to do you any harm. Although some victims of these bugs claim that they have been chased around the house by the huge pest, that impression could be caused only by their fear, and certainly not by facts.

Q. So How do I keep them away?!

A. Close all the ways the pests can use to enter your house. Make sure that all the windows and doors fit tightly with their frames in size and shape. They should have no cracks. All the holes and cracks of your house should be fixed with caulking gun or other appropriate materials. Palmetto bugs are especially active in cold weather: they look for warmth in the people’s houses. Try not to leave the door open during cold seasons. And it is necessary to use window screens. Also it would be nice to make your yard uncomfortable for these pests. Palmetto Bugs really love foliage. Lots of foliage, growing grass as well as foliage garbage. Of course, you don’t need to remove all the plants from your garden. Just don’t plant them near doors and windows. And if you have tall trees right near your house, do your best to fix all the holes and cracks in the roof. Of course, you should never keep leaf litter in your yard. Spray some boric acid around your garden. You may use chemical pesticides as well, though in this case it is better to consult a professional.

Usually the first advice on keeping cockroaches out is to clean your house. What is rubbish for you may be a delicacy for the roaches, and they definitely will not live in your house if they find nothing to eat. The problem with Palmetto Bugs is that their diet is extremely variable. They consume paper, hair, dirty clothes, glue and many other materials. So it is almost impossible to remove everything they can eat away from your home. And they usually do not enter your house because they are looking for food. Mostly these pests come to your home in search of warm air and water. These roaches need wet living places (it is no surprise that sometimes they are called Palmetto Water Bugs!). So try to make your home as dry as possible. Leakages and sweating pipes are a great advantage for pests. So fix everything leaky and replace all pipes out-of repair as soon as possible. Also dry everything what can be dried with paper towels, and keep these wet towels in a sealed plastic bag.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please contact us at 863-324-4428

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