How to Get Rid of Palmetto Bugs In The House

Edited by
Inga Cryton
Reading Time: 9 minutes.
Updated: .

To begin with, people tend to call five types of insects “Palmetto Bugs”. It can lead to misunderstandings and confusion, so if you are planning to use any chemical Palmetto Bug killer it is necessary to consult a professional: they can identify the species.

All these insects really have much in common, but, of course, the differences between them exist.

These species are the following:

  • American roachesAmerican roaches are one of the largest roaches who may infest your home. They can be 50 mm in length and even a little longer. They are reddish brown, with a yellow band behind their head. The nymphs of these species are grayish brown. When they become adults, their wings develop, and mature American Roaches can fly.
  • Australian cockroachesAustralian cockroaches are similar in appearance to the American roaches, they are also reddish-brown and have wings. But they are obviously smaller than the American roaches, being approximately 40 mm in size. They have yellow edge of the thorax and yellow stripes near the wings.
  • Oriental cockroachesOriental cockroaches are shiny black or dark brown, and they are about 25–30 mm long. The females have short useless wings below their head. The males have brown wings that cover the majority of the abdomen, and they can fly 2 to 3 meters.
  • Smokybrown cockroachesSmokybrown cockroaches are about 45 mm long, mahogany brown. These are good at flying too, their well-developed wings extend beyond the abdomen.
  • Florida Woods RoachesFlorida Woods Roaches are also known as Stink Roaches, because they produce foul-smelling fluids to protect themselves from predators. According to the scientists, these guys are “proper palmetto bugs”. And one more name for them is Florida Woods Roaches. This name describes the habits of theses pests, as they usually live in areas with a lot of trees, and are common throughout Florida. Their size rages from 35 to 50 mm in length. They are dark in color, from reddish brown to black. Their body is wide and glossy. At first sight they seem to be wingless, but they actually have very small wings located close to the head.

Obviously, all these pests have many common features: their size (from 30 to 50 mm in length); dark color from reddish-brown to black; wide and glossy body. And their living habits are much alike as well: they all tend to live in Palmetto trees (that is where the name “Palmetto Bugs” comes from).

Palmetto Bug vs Cockroach

It is obvious that none of the species called Palmetto Bugs belongs to the beetle species. The only “palmetto beetle” existing is a Palmetto Weevil. Though this insect is a pest, it infects only palm trees, so you will not see it inside your house. The Palmetto Weevil is a rather small black and red beetle with a long snout. And it has nothing common with anything that may be called a Palmetto Bug.

The difference between beetles and roaches is that beetles are much more advanced insects. The dissimilarity seen with the naked eye is that beetles have a hard outer covering on their wings. Being much more primitive, roaches do not have such coverage. So the only possible answer to the question about the differences between the cockroaches and Palmetto Bugs is “There is no difference!”

What Is a Palmetto Bug: Where Is The True Danger?

Actually none of the species referred to as Palmetto Bugs is really hazardous to humans. Very rarely they can contaminate your food with bacteria, such as Salmonella; also body parts and excretion of these pests may sometimes cause allergy. The good news is that they never sting or bite.

The main problem with them is that they are really creepy, these huge cockroaches living in your house, walking on walls and ceilings. And you always have a chance to see these monstrous palmetto bugs flying at you. Sometimes it gives the impression that the thing is attacking you.

Some scientists claim that bugs act like that because they think you are a tree. Anyway, it is impossible for this insect to do you any harm. Although some victims of these bugs claim that they have been chased around the house by the huge pest, that impression could be caused only by their irrational fear, and certainly not by facts.

Palmetto Bugs in Florida – a Fact of Life

You will not enjoy your life in Florida if you can’t stand these insects. Palmetto Bugs are just an inescapable part of the Florida lifestyle. This state has perfect weather conditions for tropical insects. And everyone originating from this state has many Palmetto Bug Stories in store.

Palmetto Bugs are just an inescapable part of Florida lifestyle.

So you are doomed to see these creatures in your home at least sometimes. For these cases, it is good to keep bug spray at hand to use it at once when you see the pest.

And you must get used to the thought that while gardening or just walking in the street you may come across them at any moment.

Try to Keep Them Away

Though the natives of Florida claim that it is impossible, there’s no harm in trying. So keep Palmetto Bugs as far away from you as you can. If you take the efforts, at least their penetrations into your house will be less frequent.

To do that close all the ways the pests can use to enter your house. Make sure that all the windows and doors fit tightly with their frames in size and shape. They should have no cracks. All the holes and cracks of your house should be fixed with a caulking gun or other appropriate materials.

Palmetto bugs are especially active in cold weather: they look for warmth in the people’s houses. Try not to leave the door open during cold seasons. And it is necessary to use window screens.

Also, it would be nice to make your yard uncomfortable for these pests. Palmetto Bugs really love the foliage. Lots of foliage, growing grass as well as foliage garbage. Of course, you don’t need to remove all the plants from your garden. Just don’t plant them near doors and windows. And if you have tall trees right near your house, do your best to fix all the holes and cracks in the roof.

Of course, you should never keep leaf litter in your yard. Spray some boric acid around your garden. You may use chemical pesticides as well, though in this case, it is better to consult a professional.

And never forget how dangerous chemical pesticides are. Be very careful with them, especially if you have children or pets. And never apply poisonous substances on firewood: when the pesticides are burned together with the firewood, the fumes can be toxic.

Usually, the first advice on keeping cockroaches out is to clean your house. What is rubbish for you may be a delicacy for the roaches, and they definitely will not live in your house if they find nothing to eat.

The problem with Palmetto Bugs is that their diet is extremely variable. They consume paper, hair, dirty clothes, glue, and many other materials. So it is almost impossible to remove everything they can eat away from your home. And they usually do not enter your house because they are looking for food.

Mostly these pests come to your home in search of warm air and water. These roaches need wet living places (it is no surprise that sometimes they are called Palmetto Water Bugs!). So try to make your home as dry as possible.

Leakages and sweating pipes are a great advantage for pests. So fix everything leaky and replace all pipes out-of repair as soon as possible. Also dry everything that can be dried with paper towels, and keep these wet towels in a sealed plastic bag.

Make sure that the creature is destroyed or swept away from your house.

Usually, these roaches are satisfied with living conditions outside a human dwelling. So you are unlikely to have a Palmetto Bug infestation. If you see such an insect in your home, it must have come there accidentally.

Of course, the situation will be aggravated if a female Palmetto Bug drops an egg capsule, so make sure that the creature is destroyed or swept away from your house. If you are unlucky enough to miss the dropped capsule, 50-55 days later you will have about 15 Palmetto Bug nymphs walking around your dwelling.

Of course, it can also be helped, for example, following the advice below.

Ways to Kill Palmetto Bugs

Seeing a Palmetto Bug many people just have a panic attack. They will never touch or even approach the pests (what is right, considering the foul-smelling fluids they produce). And stepping on the bug with your foot is definitely not a good idea, as the result will be more than disgusting.

But there still exist some safe and guaranteed ways to kill the pests:

  1. If you have already found out where your intruders are hiding, you may sweep them one by one on the dustpan and take away. And if the idea of being so close to them is unbearable for you, you can use a vacuum cleaner as your weapon. Just suck the creatures with a vacuum and take them away from your home.
  2. Make traps for them. These bugs don’t feel if the food is poisonous for them. So use some delicious treats mixed with poison. Put them around the house in food containers. Try to use quick-acting poison so that you can find the dead pests near the traps and not around the house. Of course, you must warn your family about the poison and put the traps where your children or pets will not find them.
  3. If you think that having the poison around your house is too dangerous, there exists a great natural insecticide. Mix 3,5 grams of tobacco dust with one teaspoon of liquid dishwashing detergent and one tablespoon of black pepper. Apply the mixture in the same way as you would apply a chemical pesticide: spray it about the rooms where you can see the bugs.
  4. Boric acid dust is good against Palmetto Bugs, too, though it must be applied very carefully. It is toxic to people and animals. Never use it in places where children or pets may find it. A perfect place to apply it is on tops of the cabinet, as Palmetto Bugs prefer high places. The acid will be collected on the insect’s body as it walks through it, and carried to the nest. So as the bug grooms itself it will be poisoned, and all the roaches in the nest will share this destiny.

If you live in Florida, you have to get used to Palmetto Bugs. Just understand that these creatures are harmless and learn to keep a cool head while dealing with them. And following our advice, you will certainly minimize your contacts with them.

You can find further details of Bugs Control here.

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I have been working on pest extermination information for a long time and am excited to share this information with you. I also provide product recommendations for my favorite pest extermination products.
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  1. I like this article, it really gave me some good ideas of how to minimize these hideous pests, thank you.

    • I lived in a garden apartment in Bayonne, N.J. for 13 years and saw my first Palmetto bug fly across the room and land on a picture on the wall. I said what the hell was that? I went over to get a closer look and couldn’t believe my eyes. With the antennae this thing was almost 3 inches long. Even though the building was renovated it was over 40 years old and these bugs were permanent residents. I always kept an aerosol can of hair spray…worked real good to slow them and then I used my husband’s size 11 shoe. I remember one falling off the ceiling and fell on me when I was sleeping. Didn’t like those yucky things on me, but I got even. Me and the dog hunted it down and killed it. He could smell them and led me right to them. As you can see, some of us people from up North have encountered these giant, ugly bugs before moving to Florida. I didn’t move out of my apartment and I’m not moving out of my house. If I see one I stalk it, kill it and flush it.

