Palmetto Bugs in Florida
Facts, Identification, & Control
The Palmetto Bug is well known here in Southwest Florida. Many stories circulate about this famous Florida bug. Stories such as it lurks under your bed, it hides inside your closet, it waits patiently outdoors for you to step foot outside. Once triggered it will readily fly towards you as if to engage in an attack that is sure to leave you injured. While many of these stories sound scary, there is little to no truth to them. In fact, there is NO such thing as a palmetto bug. What many are referring to as a palmetto bug is one of Florida’s larger outdoor roaches.
The American Roach and Florida Woods Roach are thought to be the first roaches considered to be the palmetto bug. Both species of outdoor roaches grow to larger lengths of 1 ¼ inches to nearly 2 inches long. While the American Roach can glide up to 150 feet, the Florida Woods Roach is not capable of taking flight at all. Another monster to be added to the list of the palmetto bug is the Australian Roach. This roach is also rather large and is a strong flier.
All these roaches are primarily outside pests. You may notice an increase in activity during cool or cold snaps (weather), extreme hot and dry temperatures, or periods of heavy rainfall. These outdoor roaches prefer to live in palmetto bushes, trees, mulch, pine straw, leaf litter, under rocks, sewers, alleyways, and any other area of high moisture and warmth.