How to Get Rid of Palmetto Bugs

Do you want to know how to get rid of Palmetto bugs efficiently? Then you need to understand their basic habits and way of living. By the way, do you know what Palmetto bugs are? Palmetto bugs are the fancy name for smoky brown cockroaches – the creatures that most people hate and disgusted by. Having a cockroach in the house is certainly unsettling. It’s not pleasant to see it crawling around – on your wall, by the drain, or worse, on your food! It’s certainly dreadful when the infestation takes place – you will have a real issue with their presence. But before learning more about how to get rid of them, you may want to know the basic facts about them.


Understanding Palmetto Bugs

Palmetto bugs are divided into two categories: American and Smokybrown cockroaches. They are both similar in appearance and size, although the American is a bit longer. Moreover, the American roaches have a reddish-brown color with a pale section behind the head. The Smokybrowns, on the other hand, have darker colors and more uniformed hues.

How to Get Rid of Palmetto Bugs

How to Get Rid of Palmetto Bugs


In general, both of them can fly – well, look like fly but not a fly. You see, you may view them glide down from a higher spot, but when it comes to a great flyer, they aren’t. They can’t stay on air long. But they can surely move fast. They like to live in humid and moist areas. That’s why it is common to find them at septic tanks, garbage bins, under sinks, kitchens, crawlspaces, attic (especially on corners), mulch, bathrooms, leaf litter, gardens, and trees. The females like spaces where they can lay their eggs safely. They also like places that are close to the food source and moist.

Cockroaches can cause serious health issues as they are risky pests. You see, they live in unsanitary areas and they have so many germs and bacteria all over their body. They will surely spread those germs and bacteria to whatever things they come in contact with. Imagine how dangerous (and also disgusting!) it would be if they ever come in contact with your food. Not to mention that they also like to leave debris behind, such as shedding and feces. Not only gross, but they also contain proteins that can trigger allergic reactions and asthma attacks. They can bite too, possibly causing skin irritation.

The roaches like to get into the house and find a humid spot where they can call it their ‘home’. They can also make it a breeding ground. They will find holes, gaps, or cracks where they can squeeze themselves into it to get through the barrier. If you want to prevent them from coming into your house, these are the things to do:

  • Make sure that all of your windows and doors are in perfect condition. They should be intact with no slightest gaps underneath, especially for doors.
  • Consider having screens on attic vents, windows, and doors – or any possible opening that can be their way in
  • Seal the holes, cracks, or gaps that can be used their entry points
  • Make sure that gaps or cracks are sealed or closed, especially on the external wall, such as cables and pipes
  • If you have pets and you often leave water and food outside, this can be a major draw for the roaches. Remove such a thing
  • Excessive mulch means that they can get an abundance of food sources, so you may want to consider having a regular clean.


Although Palmetto bugs are often related to filth, it doesn’t always mean that they are looking for a filthy place to build a house and breed. You can still find them in the nicest and (seemingly) cleanest resorts, homes, or hotels. They eat just about anything, not just filth. They can even be satisfied with the mulch garden – just about anything. So, get rid of the idea that they will only come to the dirtiest and filthiest area. They will also eat decaying organic matter. They will eat cosmetics, pet food, soap, dirty clothing, cheese, leather, potted plants, beer, bakery products, and others.


9 Best Ways To Get Rid of Palmetto Bugs Permanently In Your House

Best Ways To Get Rid of Palmetto Bugs

Best Ways To Get Rid of Palmetto Bugs


There are different options on how to get rid of Palmetto bugs. A lot of homeowners are thinking about using DIY methods as well as insecticides. Common insecticides can be effective to battle these roaches, as long as they contain bifenthrin, deltamethrin, cyfluthrin, or cypermethrin. You can also use roach boats in performing methods on how to get rid of palmetto bugs in the house. But make sure that the baits contain hydramethylnon, abamectin, or fipronil. Boric acid dust can be an effective solution as well.

What about bug bombs, or foggers, that is claimed to be super effective in dealing with the roaches? Well, unfortunately, they aren’t as effective as claimed. They will indeed throw and burst insecticides all over the place, but they don’t get into crevices or cracks where the roaches hide. That’s why such a bug bomb isn’t effective.


