Palmetto bugs are common pests in Florida. They like warm and damp environments that are common throughout Florida, including Daytona Beach, Holly Hill, Ormond Beach and other parts of Flagler and Volusia Counties. They look like cockroaches because they technically are cockroaches, the American Cockroach. They’re reddish brown and get as big as 1.5 inches if not a little larger. Both male and female palmetto bugs have wings although they’re used mostly for gliding.
Palmetto bugs are almost always in groups. If you see one palmetto bug, that means there are usually more–often many more; palmetto bugs usually show up in large groups, as in hundreds or thousands. Palmetto bugs are rarely seen during the day; they hide from humans and other predators, so the ones you see are usually just the tip of the iceberg and an indicator of a bigger infestation. Even seeing just a single palmetto bug is often an indicator of a common problem.
Since they hide from humans, you probably won’t notice them until after they have become a problem. Any sign of palmetto bugs is a warning, and homeowners should do everything to stop a palmetto bug “gathering” from turning into a full blown palmetto bug infestation.
Often you might even see palmetto bug eggs and not the palmetto bugs themselves. They can go 2-3 months without eating, so they’re not going to rush to expose themselves. They lay an egg sack weekly. The thin brown sack is almost half and inch long. While palmetto bugs move, their eggs don’t.
Given their efforts to stay hidden, homeowners in Florida should look for signs of a broader palmetto bug problem, especially if you see one or two of them. Palmetto bugs give off a musty smell, but they leave lots of visible evidence of their presence–chew marks on papers, curtains, book bindings, and even some clothes. You can also looked for shedded skin from when they molt along with their droppings, which will most likely be found in cracks and crevices around your home.
Palmetto bugs do pose health risks from contaminating plates, utensils, toothbrushes and other parts of the home in the process of crawling over hidden areas like drawers and drains. If you see any sign of palmetto bugs, do not hesitate to call Dave’s Pest Control or another pest control company if you’re not in Flagler or Volusia Counties.