    • I keep a spray bottle of cleaner you would use to clean your kitchen with & I delete it with water so it’s not full strength. When it is still dark in the morning I’ll get the spray bottle & turn on the light. Sometimes they will not run away right away & I spray the heck out of them. After a few shots they will stop running & then you can grab them with a paper towel & squeeze hard! Pull out your refrigerator & clean the floor real good & if you have an ice maker seal up the hole in the floor that the tube that brings the water to the ice maker. I sealed up the hole around the tube with aluminum foil shoved down the hole in the floor. Now would be a good time to unscrew the cardboard in back of the refrigerator & clean the nasty dirt that’s on the coils so the frig will be more efficient. You will be amazed at how much dust & dirt you will find! I use spray cleaner because you just clean it with a damp sponge. Good hunting!

    • In Maryland I saw roaches before but they were nothing like the flying terrors here in Houston. I was told by neighbors they were Palmetto bugs. They are LARGE, brownish reddish and fly.
      I close my bedroom door at night and added those extenders at the bottom of the door to make it longer and in my case make sure no palmettos come in. I let my cat go in kitchen first in morning to see if the coast is clear.
      I have seen them come up out of drain in bathroom. So I keep those closed. At night, if outside, I’ve seen them gather, zillions, at the sewer.
      They do seen to hibernate maybe going underground in winter.
      They will hide out in trees. Seen that too and one “jumped” out of the tree in my front yard on me. I leave a stiff fly swatter hanging on my fridge for quick return attacks against flying or running ones. I spray whatever window or counter cleaner is under the sink on them then WAP with fly swatter. I read it’s the alcohol content that really kills them. I’m going to do that suggestion about moving the fridge and seeing what the heck is back there. I also like the one about getting the fly screens and putting them over all your vents.
      It’s nice to see that I’m not the only one that freaks out over these things when I first moved here I was at the hysterical level but that was 10 years ago now I can handle the crunch and tolerate it.

  2. I live in FL and have palmetto bugs coming out of my sink drains. I know this for a fact because I have seen them come out of the overflow. My exterminator was here and they went away for a while but now they are back. If I deep the drains closed I have none, but if someone forgets out they will come. Anybody have any good solutions???

    • @Bill— here in coastal SC we have the same problem with these pesky things. A trick that has always worked for me is to pour a cap of bleach down your drains every once in a while… In showers, tubs, sinks, etc. Hope this works for you too.

      • I would not use bleach very often if you are on a septic system. Bleach will kill a septic tank.

        • I lived with a septic tank for 25 years. We poured a lot of bleach in our drains, cleaned with it and never had any problems with that.

      • Thank you

      • it works & clean!!

      • I put masking tape over the holes in my sink. And my spare bathroom i put tape on the floor drain.
        Works great!

    • My mom has always used the mesh drain covers and or steel wool in every drain opening. Works great!

    • ALWAYS check your refrigerator motor. They love the warmth and breed there the best. Pull out the fridge, check for dead bugs, poop, and egg sacs. I won’t tell you how to sterilize this area, but now you need to decide how to bait it (Boric acid, powdered sugar, oil paste) & prepare for war. Check your top most kitchen cabinets for egg sacs, too.

    • The simplest, safest and cheapest solution is to simply run steaming hot water down your drain every day or so. No need for a rolling boil; what comes out of your tap is usually hot enough. Palmetto bugs seem very sensitive to hot water. When I see them one in the tub or sink, a quick zap with hot water (not even steaming) usually kills them instantly. Just make sure you run the water long enough to reach down the drain as far as possible — keeping in mind that the water cools quickly as it goes down the drain. This will hopefully kill any bugs living near your drain. If you can afford it, you can even have your faucet drip hot water constantly into the drain.

      • Anonymous comments. I agree. Amen. These bugs are awful! They eat one another. They like cinnamon scented glue traps. But i believe they carry germs. Because they get into our garbages. They run so fast! I don’t know how anybody could have the stomach to eat them. Yuck! I don’t have e-mail.

      • Anonymous comments. These bugs go into hibernation in the winter. They will die if exposed to certain temps . Hot or cold. They hide. *

      • Anonymous comments. These bugs go into hibernation in the winter.

        • Well I live in the Florida Keys, and they are everywhere in the winter. They don’t hibernate here.

    • Spray every 90 days with oral bug spray in wall mart

    • Just a few facts as I have been dealing with them and have them at a minimal intrusion level. Sinks and drains=check the neighboring houses if on central sewer system. Our landscapers in our HOA have a habit of hitting the clean outs by the street leaving them open. This allows not only Palmetto’s but snakes in the system. Boric acid is a deterrent and sticky traps work well and have just glue no poison. best defense remove as much clutter and create more open space. They will eat into a tomato,bread and anything soft on the counter and sealed bread bags seem easy for them when in a dark cabinet. ours is now a refrigerator item.

    • get the raid barrier spray and 1 monthly spray in drains kills them looks like some kind of nerve damage and caulk everything

  3. mixing boric acid with sugar makes a bait. Also mixing one to one with Diatomaceous earth (DE) is supposed to be good. Lizards and cats eat the bugs.

  4. Thank you for the information! I saw one come out from the bathtub drain, ugh! New to Florida, so you can imagine that our whole family has the Palmetto Bug Dance down pat! I discovered that the drain has a push down to close it, and that keeps them out. I have found that when sprayed with bugspray, they run straight at me! Aggghhh!! Squishing one underfoot is just toooooo gross and crunchy! I was walking the dog the other night, and one came in on the back of my shirt. 🙁 These are going to take some getting used to. Had a strange experience with a coffee can, the kind that is metal and mirror like inside. A Palmetto Bug got into one and just kept running in circles. It saw me and ran even faster, so I covered it with a cardboard book, and took it outside. rolled the can and ran back inside the screen. The can was on it’s side, so it escaped and ran and then flew across the street. I plan to experiment with these cans to see if they have a habit of reacting in this way. Feedback appreciated.

    • Anonymous comments. I urge you to not get used to the horrible bugs. They drown well. They can’t swim a lick. Legs are too skinny. I keep a clean house. But i have to get sleep too. We don’t have near as many now. They do come from the outside. I haven’t been able to figure out what purpose they have for being on the earth.

      • I wonder the same thing. Ticks and roaches seem to have no useful purpose.

  5. Diatomaceous Earth(DE) is a great way to get rid of these pests and any other. Also completely safe for human consumption.

    • If you buy food grade. Be careful.

  6. I just bought a home in Florida and came out to the kitchen in the middle of the night and saw something scurrying on my kitchen counter top. I looked closer and this roach had to be 3 inches long, then a second later I saw another one and killed both and flushed them down the toilet. Just a few days earlier I had bought some Talstar Pro from domyownpestcontrol.com and had sprayed around the outside of the house and the property line and this is the same stuff exterminators use. I grabbed my sprayer, mixed an ounce of Talstar with a gallon of water in my sprayer, locked my dog in the bedroom and sprayed under my dishwasher, stove, refrigerator, sink and the entire boundary of my appliances because I think they must have been living under the dishwasher somewhere. Within 3 minutes of sprayer this big roach about 3inches long and an inch across came running out of my kitchen, down the hall, under my bedroom door, I opened the door and saw it run under my bed and I looked under the bed and could not see it. I looked up and that sucker was running up the wall to the ceiling acting all weird because I think the Talstar was affecting it. I grabbed it and flushed it. I only killed 3 big ones and am hoping the Talstar kills the rest. I know that just about every bug that crosses where I sprayed the Talstar outside is dead within 2 feet past the spray line. I hope this keeps those roaches out. When I lived in Florida during 1990 I was using a 6 pack of Raid a month as my kitchen was infested with smaller cockroaches. Grosses place I ever lived.

    • I live in central Alabama, I use a concentrate pesticide from Home Depot called “Bengal” you can buy it in a spray can also. I mix this in my one gallon sprayer and spray around the entire outside of my house and in my garage. In about two to three days they will be “belly up” all over my garage floor. No more roaches! It works on all types of other pests as well, ants etc.

  7. I was surprised to see that the article said that palmetto bugs don’t come into the home. I’m glad to see that I’m not the only one. I moved to Florida last March and have been seeing these monster sized bugs ever since! I’m not from an area that has such bugs and would really like to hear if anyone has a solution. They seem to have taken up residence. I have managed to be faster than they are several times and killed them with a shoe, but I hate going to bed knowing there are some still lurking in the house. HELP

    • I don’t work for this company or know anyone there but go to domyownpestcontrol.com and ask them. There are 4 pro exterminators who own that site and the sell the good stuff. I bought Talstar pro from them and then bought a sprayer at Lowes that has a pressure relief valve on it for $30 and I have not seen any since I sprayed under my dishwasher, stove, refrigerator. I also spray the wall behind the refrigerator and stove and between those appliances as well as the bottom of my cabinets where they hit the floor. Talstar is water based so it does not stain anything. I would ask the pros what to use. I bought Talstar as a general bug killer and mix one ounce per gallon of water.

    • Of course they’d love to come into anyone’s home, especially when it’s raining. Keep Harris Roach Tablets under all of your appliances. I throw them in the attic and under sinks, but always where pets can’t get them. I wish people would bet me that they don’t work so I could move to the Bahamas.

      • Where can I find those tablets

        • YOU MUST JOURNEY PAST ALL OF THE CIRCLES OF HE’LL AND DEFEAT THE DEMONS OF THE PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE, PROVING YOURSELF WORTHY BEFORE YOU ARE GIVEN YOUR REWARD

        • You can find Harris Roach tablets on Amazon, Home Depot, etc. They’re nothing more than Boric Acid and bait. Rumor has it that the bait is simply powdered sugar. Regardless, they work. I used to see one Palmetto Bug every two days and after randomly throwing tablets all around the apartment, I haven’t seen any for the past two weeks. My roach motels have also caught none. I also used Diatomaceous Earth so my success may a combination of both methods. The tablets were easier to apply because I literally just threw them randomly around the apartment, i.e. on top of shelves, under appliances and furniture, near pipes, plants, etc. And unlike the DE, boric acid works fine when wet. A $4.99 box contains about 40 tablets and I’ve only used about 20.

