Palmetto Bug 101

New to the Charleston area?  Then you’ll want to to learn about palmetto bugs, a common concern for homeowners especially here in the Lowcountry. These bugs are actually a type of cockroach, and they can be quite a nuisance. Here’s what you should know:

Palmetto bugs are often used as a colloquial term for several species of large cockroaches, with the American cockroach (Periplaneta americana) being the most common culprit. They get the name “palmetto bug” because they’re often found in palm trees and other outdoor areas, but they can easily make their way indoors too.  These bugs are usually reddish-brown or dark brown, and they can be quite large, sometimes reaching up to 2 inches in length. They have long antennae and wings, but they prefer to scuttle around on the ground rather than fly.

Palmetto bugs are most active at night. They’re scavengers and will eat just about anything, including food scraps, paper, and even soap. They can be found in damp and dark places, such as basements, bathrooms, and kitchens.

While palmetto bugs themselves don’t pose a direct health risk, they can carry disease-causing pathogens on their bodies and legs. Their droppings and shed skin can also trigger allergies in some people. Plus, the mere presence of these bugs can be unsightly and unsettling.

The best way to deal with palmetto bugs is to prevent them from entering your home in the first place. Seal up cracks and crevices, keep your home clean, and eliminate sources of water and food. Properly store food in airtight containers, and fix any leaky pipes or faucets.

If you already have a palmetto bug problem, you can use sticky traps or baits to catch them. Alternatively, you may need to contact a pest control professional for more extensive treatment. They can apply insecticides and use techniques to eliminate the infestation.  Even if you don’t have a current issue with palmetto bugs, it’s a good idea to have regular inspections by a pest control expert to catch any potential problems early on.

Remember, palmetto bugs can be a persistent problem, but with some vigilance and the right approach, you can keep them at bay and ensure a more pest-free home.

Looking for a good pest company?  Reach out to us for recommendations!


Lauren & Cambron | Lauren Zurilla & Associates