Sometimes mistakenly called the American cockroach , the palmetto insect (pronounced “palm meadow bug”) can be found skating around homes in areas where the weather is wet and humid. It is not uncommon to see palmetto bugs in Florida, where the weather is usually warm and humid all summer. But you’ll also find these creepy crawlies in other parts of the southern United States.
If you’ve seen a palmetto bug or two dragging the walls of your house, there’s a good chance that more are hiding somewhere nearby. Although it will require a bit of diligence and patience on your part, you can get rid of these pests without calling an exterminator as long as the infestation has not gotten out of control.
What is the Difference Between a Palmetto Insect and an American Cockroach?
Although still considered a type of cockroach, palmetto bugs are not American cockroaches. They’re not German cockroaches, either, but people often mistake these critters for one of these two other species.
The key difference between a palmetto insect and other types of roaches is that the palmetto is found mainly in Florida and other coastal states. Yes, you will also find the American cockroach in Florida and in other parts of the United States. But palmetto insects differ slightly in body shape, size, and color.
All three species appear similar, although German cockroaches have smaller wings and are not large frills, and they all behave similarly.
Chances are, if you live in Florida or another city along the coast, you’re dealing with a palmetto bug.
Fun fact: Palmetto bugs are often called water bugs even though they don’t live in water.
How Can Palmetto Insects Enter the House?
If you know something about roaches, you know they can be cunning little creatures. They will find their way up to the smallest openings in your home. Palmetto insects can be easily opened indoors through:
- Openings under doors
- Cracks in base, basement, or walls
- Taps in the windows
- The attic
- Through the front or rear door
Palmetto bugs can enter your home without you noticing until it’s too late.
What Attracts Cockroaches?
Palmetto bugs are roaches, and roaches are attracted to two main things: water and food. You have a kitchen pantry full of food and pipes that bring you fresh water. Your home is like a five-star palmetto bug complex.
If you are seeing roaches in your house, there is a good chance that you have food lying around somewhere that appeals to them.
It could be trash outside. It could be an open bag of cookies you forgot in the back of the closet. It could be a piece of candy that your child kicked under the stove.
And if you have a leaky pipe somewhere in your home, you may be attracted to that too.
Do Palmetto Bugs Make Noise?
If you are not sure if you have a palmetto error problem, you may wonder if you can listen to tracks. But these critters are stealthy in nature, and only produce the typical snapping or swindling sounds heard with other critters.
If you step on one, though, you’ll know it. These critters make a loud, crunchy sound when crushed under a shoe.
Otherwise, palmetto bugs are quiet guests of the house, which only makes them even more twisted.
Palmetto Insects Bites?
They can, but usually don’t. Palmetto’s insects perceive humans as a threat, and only bite as a last resort and in self-defense.
How to Treat a Palmetto Insect Sting
If you receive a palmetto bug bite, no special treatment is normally required. The bites are slight and can leave a red mark. Just keep the bite clean and look for signs of infection.
In some rare cases, these bugs can carry disease, so be sure to clean the bite immediately.
Signs of infestation
How can you tell if you have a palmetto insect infestation? Since these are nocturnal creatures, you usually don’t find them out in the open. They prefer to jump out of their nest when it is dark and the shoreline is light (i.e. there are no humans around).
Watch for these signs to see if you have an infestation:
- Bug Sightings: If you are watching palmetto bugs outdoors, there is a good chance that you are having a fairly severe infestation in your home. In this case, you probably want to call a professional, unless you don’t mind sharing your home with these critters.
- Smell: Palmetto insects give off an unpleasant odor that is oily and pungent when in large quantities. Sometimes it is the smell that disappears these creatures.
- Shell Caps: One of the most common signs of palmetto errors is the shell caps. These critters sometimes leave behind small, oval, brown shells. Look for these in kitchen cabinets, near dishes, under the stove, behind the refrigerator, or even in floor drains.
- Fecal Matter: Yes, palmetto insects deposit fecal waste along the routes they travel. Depending on the size of the bug, these may look like small black peppercorns or sand. You can also find brown matter on your walls or on the inside pages of books. These brands are from regurgitated food. Both are signs that you have a palmetto error problem.
- Holes in Clothing: Like other roaches, palmetto bugs will feed on just about anything. You may find holes in your clothes or debris left on books.
Palmetto Insect Control
You’ve Determined You Have a Palmetto Bug Problem – Now What? Do you call an exterminator or fix the problem yourself? As long as you’re not dealing with a serious palmetto bug infestation, you can take the DIY approach.
Use these tips to rid your home of these critters once and for all:
1. Clean, Clean and Clean a Little More
You cannot be stressed enough to keep your house spotless when you are trying to get rid of palmetto mistakes. Every crumb, every dirty plate, every drop of food left out in the open will only keep these guys coming back for more.
- Store all open food in airtight containers.
- Keep your pantry, counters, and stove free of crumbs and food residue.
- Sweep and wash your floors daily.
- Vacuum carpeting daily.