      • I tried Harris Roach tablets on the high recommendation of people and they absolutely have NOT worked for me. Complete waste of money, and they smell bad – try something else!

    • I too live in Florida, have for 17 yrs., have come to realize that they will appear now and then. Have an exterminator come spray outside your home, and inside once a month. It won’t keep them away altogether, but most will be dead or dying when you find them if you exterminate regularly. I’ve also become a master of the shoe weapon, as I can’t stand the smell of Raid in the house. Hope this helps.

      • I live in FL and pay a pest control service to put borax in the ceilings, walls and behind light switch plates. He puts bait under the sink and in places roaches will crawl. I still find around 4 a week during the summertime. I had one older exterminator tell me that the american roach is just a part of life in Florida and if you have an older house like mine, there are probably generations of them living within the structure of the house that have never seen the light of day. If the problem gets out of control you can have the house tented but you are looking at thousands of dollars. Otherwise the best you can do is try to control them.

  8. I moved from a house in to a first floor condo and start finding palmetto bugs in my bathroom and sometimes in my bedroom as well which is next door , I called the pest control guy and he found a crack around the pipe in the bathroom that he told me the roaches were coming in from , I sealed all the cracks and thought I was good ,however I still find them from time to time in the bathroom , I close all the waterways and cracks ,the only other way woud be the central ac vent could they be using that as well ?

    • Yes, I was cleaning my ac duct vents out and found some dead palmetto bugs. I had recently treated for roaches using a professional roach kit from domyownpestcontrol.com and my AC intake is in my garage. I could see the spaces and gaps around the unit leading into my house so I climbed up a ladder and placed some powder traps down on top on the duct and also used the gel syringe that comes with the roach kit and put that gel all along the crack and also all along the top of the duct so they would have to cross the gel if they came out of those cracks and I did find about a dozen large roaches / Palmettos after I treated in the garage area. I also went to hte outside of my house where the AC lines snake up a housing on the outside of my house and put some roach gel up in there as well. My house is stucco and I found some small holes and also put some gel in there. I have yet to use the powder in that kit that mxes with water and is applied using a sprayer but I can say I have not seen any new dead roaches lately. I also applied the gel under my kitchen appliances and put some powder units under them. You need to grab some professional palmetto bug killer like I did and

    • Yes they will crawl through an ac vent to get into your house from someone else’s place

    • Try putting very small mesh screen over your vents.

  9. We live in brand new apartment and we have big palmetto bugs too. When I realized that they live into ac ducts I built a trap 😉 I bought fly screen in HD, cut it and put with paper tape around my vents, so I coverd all my vents…and it works 😉

    • I think this is my problem also! Thanks for the tip!!

    • Thank you very much for the idea! Its still raining since more than a week, and these monsters like to come in to the house in this season. I just tried to catch one a few minutes before ( 11:50 PM ). I hate to go to sleep, because he was faster than me. 🙁 But! Tomorrow , my first thing will be the HD! Thanks again!

      • Yeah it’s 5:16 am and I’ve been having severe panic attacks bc I found one in bed with me at 3 am and killed one but another is still out so now I’m just severely disturbed bc im absolutely petrified of them and I have to work in the am 🙁 they mostly come in the kitchen and my house is so old there’s way too many cracks for them to get in so I feel extremely helpless..gah I wanna move back up north lol

        • Yes, I am up in the middle of the night too, because I found one in bed with me. I wasn’t able to catch it and now I’m trying to sleep on the couch. I just had an exterminator here last week. But, this one moved too fast and I think he flew, too. Hopefully in the morning he’ll be dead…

        • I so understand!!!! I had one fall from the ceiling in my bedroom in the middle of the night. It landed right on my face while I was sound asleep! Oh my gosh, talk about freaking out! I am already absolutely terrified of them and have panic attacks as well. I am not going to stop trying until these disgusting things are no longer sneaking into my house. :::::shudder:::::::

          • Have seen them before but now they are coming out of our fireplace at night. 4 last night and one tonight so far. Lit fire last night and no more came out until tonight. Will see what we find in the a.m. Hope they won’t bother our parrot in his cage – our two cats are downstairs so maybe they will catch them while our two dogs sleep upstairs?No poison in fireplace because it will cause fumes. Sprayed entire outside border of house but one still came in earlier. Will spray again tomorrow outside.

    • Ohh.. and I forgot.. I taped all!! of the window screens side today, because that little hole is enough for this huge bugs to come in. :S

    • Thanks for the tip Elsa ! I cover all the AC ducts with the fly screen , filled all the cracks around the pipes in the bathrooms and kitchen and I never saw one again..thats definitely the way to go.Thank you so much

  10. Thanks for the tip… in the AC ducts- I never thought of that!

  11. We have just moved to Tampa and have lived here for two months. Since moving in, I have found two palmetto bugs (one almost dead) three weeks ago and one dead one today. I think that they may have come in the front door. Should I spray the house in case there are more lurking somewhere or only worry if I find a live one?

    • There is always more than you think. Use a roach specific gel. Put it along the border of your stove, refrigerator, dishwasher ect where the roaches are under

  12. Whomever told you palmetto bugs don’t bite is mis-informed…they WILL BITE!! I had an outbreak of palmetto bugs in a bedroom, and have been bitten several.times in the middle of the night…I use boric acid in bottlecaps and whenever possible a fly swatter…

    • And I DO know what a palmetto bug is, living in south florida over 50 yrs…I’ve killed them with bb guns, rubber band guns, matches, fantastic ( works well & Is pretty fast) and blowgun darts made from kitchen matches & pins shot thru a straw…most of this as a kid growing up…I dont like breathing chemicals so the diotomacious earth probably will work

    • How do you know if they bit you?!? I have always been terrified of ANY kind of roach and swore to anyone that they will bite. No one will believe me! LOL!! I don’t know if I had a nightmare of one biting my big toe when I was about two years old, or if it actually happened…… But ever since then, I will hurt myself or anyone else in my way to evacuate!

    • I agree they bite. My sister and I got bitten. We live in Fl.Sears pest control did the perimeter of the house and I don’t know if the chemicals they used caused my cat to get cancer but be careful of professional chemicals. After using domyownpest control I also got cancer two years later.

    • You are absolutely right. Palmetto bugs have been known to bite, which can cause skin irritation.

  13. Just found an article online for a boric acid bait. Mix boric acid with flour and corn syrup. Mix it into a paste and place in air ducts, behind light switch plates, behind cabinets, behind appliances, on top of door seals and whatever bowl you mixed it in take it and place in the attic. The roach will eat or take back to the nest and either poop (the other roaches will eat the poop and die) or die (roaches eat their dead buddies) and it will kill all roaches in the nest. Works very well. Be sure to mix outside and wear a mask as to not inhale the boric acid.

    • instead of flour try confectionery sugar. I guess it’s more appealing to these freaks of nature.

  14. Someone needs to proofread this site; there are so many errors of grammar and usage. Was this written by a native speaker of English?

    • All the good information on this site and you’re concerned about the grammer?
      I too thought it might be a case of English as an additional language. I was then impressed by the writer’s efforts and command of a language they have “come to.”
      Growing up I lived near many emigres, quite a few very reluctant to speak or write in English out of embassment.
      Your comment worried more about for than function, not concerned for the authors feelings can stand as proof that the emigres concerns could be valid.
      This isn’t an article in the New York Times. The writer was trying to do us all a favor.

      I wonder if you needed to move to say Japan, how well you’d be writing or speaking?

      Normally I myself am not so harsh. But I really think people need to stop and think, see the value in the efforts of others, and work on empathy for those outside their spheres.

      • I did not mean to be anonymous. Chris Smith.

  15. I know what you mean when you see these things. I use what is called PIC. I get them from ROSES dept store. I looked on the package and the only thing showing is name brand PIC roach poison. It it an open box like item allowing bugs of any kind in. measures about 2 1/2 X 3 1/2 inches. Inside the container is sticky. bugs goes in and don’t come out. I use sprays when I see them also as well as stepping on them. Hope this helps anyone like myself looking for ways to get rid them. The only thing I don’t understand is how they get in your drain pipes and emerge. I have heard this but no explaination of how they come from the pipes. Does anyone know how?

  16. Thanks for the info. I will go to HD tomorrow

  17. I use a product called Maxthor. This stuff really works…..spray the yard and all around windows, doors and bases outside. Also spray behind appliances inside. It keeps them away for 4-6 months then you treat again.

  18. Don’t be so picky and so afraid of a little bug. I had a friend come from the North and her son took one home for a pet. Last I heard he was thriving. Palmetto bugs are OK it is the small ones that I can’t tollerate that get into your food. Usually the Palmetto does not and stays in closets or hidden away. Don’t like them – then if you live in Florida – you need to go back North – they are here to stay.

  19. I’m looking at this big ass American roach crawling on my ceiling. I think it’s a female cause it flies. Wow, whatta big bug!
    Stupid exterminator said not to worry because they don’t cause infestation. Yeah right!
    Killed one lady week that had an egg sack and at least a dozen tiny roaches were running around my living room floor. Florida sucks

    • Florida has been an experience! Do not like killing and do not like Palmetto bugs!! Aka giant cock roaches!! Ugh.

  20. All of you transplants to Florida – GO AWAY! Sell your property and GO HOME to whatever state you’re originally from!!!

