cockroach-566717_1920What is the difference between a cockroach and a palmetto bug? Absolutely nothing. The American cockroach (Periplaneta americana) frequently goes by the names flying waterbug, Bombay canary, and “roach.”These extremely adaptable beetles have been invading homes for millions of years with minimal changes in physical appearance. If you note any palmetto bugs in your home, especially during the daytime, contact Apex Pest Control, your Tampa pest control team; infestations are generally extensive if roaches are spotted during daylight hours or if they are in unusually large numbers.

How Can I Spot a Palmetto Bug Infestation?

Palmetto bugs have an outer skin that is red and brown in color. Depending on the age of the insect, it’s typical to see these pests grow to be roughly 1-2 inches in length, making them visible as they scurry across tabletops, counters, and flooring. If you see one palmetto bug, chances are your new friend has a few relatives enjoying a four-course meal in the kitchen.

Both male and female palmetto bugs have wings and are capable of flight. Much like a chicken, though, these flights are short-lived and tend more toward gliding than flying. It is important to note that these bugs are known to move about and hide when the lights turn on, so do your best to follow the pests if you get the chance.

Palmetto bugs have six legs and antennae if you get a close look. A series of small spikes on each leg allow the insects to feel.

Palmetto Bugs and Health Concerns

Palmetto bugs are similar to other roach species in that they spread disease. These insects are known to carry traces of salmonella, which can cause vomiting, stomach aches, or a fever if you eat foods contaminated with the pathogen.

Palmetto bugs make themselves comfortable from the moment they step foot inside a home. If you suspect an infestation, make sure to clean surfaces, utensils, plates, and bowls while keeping an eye out for any strange residues. Palmetto bugs leave droppings behind that will often attract more unwanted visitors.

Recently, it has been noted that many homeowners have an allergic reaction to palmetto bug droppings and sheds, and these discarded insect parts may also be a root cause of select forms of asthma.

How Did Palmetto Bugs Get Inside My House?

Unfortunately, palmetto bugs are active little insects. They favor humid conditions, which makes the state of Florida a hotspot for infestations. It’s possible for palmetto bugs to enter your home through drainage pipes, unsealed windows, and cracks in walls or ceilings.

The most inviting living conditions for a palmetto bug are warm, damp, dark locations, such as under a sink, near air conditioners, in a sewer, or under yard debris during the rainy season. By removing or drying these tempting areas, palmetto bugs are less likely to stick around.

What Do Palmetto Bugs Eat?

Palmetto bugs live off garbage. From last night’s lasagna to a decaying animal carcass, these omnivores will dine on anything. This lack of culinary finesse makes them prone to carrying diseases from one putrid food source to another. If you see palmetto bugs moving across your kitchen countertops, break out the disinfectant.

While palmetto bugs do eat both meat and plants, they are unlikely to bite people. With an abundance of natural food around them, palmetto bugs tend to shy away from people whenever possible.

Why Are They Called Palmetto Bugs?

Cockroaches exist in high numbers in Southern parts of the United States. The saw palmetto is a type of plant in which the American cockroach likes to spend time because the species can hide within large fan-shaped leaves. The bugs got their name as residents found the pests running along the roots of these plants.

Can I Prevent a Palmetto Bug Infestation?

Yes! While palmetto bugs travel through small crevices in your home’s infrastructure, you can limit your chances of an infestation by monitoring your property for anything out of the ordinary. The bugs tend to travel in large groups, so take a look at downspouts and gutters throughout the rainy season to make sure your home is not a target.

Remember that the American cockroach is always in search of food and water. Specifically, the insects are drawn to sugars and crumbs that often go unseen. If you have children or pets, make sure that zero scraps are left behind between meals.

Palmetto bugs can maneuver through drains and pipes, so double-check plumbing connections throughout the year, as small leaks serve as a water source for cockroaches. Something as simple as turning off yard sprinklers and trimming back trees near your home can be enough to keep these pests away from your property.

Contact Apex Pest Control for Palmetto Bug Infestation Services in Florida

Cleaning the counters and floors after every meal greatly decreases the potential for palmetto bugs to claim your home as theirs. Keep in mind that a small crumb for you is a meal for an insect; sweep up food crumbs and clean countertops with disinfectant after meal preparation and eating.

If you do notice a scattering of insects when you turn on the lights, contact the Tampa pest control team that knows how to control palmetto bugs, Apex Pest Control. For more information on insect control, lawn maintenance, and keeping your home pest-free, read our past blogs, or call (866) 675-4070 today!