- Clean dishes immediately and store (or in the dishwasher).
- Make sure lids are kept tight on trash cans and pet food containers.
- Clutter in your kitchen to give cockroaches no place to hide.
The most important thing here is to eliminate all possible food sources, so these critters have less reason to stay.
Many experts also recommend restricting power to a single room to prevent mistakes from spreading to other areas of the home. The kitchen or dining rooms are ideal because they usually have easy to clean floors and surfaces after eating.
If you have children, you will have to be especially diligent in cleaning up after them if you really want to get rid of palmetto bugs.
2. Correct Leak Pipes
Sometimes it is not food that attracts palmetto bugs, but water. Look for signs of pipe leaks in your home and repair them as soon as possible. If water is what attracts these critters, fixing a leak can be a quick way to get them out of your home.
3. Cracks and Pumpkin Cracks
Remember, these critters can get into your home through the smallest cracks. Take time to open any openings and cracks you can find, especially near doors and windows. Copper mesh or steel wool can also be used to seal cracks.
If they are making their way through floor drains or vents, wire screens can keep them out.
Invest in a good bottom door sealer if you have a large opening underneath. A sealant will help prevent these bugs from jumping into your home in the middle of the night.
4. Boric Acid
Like other roaches, palmetto bugs are vulnerable to boric acid, which kills them. If you are looking for an effective, (mostly) non-toxic insect killer palmetto, boric acid would be.
Spread the dust where roaches are prevalent – usually kitchen counters and behind appliances. Walking through the dust is what will kill them.
Be careful with boric acid. Never put the powder close to where food is prepared, and keep it away from children and pets.
5. Diatomic Earth
If you have pets and / or children – or just want a less toxic way to get rid of these critters – diatomaceous earth is a good option.
Non-toxic (you can even apply this powder to your pet’s skin to kill fleas), this powder kills palmetto insects when they walk through it. The crystals scratch at their feet, causing them to dehydrate and die.
6. How to Prevent Palmetto Insects
There are two important things you can do to prevent palmetto bugs from coming back after getting rid of them:
Keep your home clean – all food in containers, dirty dishes washed immediately, and trash removed regularly.
Seal all possible entries.
If all else fails, you may have to call a professional to end your palmetto error problem. These critters can be relentless, so hiring an exterminator can save you time and frustration.
How to kill Palmetto insects
The heart of palm bug, also known as the American cockroach, is a major pest in the southern United States. To effectively eliminate your home from these insects, you will have to eliminate the resources on which they depend, and then choose a method to kill them. Taking a systematic approach to this problem is the only way that you will be able to get rid of your home from an infestation.
How to kill Palmetto insects
1 avoid the entrance of palm hearts errors in your home. When living in a multi-unit dwelling, be aware that these pests can gain entry to someone else’s house through electrical and plumbing connections. Make sure these are properly sealed. Caulk or seal any cracks or holes that may be present in any of your doors or windows. Cover the ventilation pipes in the ceiling with a fiberglass mesh in order to block the access of pests.
2 Eliminate food, water and shelter resources. Palmetto critters need food, water, and shelter to survive. If they take away the availability of resources, they will cease to be such a gracious host to pests.
Make sure that you don’t leave any type of food residue anywhere in your home. Immediately clean up grease, drinks and other food spills, including crumbs as they occur. frequently empty trash cans. Wash, dry dishes and store after meals. Usually cleans counters, floors, and food storage areas. Keep all food, including pet food, in tightly closed containers, and do not leave your pet’s food and water overnight as this is the time when palm hearts will go out looking for food .
Eliminate all other water sources, such as leaking taps, and sinks or tubs dry after use. Remember that any source of moisture can generate these pests and provide them with a source of water they must have to survive.
Keep clutter to a minimum in your home since these types of insects like to hide in bags, boxes, clothes and papers.
3 Decide on a treatment method. There are many different forms of treatment that are available. Some are less toxic than others. Possible stopping methods include sprays, baits, dehydrating powders, and traps.
4Put into practice the treatment methods you choose. Kill palmetto insects that happens to you to do with a specially formulated spray. Put baits consisting of a food source and a toxin. Baits are available in seasons, gels, pastes, and powders. Bait stations are the safest option. They are easy to use and pose no threat to children or pets. The insects become contaminated with the toxin and leave traces of it for other pests to find. Dehydrating powders can also be used effectively for indoor pest removal. Apply boric acid or silica gel to areas where palmetto bugs travel, such as under sinks and stoves, refrigerators behind, in cabinets, and electrical outlets. Silica gel is made up of finely ground or glass sand that adheres to the insect and ultimately causes dehydration. Boric acid clings to the insect, and the insect will later ingest the venom when grooming.
5 Monitor pest activity by using sticky traps at night. After taking all of the above steps, place these traps near trash, under sinks, in closets, and in the bathroom to see if you are still active. This type of trap contains a glue-like substance that literally stops palm heart errors in their tracks when they happen to crawl over it.