    • all of florida sucks bugs food and
      people

      • I have to agree with you about Florida sucking… the food, bugs, people…this is my second time living here and I will never get used to these ugly bugs… does not matter how clean you are and I do not leave food around in my house… I hate turning on my lights and see one running around…they are so ugly…

        • I’m from the north, but live in Florida- up north we had wolf spiders, bats, stink bugs (earwigs)- pick you poison- pests are everywhere

          • Heck, out West it’s rattlesnakes and scorpions. The rest stops even have signs warning that neither you or your dog should step off the concrete paths from cars to bathrooms.

            • Florida has scorpions too

    • Fine with me, I came here to be near my retired parents and it sucks. Found more refined and intelligent people in the nyc projects than all the people of walmart pinups here.

      • It pains me when New Yorkers like myself are represented so badly by people who move into another person’s beloved state and can’t resist not being polite about it.
        I wonder why people such as yourself don’t “rescue” your relative and take them to Arizona – another popular retirement state. Perhaps Georgia if you are missing Southern Hospitality.
        I also wonder why if the people in Florida are so uncouth, why they don’t join community activities to spread culture to the ignorant. Perhaps it feels more superior to gripe about their decent into hell?

        People who are bashes rather than “lifters” are bugging me tonight.

      • They say NY can go anywhere…you can but you will be frustrated every day in the south. I think about moving because of the bugs and the common sence level down here.

  21. Husband and I just moved into a first level apartment next to a utility closet. Palmetto bug heaven! I bought some Raid Defense spray and played exterminator in the closet and inside the apartment. The next day I found 5 giant dead bugs on their backs. Didn’t know about them coming out the AC vents. I’ve been sleeping with one eye open since I moved here. Please pray for me

    • I’m with you, YUK!!!!!!!

  22. Florida transplant- been here over 10 years now. I’ve lived in Jax Beach, Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Key West, and Tampa. The palmetto bugs are here to stay. I keep most all of my food in my fridge and OFTEN flush water down pipes I don’t usually use and I MAYBE see 4-5 a year. I closed a spare bathroom drain for a year and opened it when company came and several of them came hauling ass out of the drain like a Stephen King movie. Clean your house, Flush your drains, and get a cat. My Maine coon eats them. 🙂

    • love your Maine coon!!!

  23. I’ve been in FL over 10 years and honestly don’t mind the bugs. (Grew up in NYC with roaches so no biggie). HOWEVER, I’ve had a palmetto bug crawl across my body two nights this week! WTH??? I’m OK with sharing FL with them, but my bed? No way! I am a little worried about sprinkling boric acid around my bedroom because I am a pretty severe asthmatic. Anyone have experience with them climbing into bed at night???

    • The palmetto bug babies have been feeding on me, leaving bites that puff up like mosquito bites. They itch like poison ivy and stay forever. Tea tree oil helps the itch for a while, but have to keep reapplying. I apparently am allergic. My husband is not affected by them. We sprayed an insect killer today. May try boric acid tomorrow.

      • Those aren’t palmetto bug babies, they’re bed bugs. Get professional help to get rid of them.

        • Thanks! We finally figured that out, though the exterminator told us the 2 that we caught were palmetto bugs. It has been horrifying, but we think we got it under control.

      • Elaine..are you sure you’re not getting bit by no seeums?

        • I have experienced no seeums, too, but no, these were bedbugs. We think we figured out where we picked them up. I am happy to announce that they have bit the dust, literally! DE dust! That combined with a bedbug spray from Home Depot has rid our happy home of the beastly biting bugs.

    • I was taking the quilt off my bed at bedtime last night, and a huge roach ran across my pillow. I was so freaked out and saw it one more time at which time it escaped!!! Maybe it went under the mattress? Hid under the bed? Spent an hour searching and stripped my bed, but nothing. I placed two roach baits along the wall behind my bed, which I had pulled out from the wall and the heavy drapes, and made up my bed on the living room couch. I put towels under both doorways to the room and will soon go back in there. About a week ago, I had a nasty red mark on the back of my leg and my calf actually hurt. I thought it was a bite. It almost looked like there were two punctures. Put Polysporin and a bandage on it. The dogs both noticed it. It’s gone now, and I wonder about what caused it. I’m still freaked out not knowing where that creature went last night!!! Have lived in FL for 17 years and spent 5 in lower AL. Never get used to these things…I want to.

      • Two punctures = spider bite. If you have a spider bite, don’t ignore it. Go to the doctor’s office if it hurts. There are poisonous spiders in florida, including brown recluse (not that you weren’t lucky).

    • I found my first one on my bed and about freaked out. Hadn’t seen one on the bed before. I am scared to death of these things. A roach is the only bug I have ever been afraid of, and I never saw one I was in my 20’s and that was a regular roach. I sprayed the one after swatting with with a fly swatter to get it off my bed and it disappeared. I slept with the light on all night. I hadn’t seen one in months and all of a sudden, 3 this past week. I usually keep my yard sprayed, but have neglected that this spring. I am glad I am not the only one disgusted with these things. YUCK

    • You commented a year ago, but you should use boric acid bait tablets. Asthmatics oftentimes react to roaches, their feces, etc. They are a usual trigger for an attack so you should be more worried about them than the boric acid tablets to kill them.

  24. Well…I’ve lived in Ga…and these monster bugs are there too. I’m in Fla….and haven’t seen one yet! Lol. You have to mash em…smash em …and trash em!

  25. We have sporadic groups come through. When it rains, lawns mowed, or the cats chase them inside. When they come inside we see several those days. When we brought our younger cat he had bad fleas, and I was having issues getting rid of them. The vet said to sprinkle borax laundry detergent around the house, and leave out for two to three houses. This works really good and is safe for kids and pets. I will say that walking barefoot to long will cause blisters, but short periods seem fine. When we moved into this house I discovered that the garage had a lot of palmetto bugs, and of course they were venturing inside some. I figured if borax works for fleas, oh and lice tried it when my niece visited and had lice (I was not happy), that it might work for palmettos. I sprinkled the borax in the laundry and around the garage and I haven’t seen a palmetto in the garage since. I’m actually trying to think of a way to just use that throughout the house to stop any from coming in. Just thought I’d mention in case someone wants to try it. As far as the statements about dealing with palmettos or move back north are concerned, I love Florida and I know that this is also the home to palmettos, but that doesn’t mean I have to relinquish my home to them. Oh, and the cat statement is very true, my cats love playing and eating palmettos, in fact sometimes I think the cats chasing them is why they run indoors in the first place.

    • So the borax laundry detergent is not harmful to the cats. I have 2 cats and a dog and they have been coming in my house a lot here lately.

      • I don’t think they mean borax laundry soap. I think they mean the borax you by at the Pharmacy. Can anyone clarify this.

        • It’s the same stuff. It has lots of uses, one of the main ones being cleaning.

          “10 Mule Team” is a common brand, comes in a big box. You can use it on your clothes, to clean your sink, and to kill bugs.

      • I see a lot of people commenting that they use borax to deter palmetto bugs. However, borax can be toxic to animals and people so don’t put it anywhere that animals or children could come into contact with it. Better yet, use (Food Grade only!) diatomaceous earth. it’s non toxic to people and pets and if your pet likes to eat the bugs it won’t hurt them. DE will also kill anything with an exoskeleton which includes all insects and spiders.

    • Borax is actually toxic to pets and people. When using borax don’t place it out in the open in your home. I recommend not using it at all around your home if you have pets or children, especially cats who tend to chase down and eat the bugs. And little children who tend to put everything in their mouth including bugs.

      • Borax is not toxic. You probably mean boric acid. Boric acid is not the same as Borax laundry booster which is simply boron.

      • Boric Acid is toxic, not Borax.

  26. The most efficient way to kill them when you see them is with a flyswatter. They don’t see it coming and you can be 3 feet away from them and they don’t feel the air pressure of a magazine coming down on them. It also does not make a mess.

    • I’m I’m upstate SC and I agree with using flyswatters. We keep one in the kitchen and I keep one by the bed. The sticky traps help also. After reading all the input from people on here, I will try other options also. I make it my mission to kill all I see. I had to get over my fear and make it personal. Lol

  27. I’m into a older mobile home and everytime I would turn a light on to go in my bathroom there would be one sitting there in one time on the counter on my makeup so disgusting of course I screamed in the Palmetto bug dance the ended up having to smash them the reason I am commenting on this I was just in my kitchen and putting something away covered stepped on something my bare feet and it went Ktshhhh… freak me out so gross I stepped on one I have been spraying home defense it seems to be bringing them out but my dreams I have poured bleach at least a couple hours so and let it set and I still find them here and there it’s really a horrific nightmare and I am afraid of needles just don’t like them seems lately sewer flies something flying out from the dreams I think even with bleach I have problems I’ve sprayed the perimeter of the house and underneath appliances underneath the same sex can’t get rid of those suckers

  28. I just recently moved to Florida and have only seen a few of these since I moved here. I remember in my high school in New York we used to have roaches in our basement though. Anyway. There was one in my bedroom. I found the bug trapped it in a cup and piece of cardboard but only made it to my bathroom where it flew out. I’m not going to lie I freaked out and grabbed the closest bottle of perfume I could find and sprayed it until it was disoriented and too heavy to move too fast. I then proceeded to capture it (again) and flush it down the toilet. I feel bad about using perfume but it worked and I got rid of the bug!

  29. I moved to MS 10 years ago. I great way to keep lots of bugs away from your patio and from under the car port…HOTSAUCE they hate it. About every 2-3 weeks I sprinkle some around my patio door and in the corners of my carport. who would have known?

  30. Diatomatious earth i put it around the perimature of my house and in tHe attic. I went from seeing and killing 2 a week to seeing none . DIATOMATIOUS EARTH WORKS!!!!!

    • Did you just sprinkle it around?

    • Doesn’t it wash away with the first rain, how often do you

      re- apply?

