Palmetto Bug Vs Cockroach:What’s the Difference?

There is hardly any difference between these two insects Palmetto Bug and the Cockroach where Palmetto bug is a widely used nickname for the American Cockroach. The insect was named with this name as they hide under the big leaves of the palmetto trees which is also a type of a palm tree. Both are synonymously called the water bug, the fly bug, the Bombay canary etc. in different parts of the world. However as the names suggest they are not aquatic insects that live near water streams and thus the nicknames used might confuse you.

They live mostly in dark, dry and moist environments and can be found inside houses in large numbers as per the researches carried out. Palmetto bugs are red in color and they are good gliders but bad fliers. They creep and glide all over the place in dark to find food and shelter which suits their body temperature. Palmetto Bugs are not good in flying however they can fly shorter distances in search of a suitable nest or a place for shelter.

What do they look like?

American cockroach

The palmetto bugs are reddish cockroaches that are usually 1.5 inches in length and the size may vary slightly depending on the climatic conditions and the region of nesting. Thus they are not that big but can be harming at times creating hygiene problems promoting bacteria and damaging your house furniture, ceilings, foundation etc. However they are considered the biggest cockroaches of the cockroach family and they are mostly found in urban areas nesting in homes and apartments as well as in rural areas that are calm, quite, dark and moist in nature.

These bugs tend to fly towards light and therefore they might enter your house as soon as you open the door and you might just think that they are attacking the house which is not true at all. These bugs are active at night and they tend to hide during the day time. They do not harm the human habitat and there are very rare cases reporting bites of palmetto bugs that was discovered to be not harmful or damaging the health. The bite patches are not painful either but they can remain in your body with a small reddish mark which will be taken away after few days of the attack.


Palmetto bugs can damage and contaminate your concessionaries and food items so taking steps to keep your stuff away from them is within your boundaries and control. If they are exposed to your food and other items as stated above, it might cause hygienic problems as they can poison your food with bacteria and trigger various kinds of allergies and even asthma which is to be considered. If there are kids in your home you should be extremely careful on your food store to protect your loved ones from bacterial infections that will lead to various damaging infections etc. Food and concessionary items should be stored in a place that is covered in all angles and the food stuff can be wrapped and packed so no insect can enter and damage them.

Where do they live?

Palmetto bugs can live in different environments and they can adopt themselves to the living environments whether it is hot, wet or cold. However they do not prefer weather outside the shelter at times of flooding, too cold or too hot as those weather conditions are considered to be unsuitable for the habitat of Palmetto bugs and they will then find shelter inside your home in such instances. These Palmetto Bugs tend to gather and form as large groups may be in thousands or hundreds or even millions especially to find shelter in warm, dark and in places that are moist and favorable for them.


Palmetto bugs can live in hollow trees, shrubs, bushes, lawn, sewers, roof shingles, foundations, cupboards, unopened rooms, garage, dirty laundry baskets and garbage bins, pool area and pool sheds etc. so keep an open eye on your house to prevent Palmetto bug attacks. These insects take organic material as food that are available around them that is garbage, decaying animal parts, food particles, hair, paper stuff, plastic matter, some kinds of polythene and even glue that is found around.

These Palmetto bugs have the ability to survive even without food for two to three months where female Palmetto bugs can live even longer close to one year without any food or watery substances. Therefore food is not the main cause of choosing your place to make nests, and there may be thousands of various different reasons for so which are also explained in the later part of this article.

The tropical climate is very suitable for these Bugs where Florida can be considered to be one of the largest nesting places of Palmetto Bugs. Wet, tropical, dry and moist environments are very suitable for Palmetto Bugs and they live in thousand and millions at places like this especially in tropical rain forests that are suitable for their habitat. They like to nest at homes, houses or places that are not being used for a long time, or that are being closed down or that are dark and rarely used.


Therefore to protect your house and kids from various insect related issues and problems it is essential to understand some of the early signs and take necessary steps to get rid of them with the help of a professional Cockroach control service. These professional Cockroach control services will help you to timely identify the nesting places and remove them and use various kinds of gaseous and liquids to prevent your house from a potential nesting place which will also benefit you in the long term especially if you have small kids at home. These professional services will also identify the causes that has led the Palmetto Bugs to enter your house and will ensure that you take steps to solve the issues.

