Palmetto Bugs, Panama City, FL- Arrow Pest Service

There is sometimes confusion among the general public when it comes to the identity of palmetto bugs. While most would generally agree that palmetto bugs are a type of cockroach, the species that is given this name can vary widely depending on the region. Here in Florida, there are two pests that are commonly identified as palmetto bugs, and these are the American cockroach and the Florida woods cockroach.

American Cockroach:

The American cockroach is physically large, growing to around 3 inches. They have a set of wings, and are capable of flight despite their large size. They are usually brown or burgundy in coloration, and have distinct cream colored markings on their backs. Homeowners will often encounter these roaches at night due to their attraction to light. They can make for a disturbing sight when spotted swarming around windows and outdoor lights in large numbers.

American cockroaches prefer dark, damp environments, and can be found in areas such as sewers, basements, crawlspaces, and piles of debris. Due to their rapid reproductive ability, American cockroaches can quickly become a problem in your home. Once an infestation is well established, it can be difficult to remove without professional assistance.

While they can be well at home inside homes. American cockroaches are most often outdoors. They prefer to remain in areas with high moisture content, and can be found in flower beds, beneath wood piles, or on trees.

American cockroaches have a diverse diet. They will consume a variety of plant matter such as leaves, wood particles, and fungi. They also sometimes consume small insects or meat scraps. Inside the home, cockroaches primarily work as scavengers, and will scour kitchens, pantries, and other areas for leftover or spilled food scraps and stains. For this reason, it is important to keep any food sealed so that it is protected from contamination by cockroaches or other pests.


Florida Woods Cockroach:

Another pest commonly referred to as the Palmetto bug is the Florida woods cockroach. This cockroach is well known for its ability to release a bad smelling liquid as a defense against predators.

Florida woods cockroaches are fairly large, though not as large as the American cockroach. They grow to around 1.5 inches in length, and are usually black in color. While it may appear at first glance that they lack wings, these cockroaches do in fact have a pair of short wings.
Since they prefer warm, humid environments, the Florida woods cockroach is very common here in Florida. They are also found in the coastal regions of other Southeastern states such as Georgia and Alabama.

Outdoors, these pests tend to hide beneath debris piles or on trees. They are sometimes found hiding on Palmetto leaves, and it is for this that they most likely get their name. While they are no threat outdoors, the Florida woods cockroach will sometimes enter homes in search of a secluded living space or a source of food. They have a strong attraction to warmth, and this can make your home an ideal space for them as the weather becomes colder. If you suspect that these cockroaches are inside your home, it is best to check in areas such as basements and crawlspaces. While looking around, pay particular attention to any areas with significant moisture such as around piping, as this is the most common space for the cockroaches to live.

Fortunately, the Florida woods cockroach only infests homes in rare circumstances. However, as with any cockroach species, they can be very difficult to remove once they establish themselves, so it is important to catch them early.

Whatever name you might call them, the fact is you do not want to deal with cockroaches in your home. If you are dealing with an active infestation, the best solution is to call Arrow Pest Service, Inc. to resolve your pest problems.


At Arrow Pest Service, we have decades of experience treating for pests of all kinds. Rather than simply applying a basic, generalized treatment, our technicians begin every treatment with a thorough inspection of the home. We use the information gathered in this inspection to identify any signs of pest activity and to formulate a safe, targeted treatment plan to deal with your pest problems once and for all!


So if you are dealing with palmetto bugs, or simply have a question, call us today at 850-874-1900!


Here’s to YOU living pest free!

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