The palmetto bug usually refers to cockroaches that live both indoors and outdoors. It is also known as the Florida woods cockroach and it can grow to between 12 and 16 inches. When threatened the palmetto bug will emit a spray of foul smelling liquid squirting it up to 1 meter away. This stinky substance has earned it the name skunk roach, stinking cockroach and stinkroach.
This roach moves slower than other roaches and is typically found in damp environments or areas with lots of moisture and warmth. Although it loves the outdoors it can wander indoors and feel quite at home in a damp corner of the house. The Palmetto bug is commonly confused with the American cockroach but this bug has distinct features that make it stand out.
To begin with it has no hind wings and the fore wings are extremely short. This is distinctly different from any other cockroach species. They can be reddish brown right after mottling but their typical color is a deep black brown.
How to get rid of Palmetto bugs
Getting rid of palmetto bugs permanently is possible and advisable because these large roaches can easily become a terror inside your household.
Encourage natural elimination
Natural elimination of these bugs can occur when you encourage the presence of harmless animals like geckos. Large geckos nab cockroaches and eat them. You can also get a cat which will find killing the bugs a form of entertainment and they even gobble up a few along the way.
Seal crack and crevices in the house
Palmetto bugs are big in size but they can still disappear pretty fast into a crevice in the wall or ground. Sealing these of gives them no way to enter the house in the first place. Also check the electrical outlets for any entry points.
Make poisonous roach baits
Roaches enter the house to feed so creating bait for them laced with boric acid will be effective in getting rid of them. Boric acid is cheap so you can use it efficiently for long term containment of the bugs without spending too much.
The great thing with boric acid is that it can kill the bugs by consumption and by touch. When ingested the acid will disrupt the cockroach’s digestive system and the nervous system. In case the boric acid scratches the roach’s exoskeleton it will cause the bug to dry out. Losing their internal fluid balance will cause the roach to die. Boric acid is toxic so it shouldn’t be used in a household with kids or pets.
Use diatomaceous earth
Diatomaceous earth works in the same way as boric acid, drying out the insect and killing it when consumed. It is also naturally abrasive so insects will feel like they are walking on glass shards. Diatomaceous earth comes in two options: food grade and pool grade. Food grade is safe to use in the home but pool grade diatomaceous earth is extremely toxic and can cause health problems for the user.