Palmetto Bugs

American roaches, known in central Florida as palmetto bugs, can sometimes be a problem for homeowners. Although they prefer to be outdoors, they will sometimes make their way into your home.

Three things that make palmetto bugs such a problem are that they are big, they are very fast and they can fly. One good thing that can be said of palmetto bugs is that they do not reproduce at the rate as other roaches. This still does not make them welcome guests in your home.

If you are seeing palmetto bugs in your home, there are three things you can do to control them.


Palmetto bugs prefer to be in damp areas outdoors. They will sometimes find their way into your home around doors and windows that are poorly sealed. This is especially true if pet food bowls are located near doors and windows that are not sealed well. Also, make sure pet doors seal properly to keep palmetto bugs and other insects out. Of course, it is never a good idea to leave doors standing open for pets to come and go. This may sound obvious, but I see it often.



Because palmetto bugs benefit from areas of high moisture, it is necessary to locate and eliminate these areas around your home. In addition to the obvious sources such as leaking sink drains and rain gutters that have not been maintained, look for other sources of moisture such as air conditioning condensate lines that may be clogged or plumbing vents at the roof which may have flashing leaks. The flashing at these plumbing roof vents is a favorite of squirrels that will often chew them. This leads to moisture in the wall where the vent is located.



The third way palmetto bugs can come into your home is through a plumbing fixture that does not get used very often. When a sink or tub does not get used regularly, the drain trap goes dry and palmetto bugs will come out through the drain. The trap can become a problem in as little as three weeks. Typical examples of this are guest bathroom tubs, wet bar sinks, and whirl pool tubs.

As you can see, palmetto bugs can find many ways into your home. Check to see that your windows and doors are properly sealed, that you have no plumbing or roof leaks, and that your drain traps are full. If you have done these things and still find palmetto bugs in your home, contact Universal Pest Control. You can reach us online at or by calling (386) 673-1557. We will be glad to help you.

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