Cockroach Vs Palmetto Bug

Cockroach Vs Palmetto Bug: What’re Difference?

Cockroach Vs. Palmetto Bug – when people say the word cockroach, they are ordinarily using a familiar name to refer to two types of insects from the same family. 

The American Cockroach, or Palmetto Bug, or German Cockroach, is your basic, run-of-the-mill cockroach. So what’s the difference between the two? 

In the ongoing battle between the cockroach vs. the palmetto bug, it’s often disappointing for people to learn that there is no difference between the two bugs – try these pet safe roach killer

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Cockroach Vs. Palmetto Bug: What’re the Difference? 

While there are over 4,500 various cockroaches species, these two provide a constant source of confusion for people. Yet, there are some notable differences.

So let’s put on our boxing gloves, step in the ring, get behind our favorite cockroach, and see what they are. Read Also: What do roaches smell like?

Well, the most straightforward answer is a cockroach. “Palmetto bug” is a common term heard most often in the Southeastern United States, especially in Florida.

The name can encompass a whole group of large cockroaches. It is usually connected to the Florida woods cockroach, Australian cockroach, the American cockroach, smoky brown cockroach, brown and the death’s head cockroach.

Palmetto bugs are so-named because they like to hang out among the leaves of palm trees in the Southeast. Read also: water bugs vs. cockroaches

How Can You Identify a Palmetto Bug?

For one thing, in the cockroach vs. palmetto bug wars, at around 1.5 inches long, palmetto bugs are among the giant cockroaches and often make themselves unwelcome guests in people’s homes.

  • These reddish-brown bugs develop two spots behind their head as they age and have wings, but are not excellent fliers, so instead, they will sail along in the air from the surface to surface.
  • It can be quite comical when people assume they are being attacked by palmetto bugs because when you open your house door, they sail right is headed for the light.

While they are not the most sanitary creatures and admittedly can come off as a bit frightening, palmetto bugs aren’t hazardous.

They seldom bite humans, and their bites are nothing to worry about as they show up as tiny, red marks but are not poisonous or painful. 

It might seem that the worst these pests can do is cause disruption in your home, but beware!

Due to their love of hiding in dirty, unsanitary locations, they can infect your food with bacteria like salmonella. Furthermore, they can set off asthma and allergies. Read Also: Best Roach Killer 

Where Do They Make Their Home?

When it comes down to the cockroach vs. the palmetto bug, both are very versatile. They don’t perish quickly.

In the case of the palmetto bug, if the weather takes a sudden turn for the worse, maybe turning suddenly cold or becoming too hot or wet, they will head indoors to find refuge in your home. 

The tropical climate of Florida is a paradise for palmetto bugs. As a homeowner, you need to be vigilant because if a house is left empty for too long, or you have an outside infestation, pretty soon they will find their way indoors.

What you have to do is a thorough check of your property. Look for palmetto bugs in these places:

  • Under palm leaves, inside hollow trees, throughout woodpiles and shrubs
  • Lurking in sprinkler systems
  • Sink and tub drains
  • Beneath your roof shingles.
  • The foundation of your home
  • Inside basements and crawlspaces, mainly if it is damp
  • Hidden in baskets of dirty laundry 

Any damp, warm, dark place is a fair game for these insects, and they like to collect in large groups in one spot. This doesn’t mean ten or so but groups containing hundreds, even thousands.

Since palmetto bugs will happily dine on any organic matter that they can get to, they will eat garbage, decaying bodies of animals, paper, hair, and even glue! 

Read Also: How to Get Rid of Cockroaches 

Indications of a Palmetto Bug Infestation

Because they are nocturnal, you can have a hard time finding these pests as you don’t usually see them during the day. The following are some signs that your home is infested with palmetto bugs:

  • They emit an unmistakable musty scent
  • They shed their skins and leave droppings similar to pepper flakes in crevices and cracks
  • How to Get Rid of Palmetto Bugs

The best and most effective way and the quickest is to call an exterminator to spray your home’s interior and exterior. This is highly recommended. But there are also other available methods:

  • Buy some traps
  • Spray them with a bottle of oil and water or plain soap and water
  • Make a poison using three parts boric acid and one part powdered sugar 

The sugar is the lure, and then the boric acid takes over and kills them. Read Also: ​​Do Cockroaches Bite?


As if that isn’t enough, these hardy cockroaches can survive two or three months minus food and go an entire month with no water.

They also have a reasonably long lifespan, specifically the females, and can live for a year or more.