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Cockroach or Palmetto Bug?

Need to get rid of cockroaches? Read on to learn the answers to all of your important questions. Need help? Call our professionals today to get started.

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What’s The Difference Between A Cockroach And A Palmetto Bug?

In some regions of the country, principally the southeastern United States, the name “palmetto bug” is commonly used to refer to several different species of cockroaches interchangeably. It is even sometimes used as a moniker to refer to some species of beetle.  

The term “palmetto bug” is used primarily in the Southeastern portion of the United States because palmetto trees, a common habitat for certain large cockroach species, are widely found in the Southeastern parts of the U.S. Both American cockroaches and smokybrown cockroaches are often found in and around palmetto trees as well as under the fallen and dried palmetto leaves. 

What Is A Cockroach?

The term “cockroach” is a general term used to specify around 4,600 different species of insects of the order Blattodea, an insect class that includes termites. Of the 4,600 species of cockroach in the world, about 30 correlate with human habitats, and only about 5 are considered pests. No matter the species, they are hardy bugs that can tolerate a wide range of environments and typically propagate quickly. 

What Do Palmetto Bugs Look Like?

Because the term “palmetto bug” can refer to several different roach species, the description of a palmetto bug can change depending on the region and culture of the person describing each bug. Typically, palmetto bugs are designated as those roaches that live in tropical areas and are quite large. 

The American cockroach is the most common of the roach and beetle species often identified as the “palmetto bug.” American cockroaches are large and winged. They are dark brown and have a cream-colored prothorax with dark markings that are said to look like sunglasses. American cockroaches like moisture and can thus be found in dark, damp places like sewers, woodpiles and compost outdoors and under sinks, and near bathtubs and toilets inside. They are attracted to lights and may fly into your home toward any lamps and other lights in or around your home. 

Smokybrown cockroaches are the other species of cockroach that are often referred to as palmetto bugs. Like American cockroaches, smoky-brown roaches are dark brown and have wings, but unlike American cockroaches, smokybrowns are uniform in color and are typically quite shiny in appearance. They are large in comparison to other cockroach species, but are typically a bit smaller than American cockroaches. 

So, no matter if your palmetto bugs turn out to be American cockroaches or smokybrown cockroaches, the concern for safety should be the same.  Because of the  host of microbes, bacteria and viruses they deposit around your home, plus the rate at which they reproduce, the responsible thing to do is get professional help as soon as possible.

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The creator of this review received compensation by RMICPA, LLC on behalf of Terminix®. This review is the opinion of its creator and its claims are not endorsed or evaluated by RMICPA, LLC.

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