      • Anonymous and RWaters, yes you can sprinkle it around the outside perimeter of your home and also inside in areas where these bugs like to hide, under sinks, in cabinets (and above the cabinets), behind and under appliances, etc. Once it gets wet it is ineffective so after a rain (and a drying off period) sprinkle it around the perimeter again.

  31. My friend and I are from NYC and every time we would see one we would call each other by phone and just say “oh hell the [email protected]*k no” and the other would know those disgusting hell spawns were invading our apartments. I cannot stand those bastards. I live in upstate ny now and its too cold here for them. My friend lives up here now as well. We don’t mess with that type of evil!!!!!

  32. I really really hate palmetto bugs of course I am am a kid so I cant do nothin about it im 10 I found somthing in my bed last night and I dont know what it was I think it was the Australian cockroach it was flying everywere freaking me out

  33. Just came to southern Florida last week to stay with mom at her new place, a first floor condo. After several days of rain, we started to see a number of humongous Palmetto roaches. Creepy little freakers! I turned on the bathroom light tonight and saw one sitting on the base of the toilet. Frozen in fear and shock, I watched it crawl underneath the cap to the bolt that secures the toilet to the floor! Mom came in with bleach and bug spray, which we generously doused the bathroom drains with. After about 15 minutes we found nearly a dozen dead or dying roaches that seemed to materialize out of nowhere!! Only nights before, one feel dead from the air conditioning vent at mom’s feet while using the toilet. Glad it wasn’t me! I’m quite sure I’d have had a heart attack right there on the toilet. Maybe that’s how Elvis really died? ?
    Anyhow, make sure there are not any open drains or spaces in pipes, especially during the rainy season that they can crawl thru. Hopefully a little caulking and sealant will stop the invasion, after a trip to the hardware store tomorrow we’ll know the answer to that! If not, we’ve decided to accept them as family members but think because of their size they should at least chip in on the rent!

    • Just got back from visiting my Mom who had surgery. I stayed at her apartment in an assisted living facility which looked very clean and well kept. Well, the German cockroaches invaded and I did not get one good night’s sleep…had to buy a new luggage case and ziploc giant size bags, launder my clothes and put them in the bags. Exterminator assured me they would be dead but I’d see them coming out to die..yep….more lack of sleep. Anyway, I liked your sense of humor…about Elvis and the chipping in on the rent thing…at least if we can laugh about this, we can maintain our sanity in the face of horrible fear reaction to these things. Now I am back in SoCal where I have never had a roach for forty years. Hope I didn’t bring any back.

  34. We have lived on Ocracoke island, nc for two years now. My mom has lived here for 8. Her first apartment here was absolutely INFESTED with palmettos. We are from southwest Va originally and had never heard of palmetto bugs so we thought these were mutant roaches. And we found bowls of food behind our fridge for them. Someone had been keeping them as pets. Needless to say she moved the next week to a house on stilts. My husband, daughter and I live in a camper surrounded by pine trees. While fixing dinner tonight I opened up pur spice cabinet and saw this HUGE bug on the inside of the door. It then flew right at me then scurried off as I’m screaming for my husband and standing on a plastic tote in terror. He came in and laughed and sprayed some bug spray which made it fly at us in our bedroom. This time my daughter and I both were screaming. Hubby smashed it with his shoe. It was at least 3-4 inches long. Solid black, had two huge legs/ mandibles (couldn’t tell) and could fly pretty well. Now he’s at work and we are terrified of finding more…

  35. I was thinking the same thing? When it is in metric I wonder if maybe the info was written or edited in another country. I’ve seen some common grammatical errors in these articles.But they are very knowledgable and helpful.

    • Actually, in mixing chemicals we use metric measurements, even in America. Ask any chemist. So it is correct, just not what most people are used to.

  36. I found a palmetto bug that crawled out from my recliner!!! EEEK and saw it sitting on the handle on the toilet when I got up in the middle of the night..totally freaked me out. We have had no rain at all could that be why they are coming in?

  37. They freak me out I admit. I found one in my kitchen yesterday and actually grabbed handy can of Krylon acrylic spray and immobilized the thing. It will probably be stuck to my kitchen floor until Armageddon. I am thankful for all the advice and will start my campaign to get them out of my life first thing tomorrow. I have a little dog so I don’t want to use mega chemicals. DE and boric acid seem the way to go and I will visit the mentioned website right NOW! Thank you again for this thread.

  38. KEEP your house CLEAN! End of story…

    • My house is brand new I live in Alabama we have huge oaks and palms by the pool
      If it was as easy as keeping your house clean I can assure you I wouldn’t have them , it’s our climate . They are terrorist ….

      • Anonymous comments. They are predator insects in every way you can think of. Keep on top of making sure they don’t overtake where you live. Do all you can. It’s not in vain. Just trying to help. And Ferrits, some cats, if they know how to hunt, lizzards can help too. As far as critters. Glue traps (large ones )

    • NOT end of story! My house IS clean!
      Be careful of your insinuations…I hope your post doesn’t come back to bite you in the butt! Literally 🙂

      • I agree/// not end of story. I am from up North and just moved to Florida. The stereotype of people having bugs in the North, are just that the people keep an unclean and filthy house, which is generally true. Now in the South this is a different story. I never had bugs in the North and don’t want them in the South. I have always kept a clean residence but still get those pesky Palmetto bugs and depending on what area of Florida determines how big and how many. I have learned by accident though, if you take a water bottle and put an inch of mouthwash or beer in it, they will enter the bottle and never leave. This gives you the chance to make homemade traps and easily empty the bottles for refill. Just hide the bottles where you don’t want them to be seen or easily accessible to children. Of course I use Home Defense by Ortho to keep the majority of them and any other insect from entering my home as well.

        • I’m from the North- have lived in FL for 15 years. Contrary to ahem, popular belief, the North has pests even in VERY clean and tidy houses. Especially if you live in wooded areas. Stink bugs (earwigs), silverfish coming up from drains, ants, wolf spiders, lots of house spiders, and occasionally bats and mice. It’s a part of life in the Yankee states, as palmettos and roaches are in Southern states. Never saw a roach in my life till I moved to Florida 15 yrs ago.

        • I just found a palmetto bug in an empty dark beer bottle, I think you may be on to something. I know they love dark corners, but if they are also attracted to beer then great.

    • Unfortunately this is not a solution. The apartment they are coming from is a new building, and the apartment is extremely clean. The dishes are put immediately in the dishwasher and trash taken out constantly. They have found a way into the dishwasher, and everywhere. We are having to put food into airtight containers. I am taking the advice from these articles and getting, mesh, bleach and caulk and I have already purchased Great Stuff foam to use around all the holes I can find in the walls. By holes I mean where the electric, pipes, etc. are coming from the walls. We are going to take apart the fridge as well, as suggested. I am freaking out just thinking about what we might find. It is ridiculous. My daughter and roomie are finding them every day and are not refusing to even eat in their apartment. I don’t blame them. Their apartment has been sprayed 5 times in 4 weeks and they are still getting in. I am declaring war next week! Cross your fingers!

  39. Strangely enough, one of the best “direct sprays” you can use is Formula 409 cleaner.

    Blast them with it (a lot), and they’ll die within 20 seconds. Plus, you can then easily clean up the area.

  40. Went down to the Tractor supply store, picked up a 20lbs bag of diatomaceous earth, poured that sucker around the outside of the house, and watched as insects fled for their lives. Best 12 bucks I ever spent. DE works good with most poisons to screw with critters you don’t like crawling around the house. It’s good to eat it to get worms out of your intestines too. Great to keep the dog dewormed also. If you are going to eat it or feed it to pets, make sure it is food grade. The non food grade type is dangerous for human and pet consumption.

    • Did you buy food grade DE at the tractor supply store? I would like to use DE around my property for the bugs. I know they use DE for some pool filters. Do you think that will work just as well?

      • Make sure that the DE you purchase is food grade. The DE used in pool filters is not food grade. ONLY Food Chemical Codex Grade (Food Grade) diatomaceous earth is safe to use around humans and animals.

  41. Does anyone know if I move from Florida to Chicago will these palmetto bugs and silver fish I have seen around… Will they survive there? I’m freaking about bringing anything into our new house in IL.

    • Silverfish yes, roaches not so much when the weather turns cold.

  42. I moved from Wisconsin to Texas in Wisconsin I never saw hardly any bugs a bee a wasp an occasional centipede or spider when I get to Texas. I move into a trailer something I will never do again when my lease is up!!! So I go in the bathroom and there are two giant roaches on their backs on the floor one beside the toilet and one in front of the toilet at tis point it was my firs time seeing them I had to per and I was terrified they were still kind of kicking so I ran in speed washed my hands and got the hell out of there and didn’t go back till after my boyfriend came and removed them. The next day I saw a live one OMG I. Thought I was going to have a heart attack so I sprayed it and it ran off it ran one way Iran the other of course at this time I didn’t know they could fly!!! Until I talked to my sister now I was really scared .so one night I saw one in the livivigroom never seen one in there only the kitchen and the bathroom. I was sleeping in there on the floor so I said ok I’m going to put on my big girl panties and kill it so I went for the Nike’s one on my hand and one on my foot figured I’d get it either way before I could get to it it flew across the room!! OMG it flew one way I ran the other then I came back and saw it on the wall so it was a what I thought was an empty can of spider scorpion spray and I sprayed it and it dropped to the floor and ran under a bag of clothes and stuff I had in the corner I had just moved in so here I go with my hand shoe and my foot shoe he ran around and around I couldn’t get him I’m jumping all around he’s running all around till he pops out and I step on him groce! Then I beat him with the shoe till I couldn’t see him any more then the exterminator came. I didn’t see anymore for a while then one night I go in the bathroom there’s one crawling on the back of the toilet oh shit! Lucky I didn’t have to per this time but it was war so I ran and got the empty spray can again just couldn’t bring myself to throw it away first I watched him walk around then he walked across the toilet top so I pushed the top down thinking he would fall in no luck so I put the toilet seat back up he walked around some more so I was going to drop a jar if hair creme on him but he looked like he would just walk out from under it I dropped it and he fell on the floor Nike time I grabbed the spray and incredibly s on came out I ran out of the bathroom down the hall and he was right behind me I ran all the way to the kitchen he stopped half way the hall ran up the wall to the ceiling fell back to the floor ran down the hall the hall the other way under the door into my room I figured he would die back there there was nothing Gunther but a couple of bags but I didn’t go in there till the next day I didn’t see him I moved the bags checked the closet he was gone. Good so now I just keep a can of wasp spray and my Nikes right next to me so if I see one across the room I can spray him before he can fly away spray straight stream then it’s Nike. Time last one I saw was dead in the bathroom it was a smaller one so I picked it up and flushed it after it played there two days had to be sure think I’ll. Get sticky traps till then it’s Nikes and wasp spray and prayer!!!