Signs of Palmetto Bug Infestation

Palmetto Bugs can attack your house and here are some signs that you can consider to detect the issue which is considered extremely hard. Palmetto Bug infested places gives a strong and a distinctive musty smell which can be easily and distinctively identified. However being a resident you might not notice the smell as you are already used to it where an outsider might identify or detect it pretty comfortably in less time. Therefore is a visitor or an outsider complaints you of a musty smell keep an open eye on your house and your apartment so that preventive actions could be taken.


Palmetto Bugs remain chew marks on edges of books, envelops, cupboards, tables, cushions, curtains, stamps etc. where you can easily identify. If you are having a home library or a small cabin filled with books make sure you check them on a continuous basis to identify threats of insect attacks. These insects will damage your valuable books and valuable furniture that will also cost you a lot.


Palmetto Bugs shed their skins that are dropped that almost look like paper in light brown in color where you might easily detect that your place is infected by the palmetto bugs. These skins can be found on the floor areas, inside cupboards and between and at places where you have kept paper materials and books. So if you have identified these at your home it is the right time to call for a pest control service. You can even go to the pest shop where you can buy various different types of liquids and gaseous that can be also used to protect your house, but some may be harmful to your health and taking advice from an expert is essential in this regard.

How can I get rid of Palmetto Bug?

You can try various kinds of mechanisms to get rid of the Palmetto Bugs and to avoid your house invasion that cause hygienic and many related issues. The racks, the doors and the windows should fit tightly in to the frames especially if they are placed near shrubs and grassy areas. The palmetto bugs and Cockroaches can enter your house by these open areas and it is essential to close the gaps between your doors, windows, ceiling and the roof etc. to ensure that they do not enter your house.


Most of these Palmetto bugs lives in grass so trimming the garden is a must to get rid of the insects at your place. The grass is usually moist and it is the perfect habitat for Palmetto bugs and cockroaches. So trimming your lawn and ensuring the grass is trimmed the best way possible can make sure you get rid of these bugs and insects. It is advisable not to plant shrubs and bushes near your windows or the foundation which is considered to be highly suitable place for nesting for palmetto bugs. Shrubs and bushes should be planted away from these areas so that they would not enter your house.


As mentioned above Palmetto bugs take in remaining food particles as food and if you have a pet make sure you don’t remain any food stuff in the garbage box. How so that food is not remained for the bugs to take. However they can live for a longer period even without food and therefore this might not be the best solution that is available to get rid of the palmetto bugs and the Cockroaches.


Palmetto Bugs tend to hide during the day where there is light and come out at night when it is dark. Therefore detecting may be hard at times as they come out when you are fast asleep or at dark times where you might not notice or see. So if you have some instinct that these Palmetto bugs and Cockroaches have entered your place, make sure you keep an open eye and check your place at night when they are out doing their work.

Therefore as presented above there are no differences that could be identified between Palmetto Bugs and the Cockroaches and as stated above Palmetto bug is the name given to the American cockroach that is red in color. Both these insects like the moist environment and they could be damaging in a way. Therefore different steps should be taken to avoid the palmetto bug and cockroach attack and lot of options are available in this regard as explained above. As the first step the potential nesting places should be identified with regard to the climatic and weather conditions, light conditions and moisture conditions and then suitable actions could be taken.


Different pesticides available in the market can be also used to prevent from the bug attack under the guidance of an expert on the selection of the pesticide and on the usage of it. The best option available as per my view is the pest and cockroach control service which might be costly anyway. However these experts will have the technology to detect and identify the places that are infected and to take necessary actions that are the most effective for you.

The most critical consideration should be given to the maintenance and identifying repairs to your house timely so that gaps or nests are covered. The windows, the doors, the slides, the ceiling and the roof should fit in to the frames very tightly and no gaps should be placed in between, the gaps should be covered or filled so that the palmetto bugs or cockroaches cannot enter to your house.


This will ensure that you are safe reducing the risks of damages that could otherwise cause to the furniture, equipment, books, cupboards etc. which can be considered to be a cost and especially will reduce the risks of health related issues that might arise due to bacterial and fungus infections caused by the Palmetto bugs or the Cockroaches. This will ensure that your house is safe for your children as well for you and will also ensure your assets will not deplete as a result of pest related issues especially problems concerned with Palmetto bugs and cockroaches.

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