Learn all about palmetto bug bite, size trap and elimination. The term “palmetto bugs” is used to describe a number of species of roaches found in the southern U.S. These bugs got their name because they like to hide underneath the leaves of palmetto trees, which is a type of palm tree.
Old timers originally called the Eurycotis Floridana “palmetto bugs” when they were cutting and collecting heart of palm for food. The most identifying characteristic of the true palmetto bug is the foul smell it emits when disturbed. Palmetto bugs are winged insects that can fly, which can be even more terrifying than seeing one scurry across the floor. Palmetto bugs live in areas that are moist and humid, a huge contributing factor to why they are so prevalent in the Low country.
Young nymphs are grayish-brown and each will molt 9-13 times before reaching maturity. After the first few molts, nymphs become more reddish brown in color. The time required to complete the entire process varies from 160-971 days. Under ideal conditions, an adult female can live up to 14-15 months; males for a somewhat shorter period. However, in natural populations many factors reduce their life span.
American cockroaches feed on a variety of foods, but decaying organic matter seems to be preferred. They also feed upon book bindings, manuscripts, clothing and glossy paper with starch sizing. Syrup and other sweets are also attractive. The adults can survive two or three months without food, but only about a month without water.
What is Palmetto Bug?
Palmetto bugs are the reddish brown cockroaches which can grow as long as 1.5 inches or more. Both males and females have wings. They are the biggest of the cockroaches that frequently invade people’s homes. This species is the largest of the domestic cockroaches, averaging around four centimeters long. While German roaches are the most common roaches found across the country, American roaches are the second most prevalent.
Palmetto bug Bite
Palmetto Bugs do not bite, however, it could still have been responsible for skin irritation. People with sensitive skin might get pricked by the spines on their legs, and this could have happened when you grabbed it, something like a contact dermatitis. It could also have been a psychosomatic reaction to the repulsive incident. Palmetto bugs are more likely to avoid humans because they perceive us as a threat. Roaches also prefer to eat plants, garbage and decaying flesh, so living humans are usually not considered a tasty treat. These bugs will try biting your fingernails, hair or eyelashes. And while their bites are harmless, it’s still important to keep an eye on the wound (and keep it clean) to prevent infection.
Palmetto bug Size
Palmetto bug is a large species of cockroach which typically grows to a length of 30–40 mm (1.2–1.6 in). Their nymphs and their eggs look like is the easiest way to determine whether or not you are dealing with palmetto bugs.
Palmetto bug Traps
Palmetto bugs are often the cause of panic attack to some people. They will never touch or even approach the pests. And stepping on the bug with your foot is definitely not a good idea, as the result will be more then disgusting. But there still exist some safe and guaranteed ways to kill these bugs.
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. 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 dish washing 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. Boric acid dust is good against Palmetto Bugs, too, though it must be applied very carefully. It is toxic for 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.
Palmetto bug Elimination
Palmetto bugs are eliminated by various methods such as for outdoors;
- Remove as much debris around the building as possible. Prune tree limbs and shrubbery so they do not touch the house. Stack wood away from the house and raise the piles off the ground.
- If you have pets, do not leave food bowls out overnight. Keep kennel areas clean.
- Dispose of garbage in sealed bags and in garbage cans with lids. If you recycle, rinse out cans and bottles, and keep your recycling areas in a dry location away from the house. Do not let your recycling area become too cluttered.
- Keep screens and weather stripping in good repair. Check attic vents and windows. Caulk large openings around outside drainage lines and sewer vents. Steel wool can be used as a temporary filler until you can caulk openings properly.
- Check grocery bags, boxes and firewood for cockroaches.
- Keep food and garbage in tight containers.
- Clean crumbs and spills on floors, counters and shelves as soon as they occur.
- Keep faucets and drains under sinks and appliances in good repair. Do not let water stand in the sink for long periods of time.
- Keep clutter from accumulating, in kitchens and bathrooms. Cockroaches hide mostly so use vacuum.