  43. Vacationing at Myrtle Beach and there are Palmetto bugs aka (cock roaches) at our hotel this is without a doubt a huge disappointment while vacationing especially as much as u pay to stay in a resort but after reporting it to manager ih they are just palmetto bugs yeah but still roaches this is unacceptable sorry resort but i wont be back gross and double gross clean up your place and most definitely inform your guest’s of sych disturbances

  44. Does the fly screen in HD work on window AC units?

  45. Been living in Florida over 20 years and I worked for a city in the public utilities dept and I can tell you where most of the roaches come from–the sewers. And you know who feeds them?? We do !! Every time you use your garbage disposal and send food down the sink drain. Open a manhole cover out in the street in front of your house and they’re there by the thousands. We had a plumbing problem in our condo building(2 story) and ran a camera in the line and saw thousands of roaches running around. They come up the pipes and into your dwelling via the vent lines and drain lines. If you have spare bathrooms you don’t use much the traps will dry out and in they come. Always run some water in little used sinks and tubs to keep the traps full or just close the drains and block the overflows. If you have neighbors around you that go away for the summer then you become the main feeder when you use that disposal so they will come to you.
    Now I’ll tell you what I use when I see one of those bastards–wasp/hornet spray!! It’s cheap and it sprays a long ways and kills them dead pretty quick and you only have to hit them once. They will run like hell for a bit and then flop over and twitch till they die.
    I hope this helps out some of you out there. Fight the good fight !!

  46. I live in Coastal GA and we have the same problems with these bugs I usually pour some vinegar down all my drains bathtub included. This seems to help especially when I use the Vinegar and close the drains.

  47. Water bottle with some beer or mouthwash attracts them. Once they are trapped, check the trap, dispose of them, refill and good to go again. Works every time. That is of course for the bugs that make it past the regularly sprayed home defense every three months.

  48. How do you use the DE? Thanks!

    • Just sprinkle around the perimeter of the house and anywhere you feel they go. It’s safe for kids and pets so no worries. Sticky paper traps don’t work. Once I tried to get a palmetto out by having it walk on one and the fucker powered through it. Lol freaked me out.

    • Because of the exoskeleton DE works well on any insect and also spiders to get rid of them. Just make sure it’s food grade DE!

  49. Just moved to Florida from Philadelphia. In my 32 yrs in Philly, had maybe 4 roaches in all that time. Now here in Florida, I find several weekly, even in cabinets & silverware drawer. Is calling an exterminator a waste of money? What’s best DIY product? As we said up north, I’m “skeeved” by these roaches.

  50. Haha at Bob’s comment ‘grow up’. I play with snakes and alligators as I’m a Florida native, but I’m FU-KING terrified of roaches, it’s just a phobia. They’re just disgusting. If anyone finds a way to blast them of this planet, let me know, I’ll fund.

  51. “Harris Roach Tablets” from Home Depot killed them all including the nest and kept them out of my house for nearly 3 years. The tablets come in a tall skinny yellow box and look like large aspirin. You can put them under your stove, cabinets, refrigerator any place they might like to hide. The roach tablets have Boric Acid and some thing sweet in them and really works wonders in getting rid of them for a long time.

    • Can I use these if I have pets?

      • Sally, I would not use them around my pets. Boric Acid is toxic to animals and people. Cats tend to go after bugs and most of the time they eat them, dogs too. I would use diatomaceous earth (food grade only!) to get rid of bugs and it works on spiders and fleas, too. Sprinkle around perimeter of your home and after every rain. You can also sprinkle it around inside behind and under appliances and above cabinets (they love high places) and under your kitchen and bathroom sinks inside the cabinets.

  52. I just moved and found one at my feet as I was sitting on the toilet. I scurried and it scurried and I had to kill it by stepping on it. Luckily I had shoes on. The house had sit unoccupied for a period of time so I really believe it came from the drains. None anywhere else in the house. Food grade DE (diatomaceous earth) is not only healthy for humans, but keeps heartworm from killing your dog! Google it. There is testimony after testimony of people even having gone home from the vet with no hope of their pet being saved (from heartworm) and the pet lived! I know that when ants get it on their legs the mechanism of death is that they ingest it and it “slices” their insides like a razor blade. Not sure about palmetto bugs but when I find my DE in my stuff I’m gonna try it on them. If you use it where ants come into the house, it will wash away with rain. It is non toxic to animals and children. The dust is also not harmful. I have 20 mule team borax and plan to sprinkle it behind the shower wall where there’s a closet with cracks that lead to the crawl space under the house. DE can be found in a 50lb. bag online and borax and DE are both cheap! My husband spread the DE in the yard as well. It kills all kind of bad insects!

    • Lia, you’re right regarding the way DE kills ants because of the structure of a diatom is razor sharp to insects. It actually works the same way on all insects and spiders as well because they have an exoskeleton. Also, you’re right that it is a great pet wormer and it will also kill fleas on your pets by rubbing it into their fur. It’s also great for people, too! “Diatomaceous earth benefits include detoxifying the body; purifying water; fighting parasites [in humans and animals]; killing insects and other harmful substances in your home; improving joint, bone and ligament health; and cleaning and protecting skin, nails and teeth.” (Quoted from website draxe.com however you can find out the many benefits of DE by googling it). Just make sure it’s Food Grade and not the stuff used in swimming pool filters!

  53. I was sitting on my bed watching tv and I see this giant bug with long antennas and very long legs. It’s ran very fast and I was just panicking I froze and so did it. I didn’t want to step on it cuz that’s just ewww. So I slept on the couch. Not killing it was probably a big mistake.

  54. Me in NC scared to sleep in my bed tonight so I’m downstairs in guest room.
    It was the size of a small rodent near my sink. I’m not going back in there!!! I always see these water bugs in Sept/oct months. Less rain ?
    And I saw blackish slime down my wall! What is that???? Ugh. Sweet dreams ya’lll

    • Kristen, you may want to get a black mold test kit. If that’s what it is it’s a highly toxic mold that’s caused by high moisture as in water damage or in areas of excessive humidity. Known as Stachybotrys, it is a genus of mold that produces slimy head spores. If it’s appearing on your walls it’s also growing in large abundance inside of your walls. Call a professional to get it removed or advice on removal. However, not all black mold is Stachybotrys and won’t hurt you unless you have an allergy to molds.

  55. I keep my vaccumn handy, they never get away. I also vaccumn twice a week. it keeps the little ones at bay. Using any pesticides or poisons is bad for you, your family, pets and our world. It get into our ground water and you end up killing more than few bugs.

    • I agree with you Patty. Food grade diatomaceous earth however is an environmentally friendly and effective way to get rid of any insects and spiders. Plus it’s actually good for pets and people.

  56. Best answer I found: leave a jar of tomato sauce with an inch of sauce at the bottom. Put the opeed jar in the pathway where the palmetto bugs have been seen. They crawl in and can’t get out and dit in the sauce. It works great! When you have enough, put the jar outside for your chickens to kick around or for other wild birds/animals to eat. I love this approach because it is non toxic and feeds other hungry critters.

    • Oops… opeed = opened, dit = die. This came from Robb’s home made life in YouTube

  57. Rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle. It’s cheap, works in seconds, and sterilizes. Takes down that random palmetto bug in seconds. I’ve lived in Florida for so long and I’ve been using that for years now.

  58. Thanks to all of you for your helpful and funny comments.
    Moved to FL from MD 9 mos ago to Florida’s Friendliest Home Town.
    Absolutely LOVE it here.
    Have seen a few palmettos and smaller roaches while renting a home that the landlord serviced with pest control.
    We are in another home now, still happy, but the palmettos seem to have found us. I cannot abide them. I DO stand on a chair and scream when I see one! They like our bathroom under-the-sink cabinets and leave “dirt”.
    Going to WalMart today to arm us with Harris Roach Tabs, which seem to be the easiest to use for control. We have 4 elderly cats and we need to be extra careful for their sakes. I am going to TRY to find the nerve to clean out and wipe down under the bath cabinets with alcohol before dispersing the Harris Tabs. Cannot stand bugs!

    Loving my Florida home and life is easy for us…Bugs are the only negative. If we get rid of them, life will be PERFECT!
    God bless all of you who gave us such good advice. Happy New Year!

