How to Prevent Palmetto Bugs

Updated on April 09, 2009
J.H. asks from Arnold, MD
17 answers

Ok! So I came across our first Palmetto bug yesterday (I'm from MD)and those things are a nightmare! I was able to get rid of it by spraying lysol on it and then flushing it...but..my goodness I dont ever want to come across them again. I am a very clean person and am looking for ways to prevent them from ever coming back. Any suggestions??

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R.C.

answers from Lakeland on

Hi J.,

Sorry to break the news to you, but they are a part of the wonderful Florida lifestyle. The best way to get rid of/keep them at bay is bug spray. We have a bug guy come and spray every so often. When I start to see bugs running and not dead, I call him. About every 6 months or so. If you need his number, let me know, he is very good and the product he uses is plant based so when it is dry it is safe for kids to be around.
Raid is a good alternative, too. I sometimes spray that around the doors and windows and if they make it inside, they are dead or dying....

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D.P.

answers from Fort Myers on

In my opinion-they are nasty cockroaches with wings. Use bleach. I've heard the smell deters them. I've always cleaned with bleach products in the kitchen & baths and once a month (or so) I'll wash the tiled floors with diluted bleach water. It seems to work in my house too. I know that when everything going "green" - we shouldn't be using harsh chemicals, the old fashion way of cleaning works & I don't like germs or bugs.

Fireants, yet??? Tell you now, I've found Seven from In & Out works the best - better than Amdro. Treat the lawn once every 6 months & you'll never see a fireant there. It's guaranteed for a once a year application, but down here you need to do twice.

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M.F.

answers from Sarasota on

You are a clean person, but Florida has a proliferation of bugs. My family has been here for over 100 years, and I have heard the same from every generation that I have had the pleasure of knowing. My grandmother lived in an older Florida house and had good success with a quarterly bug service (I think she used Sears). There are a number of more natural services now in the local area that you might try. I don't use one, but do put the hotel type traps out in the bathrooms and kitchen (where my kids can't reach them) and I rarely see the palmetto bugs or roaches, except about the time it is time to replace the "hotels". I hope you are enjoying the rest of Florida. Welcome!

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E.R.

answers from Tampa on

Hi J.,

I wouldn't spray the entire inside of your house, palmetto bugs just come in from outside and then either leave again or die. I would spray the OUTSIDE of the house and make sure there are no holes in screens or under doors for them to get in. We use Massey Services and they come 4 X's a year to spray the outside, plus whenever I call them. I won't let them spray inside, he just puts powder in light sockets, under the fridge, and places the kids can't get to. He only does that once a year. Some of my neighbors use do-it-yourself pest control and say it works ok too. Hope this helps!

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C.S.

answers from Lakeland on

Yes, they are horrifying, aren't they? Unfortunately, bugs are a part of life in FL, but I wouldn't recommend spraying for a few bugs in the house and exposing your family to all those chemicals.

The University of Florida Extension Office recommends using bait traps for roaches in the house, and I've found they work quite well. They are little plastic traps with the poison hidden inside. The roach goes inside, takes the bait and brings it back to the nest. If you keep a few of these hidden behind the stove, fridge, toilet, etc. or wherever your problem area is, it should do fine controlling them.

Good luck! And, don't worry, palmetto bugs are not filthy like the German cockroach. :)

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A.H.

answers from Tampa on

As previously stated these bugs are not related to cleanliness and are apart of Florida living. They were a shock to me also but you do get over the eckky gross moments and spraying will keep them out. Although they seem to penetrate any barrier otherwise. Keep the garage clean n tidy they'll hide in there.
Welcome to FL.

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R.C.

answers from Lakeland on

Hi J.,

Sorry to break the news to you, but they are a part of the wonderful Florida lifestyle. The best way to get rid of/keep them at bay is bug spray. We have a bug guy come and spray every so often. When I start to see bugs running and not dead, I call him. About every 6 months or so. If you need his number, let me know, he is very good and the product he uses is plant based so when it is dry it is safe for kids to be around.
Raid is a good alternative, too. I sometimes spray that around the doors and windows and if they make it inside, they are dead or dying....

