The Palmetto bug – one BIG bug!

Anyone living in Florida knows that  the palmetto bug is one BIG bug! For those who may have moved to Florida from up north, do you remember the first time you saw one of our palmetto bugs? Were you shocked by the size these insects can reach? Indeed, the first encounter with a palmetto bug can be a memorable experience. Usually, if you have this insect living in your house, you may first notice the pellet-like droppings. Eventually, from there you will have an encounter with this large insect, usually when you get up to go to the bathroom at night. You turn the light on and there’s this huge bug quickly running for shelter from an open area.

Florida Woods Cockroach AKA Palmetto bug

Sometimes there is some confusion when identifying the palmetto bug. They are sometimes called water bugs, Croton bugs, and depending upon what online source you may happen to be using, some say it’s the American cockroach, while others call it the Florida woods cockroach or Florida woods roach. Although the American cockroach, and the Australian cockroach can reach impressive sizes in their own right, the palmetto bug dwarfs them in size.


You may notice that when these insects become alarmed they will release a powerfully foul musky smell. This is a defense mechanism which is very effective when talking about predation in the animal kingdom. If you happen to get this musk on your hands you must thoroughly wash them and do not touch your eyes because they will become irritated. If you place a palmetto bug in a jar, and it happens to emit this musk it will literally kill itself.

If you suspect that you may be having an issue with palmetto bugs or any other kind of roaches, Meryl’s Termite and Pest Control, would be happy to offer you our service. When talking about control issues such as these we would highly suggest getting on our annual pest control program. Since the palmetto bug originates from the outsides, quarterly sprays on the exterior of the structure will help reduce their entry. We also do some baiting on the inside so if any insects manage to get in through our outside barrier, they will consume the baits that we strategically place in wall voids, bathrooms, around plumbing and openings to the outside, and other areas of concern.

Cockroach control at Meryl's Termite and Pest Control