  59. I moved to Florida in August from the north. I have a crazy amount of house plants, which I kept some inside and put some outside on the back patio. Well, once it started to get chilly at night, I brought them inside because I was afraid they would die, as they had never been in under 65 degree weather before . Well, my daughter called me last night and told me that the roaches burrowed in my plants pots and I brought them inside!! I have not seen any evidence of this. They have been inside for probably about a month or so. Is this true? Does this happen? Wouldn’t I have seen a roach by now. My home is very clean, I don’t over water the plants, and I make sure that the sinks and tubs are always dry. I have loaves of bread, bagels, and random things on the counter and they have not been bothered, so I am wondering if I was lucky, or I am just not seeing any. Any thoughts??

  60. I have a huge boner right now thinking about these pests

  61. Warning. True and Scary. I don’t like to kill insects….one giant palmetto bug comes into my bedroom slipping past a space where the window shaker (air conditioner) is. It likes to come inside in the middle of the night when it gets cold here in North Florida. First time it happened I picked it up with a sock and opened the front door and dropped it in the grass. A couple days later it came back in the exact same way. This time I took it outside about 100 feet away from the house and tossed it in the woods. About a week later I woke up in the middle of the night when I felt something nibbling on my arm. I brushed it off with my hand but by the time I got the light on I don’t know where it went, couldn’t find it. I was shocked to discover these things bite because after allowing this pos to live twice I had kind of developed a neutral feeling toward these things. Never had any fear, you always hear the stories of them running across peoples mouths while they are snoring in the middle of the night. I am telling you this thing did not just bite, it was gnawing on my arm trying to have a meal. Yes it left a mark and felt like ant bites but no blister. Ok, about two weeks go by and another cold night comes around. We only get about five nights a year where it freezes. Asleep in the middle of the night and something bites me in the neck. I reach around (pitch black lights out middle of the night in bed) pure instinct reaction and grab the thing and throw it across the room against the wall. When I got the light on I saw it scurry along the base board squeezing in between the other bed. Could not find it. This time it feels like a wasp sting on my neck and I go to take a look in the mirror….two small holes like a miniature vampire bite on my neck and it feels like there is a wasp stinger still stuck in my neck and I am scratching to try to get it out. Don’t try to take one of these things as a pet like you see the Japenese do with insects. .

    • MK, you’re right. Palmetto bugs are cockroaches and DO bite. And yes, they do leave “a miniature vampire bite.” They have pair of strong, horizontally aligned bladelike jaws, or mandibles that can exert as much as 50 times their body weight in pressure. They won’t leave a stinger but when you grabbed it you may have inadvertently pulled off one of the mandibles if they were imbedded in your neck. If it happens again, have a doctor look at it and take the culprit with you so the doc can see the missing mandible. There are a lot of people who don’t believe cockroaches bite.

  62. The boric acid powder, also sells as “Roach Away” powder, works like a charm for me. I KNOW it is working when I wake in the morning and the occasional Palmetto is on its back.

    When ever I move into a new place, I sprinkle that stuff, OCD like, under all sink cabinets, in the back of the cupboards, under the fridge, behind the stove and washer/dryer. And under the hot water heater. Anywhere along a wall where they like to travel.

    I found out by accident that mice do not like the stuff either. I once moved into a farm house, immediately began sprinkling the Roach Away as usual. After a few days, I found out we had a few mice, from the noise and the droppings. A few days later I found one dead, dusted with the powder, under the sink and never heard a peep again from mice…

    • I find that Demon WP works really well. Its ok around pets and kills all sorts of insects. I get it on Amazon and have been using it for a year now. I continue to get the bugs but once sprayed it its good for a couple of months. Make sure you spray under stove and refrig. Also spray window sills and base boards.

  63. moved a comforter set that was in a heavy zipped plastic bag in my closet.The whole wall was covered with about 25 babies and in the bag was a few big palmetto bugs. Grabbed the insect spray and killed most of them . Had to take everything out of closet & checked it. The bag had a few bugs in it so I threw the set in the washer. I didn’t realize it was next to the wall of the water heater. Now I also check to make sure any pet food is off the floor or opened at night

  64. I feel that Raid works just fine, i just hate them! I love it here in Florida but in a very wooded area and they do get in. Regular any and roach spray works fine if you don’t have children or pets

  65. No one could ever hate roaches more than I. Especially the huge ones in the South. I moved to SC 2 years ago and they’ve made my life hell ever since. I’m glad I came upon this thread. I usually don’t research anything about them because there’s always pictures of them and that makes me just as sick as seeing a live one. I literally hold my phone at arms length in case I come across a picture. It’s bad. They actually offend me and I curse them like I would a human that I loathe. I have found them on my arm 3 times in the middle of the night since I’ve been here. If I see one that gets away I will literally tear a closet apart or a bed until I find it and end its disgusting life. I use any kind of spray that’s near to slow it down then I beat the shit out of it with someone else’s shoe. Can’t be mine. That would cause me anxiety when I wore that shoe again. This weekend I’m going in the hunt for multiple things listed in this thread. It’s time to take my sanity back. I realize I need professional help over this phobia. The thing is that it’s not fear. It’s disgust and the level of offense that I feel that one has the audacity to be in my presence. I was convinced for a period that they seek me out personally just to torment my soul but then I realized that I notice them more than other household members because I’m always looking for them. ALWAYS!! I walk through the house as if I might step on a hidden land mine. At night I turn my phone light so I can always see where I’m stepping. It’s no way to live. Please wish me luck on getting rid of every last one so I can be sane again!!

  66. Im moving to central Fl from the north in the next few weeks and this is my phobia. Im looking to purchase a condo would anyone agree that its probably a better idea if i keep away from ground floor condos? I hear 409 or fantastic kills them in seconds can some one tell me which one ?

    • Regarding Palmetto bugs, here in Florida, it is a natural thing and a fact of life one has to live with. They are mainly outdoor insects, that seem to prefer to be outdoors.

      But on occasion, be it rain, cold temperatures or just meandering into a crack the happens to lead into your house, one or two may find its way into your home.

      Upstairs, down stairs doesn’t really matter. Down stairs would more than likely encounter them more, but no place is immune unless you close up every entry point into your home, nearly impossible…lol

      These are NOT like German roaches, which thrive indoors, are way smaller and are in the hundreds or more. I have only encountered them one at a time every couple of weeks or months, depending on the weather..

      We use Borax powder commercially sold as “Roach Away”. It’s cheap and effective.

      If one finds its way into your home at night and walks through the Borax, it WILL be found upside down somewhere in your home… in the dying stages

      Before you move in, dust that stuff behind all appliances, under all plumbing related cabinets and in your storage shed…

      Make no mistake, the sight of one takes your breath away for a second because of how big they are, but a flip flop, a wad of toilet paper and a flush later it is gone….lol

  67. Wonderful article! First one I found that actually addresses TRUE palmetto bugs, so thank you for that! Also love the simple instructions on how to deal with the disgusting creatures.

  68. Help me! My house is under the control of cockroaches! About 4-5 appear everyday, and I called an exterminator. He found where it happened, but he can’t find a way to get rid of it. Can someone tell me a way to give these sons of a dirty butt the boot and make them leave? Any tips are appreciated!

  69. Florida woods cockroaches commonly referred to as palmetto bugs belong to Order Orthoptera, relating to the roaches, crickets and grasshoppers. The term “bug” refers to Order Hemiptera, or the true bugs, i.e., stinkbugs and the like. The only bugs in Class Insecta are the Hemipterans. The author incorrectly compared the Florida woods cockroach to Order Coleoptera, which are beetles not stink bugs. So there you have it. More confused?

  70. I am in Oklahoma. I just bought a house that is over a hundred years old. I see these demons every where. I sprayed one with wasp spray it went belly up, had what looked to be a seizure and bam it was dead. Week went by, no more demons. Then today i see FIVE!!!!! Considering burning the place down. Kidding. Bit holymoly. I dont want to share my house with these guys. I can’t compete. They fly.

  71. they have big antenna. if your your afraid they sense it and will get aggressive. don’t be afraid, be the aggressive one girls and make it a mission. how can you beat a big flying or crawling bug except to go after it with your fly swatter hitting fast and hard. get a bat and do some pre swings. in california there here and everywhere with the global warming. will they win and push us out. we are the thinking humans. please, we cant give up.

  72. Note that butterflies are also insects and if you spray/treat the area outside your house will be affected. I would like to keep the roaches, ants, and white flies from even coming IN my house, but have a Monarch way station all around my house, so am looking for indoor solutions. Thanks for the great info in the article and following comments. BTW, wouldn’t mind NOT seeing the graphic photos, either!

  73. In Brooklyn I sealed with plaster every inch of wall/floor/ceiling border, any opening, every single crack, etc. This worked

  74. Can’t be helped living in florida and seeing an occasional ‘palmetto bug’ in the house. Simply grab it with my hand and flush it or put in wet paper towel in rubbish.
    Used to live up North and never saw ‘palmetto bug’ but did encounter ‘German roaches’ – very nasty creatures living in huge nests. Exterminate those suckers!!

  75. I ve live in Florida many times and on all sides . I had roach motels on my kitchen cabinets. I knew I was in Big trouble when I saw what I thought was a bigger roach. I never got ride of them. After moving back to the Kansas area we bought a house that there was no bugs in sight. All the cleaning I did to make sure there weren’t any bugs was soon easier. I talked to a friend of mine and she said she had a fiend who was living in Florida and knows how to keep those big palmetto bugs and roaches out of her place. Put BAY LEAVES IN THE KITCHEN AND EVERYWHERE.!!! I have done that and have No Bugs of any kind !!!! OF course I spent alot of $$$$on Bay leaves but I feel better about Mt house !! When I get fleas from outside I salt everything.
    I’ve bought alot of any kind of table salt. The whole thing is use Avon Skink so soft on me and my pants leg of my slacks. ALL IF THESE THINGS WORKS FOR ME IN KANSAS. NOW YOU CAN HAVE A GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP.