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R.L.

answers from Tampa on

Hi J., my name of course as you can see, is R. and I too hate Palmetto bugs. Number 1 they are huge! and really really gross. Plus they make you feel dirty when you see them inside your home. Well I use non-caustic products in my home because I am concerned with the toxins that are in the regular brand name items like Lysol. So I use these products and they work without poisoning my family including my animals. We very rarely see any Palmetto Bugs anymore where we would see at least 1 or 2 per week when it would rain a lot and such. At any rate if you are interested in safer products in your home feel free to contact me through my website at www.4agreenhome.com
Many blessings for you and your family and hope you find safe ways to get rid of them.

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C.C.

answers from Tampa on

Wait until one flies past your ear at night! That's gross and scary...Palmetto bugs have a high "ick" factor, but they really are everywhere. Short of fumigating your house (and family) regularly, I don't think there is any way to get rid of them permanently. They will always come in from outside. That said, if you have an older home, you might have nests in the walls, and a one-time fumigation would help with that. You say you've only seen one, though. If you had nests, I think you would have seen more.

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R.W.

answers from Tampa on

If you have your own home just go to the Hardware or Walmart and get the concentrated bug spray. Spray all around the outside of your home about every six months and you will never see bugs. I live in a mobile home and have never had a problem in the 15 and a half years I have lived here.

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K.G.

answers from Punta Gorda on

If you've just moved south get used to it. Spray around the outside perimeter of your house. It will get much worse in the summer. You'll have to spray more. It has nothing to do with the cleanliness of your house. They live in the plants outside. Go to Home Depot and get a gallon jug of roach killer with a sprayer. If you use it regularly they will stay out.

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B.W.

answers from Tampa on

Look for Roach gel. I think its called Combat it comes in a Brown Tube. I put it in the kitchen where it seemed to be the problem. Just make sure it is where the kids can't get to it. Like under the sink or behind appliances. It took care of the problem great and the gel lasts for awhile. Depending on how bad you may or may not have to reapply when gel is gone. My mom used this she had to reapply but I never needed to. Best part was they went somewhere else to die. Never had to sweep up dead roaches. We looked but never found dead roaches. I liked this part because I would just get ill looking at them. They disappear and no cleanup like with some sprays. Great when you have kids because I would not my kids comming in contact with those nasty disgusting bugs dead or alive.

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B.A.

answers from Tampa on

Welcome to Florida! lol Palmetto bugs are just a fact of life here They are not related to cleanliness (this is still have a hard time accepting), and there is nothing to do but learn to live with it.

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R.S.

answers from Tampa on

I am with you on this one. I go to a do it yourself pest control store, and buy a product called Viper. It is concentrated, and you put a small amount into a sprayer and add a gallon of water. You spray the inside of your house, and then the outside of your house. It doesn't smell super bad, but I put the kids outside while it dries. It works fantastic! I have lived here for 4 years, and no palmetto bugs in my house, only 4-5 spiders in 4 years, and no ants or anything else. I believe another name for it is demon-max. Good luck. PS my mom used it with ants already in the house, and sprayed the outside and inside so they were stuck in the walls. So I recommend that you sray inside, and then wait to spray the outside. They can get stuck in between and then you have a new problem.

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A.L.

answers from Punta Gorda on

Hi J., I wont tell you to get used to it, because I have lived in FL most of my life and I am still not used to those nasty bugs. Take comfort in knowing that palmetto bugs do not infest your house. It's there smaller cousins the cockroach that you have to worry about.
I have found that the best way to prevent them from coming in, is not leaving doors open and make sure all screens fit tightly and are not ripped. If you have an older home, there could be all kinds of places for them to get in and hide so check your exterior very carefully. If you are seeing them often and in numbers then you could have a problem with a nest in a nearby tree or possibly your exterior walls (if in an older home).
One question, have you run into any wolf spiders yet?

T.F.

answers from Tampa on

hahahahaha best advice if ya dont wanan see another palmetto bug is move out of florida. good luck

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S.D.

answers from Lakeland on

OOOOH Jemmifer,
There is no way to completely get rid of Palnetto bugs. This is after all Florida and the abound here.
I can suggest a way to keep them down. I am not really bothered by them for now and I live in the country. Roach Motels do a good job. If course it helps to keep the undergrowth cleared away from around the house.
Good Lick!!!

S.

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W.M.

answers from Tampa on

Most of the rest of the women said it correctly - they're a part of Florida. We haven't eliminated them but we've gotten them way down by a power concoction of 50% baking powder and 50% confectioners sugar - it has reduced them by 80-85%.

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