1. Dehumidifier

As it was mentioned before, Palmetto bugs like to live in humid, moist, and warm areas. If the air outside is getting cold or dry, big chances that they are looking for a warmer place to live – and that’s when they decide to enter your house. You can use the dehumidifier to create dry air inside the house. This way, roaches would hate the situation and pack up.


2. Regular Check

Do you have any water or pipe leak? Check for broken pipes or faucets, or even water leaks from your roof. You should also fix everything that can cause some spots in the house to become humid and damp. Even clogged drains should be repaired right away, or they may decide to live underneath.


3. Manage Clutter

These roaches like to live in hidden spots or areas. Even old newspaper stacks or leaves pile can be their next ideal home. Do you have piles of clutter on the garden? Be ready to find them there. It’s best to start a good habit of taking care of the clutter and mess. Make sure to manage your house organized and clean – and that includes your garden. If you want to learn about how to get rid of palmetto bugs in the yard, you can organize wood logs, if you have any. Any piles of leaves or others should be removed far from your property.


4. Manage Food Waste

When you have food waste, make sure to dispose of them in a trash bin with tightly-sealed construction. This will prevent the roaches from reaching food waste. If you have any leftover food, don’t just leave it out in the open. Put them in a container and put it in the refrigerator or a cupboard. Don’t allow the roaches to get into their food supply conveniently.


5. Boric Acid

If you want to kill the roaches, then Boric Acid would be the most ideal option. It is a mineral (a naturally-occurring type) that will disrupt the roaches’ nervous and digestive system. But this one won’t work instantly. It takes time for the Boric Acid to work effectively. You will have to wait for around a week to see that the roaches are slowly disappearing.

Moreover, Boric Acid has an abrasive trait. It will scratch the exoskeleton layer and cause them to dehydrate. When these insects lose the internal fluid, they won’t be able to survive long. You can mix the mineral to the bait. Combine a bit of Crisco, flour, and sugar that will result in dough-like and sticky texture. Place the bait on their entry points or the places where you often find them. Make sure to use gloves when you are making the mix.

However, Boric Acid isn’t perfect for homeowners with kids or pets because it has a moderate toxicity level. If you do have kids or pets, you may want to consider the diatomaceous earth, which comes in food-grade quality.


 6. Crushing Them

A fast and effective way to kill them instantly is to crush them. If you have the same speed and fast reaction, you can splat them when you see them crossing over the kitchen or the sink. Keep in mind, though, that crushing them is possible when you deal with only one or two roaches. And let’s not forget that crushing them will make the area messy and… well, gross. You will have to clean up and dispose of everything after the crushing.


 7. Roach Traps

This is one method on how to get rid of palmetto bugs DIY. You create a glue trap that is using non-toxic and harmless substances. It will lure the roaches so they will come and then be trapped on the sticky surface of the glue. You can safely place these traps in cabinets, kitchen, basement, wardrobes, bathrooms, and garage. Find such a glue and trap conveniently.


8. Diatomaceous Earth

For us, this white powder is harmless. But for Palmetto bugs, the abrasive trait makes them feel as if walking on broken glass shards. So, the powder is painful and dangerous for them. Not to mention that the earth can break the exoskeleton layer of the roaches. Simply spread the powder on the areas where the roaches are often found. Make sure only to choose the food-grade one, not the pool-grade type. The latter is super toxic. Moreover, you don’t want to inhale the powder, whether the food-grade or the pool-grade. Whenever you handle the substance, wear gloves, and use mask or cover on the nose and mouth.


9. Handy Plants

Some of the attempts of how to get rid of Palmetto bugs, there are several plants that you can have around the house to repel the roaches. They may not be able to get rid of the roaches completely, but you can prevent them at bay and minimize their numbers and presence.

Chrysanthemums are one of the plants to get rid of the roaches. These plants contain pyrethrins, a natural insecticide compound that will repel the roaches. When the plants have developed the desired maturity, you simply crush them and then sprinkle them around the property, especially the house. However, if you have pets, chrysanthemums aren’t advisable because it is toxic to cats and dogs.

Another alternative is the catnip plants. They are safe for pets and yet they can repel the insects too. The plants have the so-called nepetalactone, a special chemical that will keep the insects at bay. Not only they can repel Palmetto bugs, but they can also repel other species of the cockroaches.

As you can see, there are various methods to repel pesky insects. Just choose one among these methods on how to get rid of Palmetto bugs, and you should be good to go.

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