They are every Floridian’s worst fear. Those pesky flying cockroaches can freak anyone out. So how do you keep your house free of palmetto bugs? Most people have accepted that it is a part of living in Florida and they may come across them every now and then. And if you’re new to the state, you may not know how common these creepy crawlies are. But it doesn’t have to be that way…

First off let us explain that even these tips aren’t 100% guaranteed to free your house of palmetto bugs or cockroaches. But you will likely go a long period before coming across one. If you live directly under a large tree, you may never escape these creatures. I have a large oak tree on the side of my yard, and in my backyard, and all the pesticides in the world couldn’t save me from what lives in there.

Difference Between Palmetto Bug and Cockroach

Adult American Cockroach of the species Periplaneta americana
6 Helpful Tips For Getting Rid Of Pesky Palmetto Bugs

Many people think that palmetto bugs are different than cockroaches. But really, they’re the same thing. Adult American cockroaches are large and winged. According to Orkin, their coloration is dark brown with a cream-colored prothorax that has dark markings that resemble sunglasses. Sound familiar? People confuse them with Florida Woods Cockroach (Eurycotis floridana). It looks very similar to the “average” cockroach but they actually lack wings and are slow-moving. These bugs thrive near water and usually won’t colonize inside structures.

A helpful Reddit user pointed out the most common cockroach species here in Florida. They said if you ever spot a German Cockroach you need to “deal with it yesterday”. These problematic pests thrive on human food/waste. They are fast and good at hiding. These are the bugs you’ll catch coming out of your drains/appliances.

Here Are Some Helpful Tips For Getting Rid Of Pesky Palmetto Bugs

  • Get A Cat

    Partially joking but also kinda serious. My cats will kill a cockroach anytime I spot one in the house. Sure, I still have to deal with the deceased body but at least I don’t have to worry about hearing/feeling that “crunch” when you step on them. If you were thinking about adopting a cat recently, this is your sign.

    Domestic black Cat looking in front of Camera and lying on the Bed. Portrait of black Cat at Home

  • Don't Keep Cardboard Piled Around The House

    Cardboard is a cockroaches dream. They feast and live off cardboard. If it’s wet or rotting, they LOVE that. Always recycle your Amazon packages/other cardboard items as soon as you can.

    man under cardboard boxes

  • Gel Bait/Boric Acid/Insecticides/Peppermint Oil

    The Reddit user that listed the handy Florida cockroach guide also mentioned this bait is great for keeping cockroaches out of your home. Another user also chimed in and said it’s the only thing that’s worked for them. Other tips have suggested using boric acid or insecticides. Even a few people recommended peppermint oil. Dab some oil on doors, window frames, and vents to keep cockroaches away. Just be careful with these products as they can be poisonous for pets and children!

    Small bottle of essential mint oil


  • Re-caulk Your Windows/Doors

    Another house project that you should consider doing once or twice a year is re-caulking your windows and doors. It’s a small step that could keep all kinds of unwanted pests out, and help lower that electric bill.

    hands puts PVC Window Surround Moulding on pvc window

  • Call Your Neighborhood Pest Control

    We won’t tell you WHICH trusty pest service to call, that’s what the Nextdoor app is for. But one fool-proof way to keeping these bugs out if your home is having a pest control service spray your house yearly or quarterly.

    Pest control worker spraying insecticide near chest of drawers indoors


  • Sell The House And Move To Antarctica

    If all else fails, sell the house and get the heck out of there. We hear Antarctica is the only country with no cockroaches.

    Walking with the Wounded South Pole Allied Challenge - Day one

    NOVO, ANTARCTICA – In this undated handout photo provided by Walking with the Wounded (WWTW) on December 3, 2013, Prince Harry leads his Team UK in Antarctica on day one of the South Pole Allied Challenge. Trekking around 15km to 20km per day, the teams will endure temperatures as low as minus 45C and 50mph winds as they pull their 70kg sleds to the south pole.

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