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Palmetto bugs are a type of cockroach. It's a common name used by people in the southeastern United States to describe those cockroaches. The cockroaches are called palmetto bugs because they like to hide under palmetto leave in the southeast. While people will also call a palmetto bug a waterbug, a cockroach is not a true waterbug.

The cockroach that is most commonly referred to as a palmetto bug is the American cockroach. It is also sometimes used to describe the death's head cockroach, the brown cockroach, the Australian cockroach, the Florida woods cockroach, and the smoky brown cockroach.


The best ways to prevent palmetto bugs from entering your home involves making your property less attractive to a cockroach.

Here are some ways to help prevent a palmetto bug infestation:
Don't leave food out. A cockroach will be drawn to food that has been left out. Keep your food in sealed containers.
Keep trash inside a sealed trashcan. Keep your trash in the trash can and take out your trash regularly. A cockroach will be attracted to any loose or old garbage. A trashcan that can be sealed will help keep out pests.
Clean your home regularly. Cockroaches love the bits of food that fall on your floor. Any dirty areas are an attractive environment for a cockroach.
Don't leave dirty dishes in the sink. Wash dishes immediately to avoid attracting cockroaches.
Don't leave dog and cat food out. Put the food bowl up as soon as your animal is done eating from it.
Keep the exterior of your home dry. Cockroaches thrive in moist environments. They're less likely to move in if the perimeter outside your house is dry. Don't leave piles of leaves, grass clippings, and other things sitting around. Moisture can collect under different objects and attract cockroaches. Eliminate any standing water.
Close off entry points. Check your home exterior for cracks, holes, and gaps in the construction that a cockroach could use to get in. Seal any entry point you may find.
Use yellow outdoor lighting. This kind of lighting won't attract insects.
Keep the vegetation surrounding your house short. Palmetto bugs like to hang out in longer grasses, bushes, and trees.

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You don't want palmetto bugs to live in your home for long. Their feces and body parts can get into the air and trigger asthma and allergies. Cockroaches travel to dirty areas with a lot of bacteria, and then they can bring that bacteria into clean areas, like where you prepare your food. They're also known to carry disease-causing bacteria that can infect and harm people.

It can be challenging to get rid of palmetto bugs. They usually only come out at night and don't come out into the open. The methods of pest control depend upon which species of palmetto bug is invading your home, so you'll have to be able to identify the cockroach.

It's better to leave the pest control to a professional exterminator. Trained exterminators have the knowledge and experience needed to remove palmetto bugs from your home.

While palmetto bugs are cockroaches, not all cockroaches are palmetto bugs. Palmetto bugs are any of the large cockroaches that are associated with palm leaves in the southeast. The name is also used for cockroaches that live both indoors and outdoors.

It's possible for the palmetto bugs to enter your home by a tree. While it doesn't happen often, these bugs can scale the trees. If you have a tree that is too close to your home, the Palmetto bugs can use the tree to enter.

It's easiest to know if you have an infestation by seeing the palmetto bugs, but there are other signs that your home has been invaded. You might see cockroach shed skins. Palmetto bugs leave droppings that resemble coffee grounds or pepper. They sometimes leave little chew marks on paper.