Palmetto Bugs and Roaches: Fact vs. Fiction

Are you here because you’re trying to figure out if you have palmetto bugs? We have some weird news for you. 

Palmetto bugs … probably aren’t what you think they are. 

The truth is, lots of roaches are misidentified as palmetto bugs, especially Oriental or American cockroaches. Palmetto bugs are mostly found in Florida, but also can pop up Southern states’ coastal regions. 

Palmetto bugs move slowly, live in damp and warm climates, and prefer outdoor habitats (although they can make appearances in bathrooms). They’re not likely to infest your home — but it’s not impossible. Also, and here’s the fun part, they emit a stinky spray when they’re scared. So they’re also called the Florida skunk roach and stinkroach, among other similar nicknames. 

So what about the roaches you’re finding in your home? They’re more likely to be one of these species of roach: 

American cockroach 

This roach is the biggest cockroach. It’s also called a water bug and, as you already know, is frequently confused for a palmetto bug. You’ll find them in crawl spaces, and in the cracks or crevices of your porch. They’re not good for you — they’re known to spread Salmonella and bacteria throughout your home if the infestation gets bad enough. 

Oriental cockroach

These are the second-biggest cockroaches that are commonly found in Southern homes. They follow food and moisture, so you might see them in your drains, bathrooms, and crawl spaces. They’re notoriously hard to get rid of, so if you see one, it’s a very good idea to enlist the help of professional pest control

German cockroach 

This is the smallest of the most common cockroaches found here. And, more than any other cockroach variety, the German cockroach cohabitates with humans in our homes and businesses. They’re attracted to meats, starches, sugars, and fatty foods. When they can’t find that stuff, they eat household items such as soap, glue, and toothpaste. (And when they can’t find that, they eat … each other.) These roaches are also extremely difficult to get rid of because they reproduce very rapidly. 

How do you know if you have a problem? Well, as the old saying goes, if you see one there’s a good chance there are a hundred more (at least). But sometimes you won’t see them at all. You may encounter droppings, egg sacs, or a musty, oily odor. So the second you spot something suspicious, it’s time to act. 

Because cockroaches are so treatment-resistant, it’s crucial to consult a professional pest control company that will apply a comprehensive treatment. At Dixon Pest Services, we guarantee your peace of mind. In the midst of a cockroach infestation, you want pest control you can trust. Find out more about our promise here.