The palmetto bug is infamous in the southeastern United States, and rightfully so. These are large bugs. But, there is some misunderstanding as to what a palmetto bug actually is, and what kind of damage they can do when they get into homes. Let’s take a look.
What is a palmetto bug? There are many bugs that get called a palmetto bug. Here in South Carolina, the bug we call a palmetto bug is actually the American cockroach (Periplaneta americana) which is the largest cockroach species you’re going to find invading your home.
What kind of damages do palmetto bugs do when they invade? The palmetto bug, like other cockroaches, does not damage homes. But they are quick to exploit damage done by other pests. When carpenter ants, carpenter bees, termites, rodents, and other pests, chew on your home, palmetto bugs will use the holes they make as access points.
When cockroaches enter, they are more of a threat to your belongings than they are to your home. Roaches leave their droppings everywhere they go. These droppings can stain items that are difficult to clean, such as books, documents, and other paper products.
If stains are left on curtains, bedspreads, clothing, and other items made from cloth, you may be able to get those stains out with the right cleaning agent. But stains on upholstered furniture can be a real pain.
The most important damage these pests cause is damage to food products. They can chew their way into stored foods in paper or cardboard containers and taint the food inside with harmful bacteria and diseases. This can lead to stomach and intestinal tract illnesses, and worse.
They also get onto counters, cutting boards, and other food prep surfaces, or get into silverware drawers and cabinets. While this won’t do damage to these areas or to your dishes and utensils, it can do damage to your health when they do.
Palmetto bugs prefer moist or humid areas. Outside your home, you’re likely to find them crawling around in moist leaf cover, stacked wood, construction material, bushes, and mulch. Inside, they will hide out in cellars, garages, and attic spaces.
This bug likes tight spaces where its belly and its back are able to touch a hard surface at the same time. This will bring it in between your oven and a wall, or your fridge and a wall, which gives it one more reason to be in your kitchen.
If you’re dealing with palmetto bugs in your South Carolina home, the best way to deal with them is with year-round pest control from Spencer Pest Services. Our team uses state-of-the-art protocols to control these, and other invasive pests, all year long, and create a pest-free environment inside your home. Reach out to us for immediate assistance.