    I’ve lived in Florida also but didn’t know the what I know now. For palmetto bugs use BAY LEAVES ANY WHERE. For fleas us table salt (lots of it). Diatomaceous and salt works great inside and not harmful to pets !! Use Avon s skin so soft oil on you for fleas on your slacks legs and where ever needed

    Hope this helps like it did me !!

  76. Thanks Linda York!!
    We’re going on a week vacation to Hilton Head and reading about the bugs was depressing lol

  77. We tossed the dog food bag out on to the landing in our garage, to be taken to the dump with the next load of stuff being eliminated from our garage. The bag landed upright on the landing, leaning against the wall. After just 2 or 3 days, we discovered over 6 palmetto bugs of varying sizes had gone in to the bag because of the smell of the dog food residue on the inside of the bag. You would think that they would fly out, they have wings afterall, but no. We decided to leave this impromptue bug trap where it was. After three weeks, we now have over 13 palmetto bugs in the bottom of the bag. I think we’ve found a great way to get rid of ours. 🙂

    • Palmetto bugs have ‘wings’ but they aren’t actual fliers. However, they usually like to ‘perch’ in high places and those ‘wings’ become highly effective gliders when they take off from those high places which is why some people believe that they can fly.

      • I lived in FL for years, and those freakers can fly! Usually when I spray them, they fly at my head! So glad to read ways to get rid of them. Getting ready to move back and already feel sick to my stomach. I love Florida, but these things are my worst fear and nightmare. Straight up panic attack and wish I get a Xanax Rx to have when I see one!

  78. My poor wife is a clean freak; she was horrified to see these creepy palmetto or sewer bugs in her house. I am retired military and I have seen bugs that can pick you up and carry you–just kidding. After reading some of the stories from the poor ladies out there. Here is something I have found that you can do for your apartment or house. Lowes has a premixed gallon sized bug killer by Ortho; it is a white container and comes with a sprayer. Its for indoor and outdoor areas. Spray all your door thresholds, garage door thresholds and spray a barrier around all your entry doors. Sometimes the weather seal on the bottom of your doors wears out and creates a gap that makes it easy for them to come in. Check all your weather seals on the bottom of your doors and replace if needed. Also if you keep recyclables in your garage; make sure your rinse drink cans and food containers and the bins are clean and dry. These palmetto bugs just love those recycle bins and your garbage cans in the kitchen. Keep them clean and treat the insides of the can with insecticide as well before putting in the bag liner. This should help….you aren’t alone lots of people have these bugs.

    • This is great advice! I have lived in FL off and on all of my life, and one day, while doing some exercises on floor, I noticed a huge gaping crack under front door where the weather seal did not meet floor! It makes a difference. They were crawling in under it!

  79. Terrified of these things, they make my skin crawl. I’m stuck in an apartment so even if I do my part to keep my place clean theirs still those one or two other neighbors who don’t care and are lazy. I see these monsters roughly 1 to 2 times outta a year or so, not as bad as what I’m hearing from other I mean five times outta two weeks?!? I couldn’t stomach and would probably have a heart attack and die (wish I was exaggerating but I’m not these bugs truly trigger me in a mental way..) my mom usually kills them but I have to grow a pair and learn to start tackling them myself.

  80. I live in FL and they are a never ending nuisance. Not any of the remedies ever suggested really work – even bug spray takes forever, as Floridians know. My house is immaculate, and I see more of them crawling out of vents / drains, etc. and dying, the cleaner it is. The ONLY thing that truly works is GEKKOS! In my old house, we had non-native Tokay Gekkos all over houses (near lights), and even living in my bushes, garage, gutters. They grow to around 10 inches long x 2 inches wide…. NEVER saw a palmetto bug. Saw a lot of body parts. But in my new house, it’s back to the war zone. Cleaned out my entire garage, and always see at least 5 in there every day. Saw one crawl out of bathroom fan vent (1mm), and fall directly into toilet. saw one crawl out of drain overflow. Just creepy and horrible. There are times when you just KNOW that there are more of them everywhere. They don’t even eat anything. Just crawl around and die. Maybe cause more bleach in septic system, from cleaning, forces them out? These last 2 weeks I’ve seen a huge increase – like 2 dead ones per day. And it’s cleaner than ever.

    • Note to self: Get gekko!

  81. I find one or two large roaches in my home on occasion. They are usually on their back and dying after the cat has been playing soccer with them LOL

  82. I just moved to Fla from San Diego, palmettos are new to me small cockroaches are not. I am refurbishing an old palm log cabin home and I sleep in a tent in it. Those suckers look at you! They seem to have intelligence. That is what freaks me out. I feel like I am killing a conscious being when I kill them. I have had conversations as I am drowning them about how I must kill them as it is at the core of my human conditioning, and if we could just come to an agreement of boundaries…

    I have spread diatamaceous earth, boric acid, and the baits mentioned earlier, not sure if it is working. They live in the walls here. And they smell bad too. I have had to completely pull out the countertop and cabinets in this 1920’s house. I could still smell the waste outside after days in the sun and rain. I can still smell them sometimes inside but it isn’t as bad as it was at first. I like the idea of those who have in a sense made peace with their existence here. I think they may be aliens or something – in time I will make peace and my house will not smell like that, did anybody mention that they have mouse like poop?

    …creepy and I think if they hang out in sewers they probably carry germs.

    They say when all else has vanished from this planet the roach will still live on. Maybe they are the ancients.

    • I want geckos

    • Yeah i hear you its not fun these things are crazy and like s deer in headlights uvggvhhh they run at you and you smash them under your feet at night the worst feeling ever. The crunch than warm than cold its the nastiest feeling ever

  83. i just purchased a mobil home in fl and didnt get there yet but after reading all this i feel i made a huge mistake…i hate bugs and already having nightmares!

  84. I live in Los Angeles (in the valley) and we have palmetto bugs here, too. We also call them water bugs. I’m a clean freak, but once in a while one or two will find their way into the house. I HATE these things. When I see them inside, I feel like I need to disinfect and steam the floors. At night, I can see them emerging out of the dirt, lawns, and flower beds. I also saw them running scared toward the swimming pool and going under the ledge. OMG! So we stopped using the pool…. I’ve had orkin here, I’ve used insect killers, and poison… none of these remedies worked. So I went to a local feed store and picked up a 40 lbs. bag of DE (diatomatious earth) for $25. I put some in an empty Dawn dish soap bottle and went around the exterior of the house squeezing puffs of DE dust powder all over the grass, walls, dirt, plants, door/window frames, cement, etc. and haven’t seen any yet!!! It’s been 4 days…. so I want to see how long it lasts before I need to reapply. I think I should have picked-up a smaller bag of DE, the 40 lbs. bag was too much. It doesn’t take very much to cover 3200 sq. ft. If you get it, make sure it says “food grade” on the bag. This isn’t the same DE that is used for pool filters. It kills bugs, ants, and spiders… but it will also kill bees and butterflies, so make sure you go to get any on flowering plants. It’s safe around pets and humans and for consumption. I’m Going to lightly sprinkle some on my carpets a day or two before I vacuum.

  85. I have been bitten by this bug and have also had the disgusting feel of stepping on 1 in the middle of the night…hate them i live in northern florida and house is clean but these pests are natural they are like flies cant completely eliminate florida pest control has bombed my house treated it many times helps but they never go away… ..i have had them crawl on my face while sleeping and across my toes while walking. I did get bit once and one flew onto my shoulder and for some reason instantly bit me. It did draw a small amount of blood and did hurt. I instantly turned on the light and said ouch wtf i swatted it off and tracked and killed the sob but that does little as they are everywhere uuggghhhhh

  86. Diatomaceous Earth (food grade only!) is very effective against all insects and for spiders as well and is not harmful to the environment, pets, or humans. However, as Becca commented earlier, it will kill our beneficial pollinators along with the pest insects so Please make sure it doesn’t get on any flowers or clover around the perimeter of your house. In fact, it’s probably best to use it inside under kitchen and bathroom cabinet sinks, on top of cabinets, behind and under home appliances, etc. Caulk and repair any entry holes, fix drywall cracks in walls and seal around water pipes and baseboards. Place mesh screens outside over windows, over floor drains, and vents. If you have gaps around doors and windows use weather stripping to seal them. If your entry doors don’t meet the threshold to seal properly, invest in a good sealer for the bottom of your doors. Use mesh screen cut to fit in sink drains (kitchen and bath) and cut to fit any vents in your home by screwing it in place under the vent covers. Keep your p-traps full of water by regularly running a bit of water in unused bathrooms flushing the toilets to keep the bowl from drying out. They’re not especially good swimmers as a rule, but some species can actually swim and remain underwater up to 15 minutes. So flush the unused toilet regularly. If this is a vacation home cover your toilet bowls with plastic wrap or mesh screen and duct tape it securely in place before you leave.

    The main thing is to make it as near to impossible for them to gain entry. They carry diseases that affect the digestive system including stomach cramps, diarrhea, and vomiting. They also shed their skins and leave droppings which can cause allergic reactions and asthma attacks in susceptible people. If any make it inside your home, the food grade diatomaceous earth will be effective to kill them. Other than that, just keep garbage out of your home, rinse your recyclable cans and bottles and keep your outside garbage cans away from your home. Clean and vacuum your home daily. Check your cabinets regularly for opened food and crumbs. Keep opened food sealed in containers or put in refrigerator. Keep pet food sealed in bins and pet food dishes cleaned out and put away every night before bedtime.

    There are a lot of good suggestions in some of the comments. I personally don’t use pesticides, boric acid, or borax because of environmental concerns and hope others feel the same way, not to mention the toxicity to humans and animals. I know this is a really long post, but I hope it helps others in the seemingly never-ending battle against these nasty pests.

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