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livelaughlove21's avatar

Getting rid of Palmetto Bugs -- what else can I do?

Asked by livelaughlove21 (15083 points ) June 27th, 2011

If any of you live in or have ever frequented the Southeast US, you know what a Palmetto Bug is. For those of you that aren’t familiar, they are big, flying roaches on steroids that come out during the Summer mostly, when the weather changes or it rains, or really whenever they feel like it. They aren’t roaches that invade your house or come in because you keep a dirty home, leave food out, etc. They come in seeking water, cool air, or come in accidentally.

Now, I know that these things don’t sting or bite and, according to my sources, they’re more scared of me than I am of them (not likely), but I have a huge irrational fear of these things. I’ve never killed one because I refuse to get close enough to do that. They fly, they’re fast, and they gross me out. I can kill a spider or a beetle, but these things have me up on the couch screaming for someone to come kill this thing before I have a panic attack. It’s BAD.

I live with my boyfriend and since Summer weather has come in, we have been seeing them in our house. In the past month, we’ve seen about 7 live ones and 1 dead one. So, before I’m forced to move out becaue of bugs, I have to do something to get rid of them. Since they aren’t like regular roaches, this process is difficult.

I went out and bought the inside/outside pesticide and lined the perimeter of our house and the doors and the perimeter of the inside of the house. I also bought this powder that contains Boric acid and lined the baseboards and threw some under the stove and fridge. I haven’t seen a bug in the house since I did this last night (so far, so good), but I want to cover all of my bases.

I didn’t put the powder or pesticide in the rooms with carpet because I wasn’t sure if I could. Is there something I can use on the carpet to kill these disgusting things? I don’t want to use roach motels or sticky paper or anything like that, so I’m looking for alternatives. Also, is there anything we can put outside (other than spraying that stuff along the perimeter and entry ways), like maybe on the grass, that might keep these things away?

We’re working on covering all cracks that they could get through, but we aren’t finding any. We’ve seen them in every room of the house, so I have no clue how so many have gotten in. Has anyone successfully eliminated these bugs from their house? If so, please share your secret! I don’t get it…I know people that aren’t having an issue with them, but they seem to be swarming to our house this summer.

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15 Answers

LuckyGuy's avatar

i don’t mean to scare you but you need to go after them swiftly, decisively, and aggressively. They leave egg casings that contain 10–20 eggs If you only see one and let it go, that can be the one who deposits the eggs.
Buy an excessive number of roach hotels and deploy them.everywhere. It is better to go big for a short while than do it casually for a long time. Put out boric acid where you can – not near the traps.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@worriedguy Oh, I don’t just let them roam. I make sure they’re killed, just not by me. I haven’t seen any babies, so I think I’m safe for now. If I do start seeing them, roach motels it is.

Aster's avatar

OMG they’re in each and every apartment building in Texas. What I would do is go all the way around the house twice a month with a can of Raid. Or HotShot. Spray 3 feet out from the foundation. If they’re living in the walls, like a house we had in Colorado, only ripping out the walls of the kitchen works. Luckily, we had lots of them but were remodeling the kitchen and tore out the wall above the sink. They screamed, ran for the hills and we never saw them again. Of course, ripping walls off is a little radical.
Also, look underneath chairs. Their eggs look like little cotton balls.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@Aster Good to know what their eggs look like! I don’t think it’s gotten as bad as those apartments though—as far as the walls go. This isn’t the first time I’ve had this problem. They’re all over the place in my state.

JLeslie's avatar

Although I lived in FL for many years, I never had problems with Palmetto bugs. In NY we used to say it is never just one roach, it is the entire extended family. If it were me I would bomb the house with those fog cans. If you have any gas appliances in the house you must have all pilots out, in fact if you have gas in the house, probably don’t do this unless you really know what you are doing. People have had explosions. I used those fog cans in FL for other insect problems, and I thought they worked well. Or, call in a professional.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@JLeslie That’s the thing. Since they aren’t like the roaches that infest homes (no one has a palmetto bug infestation—that I know of, anyways), stuff like bombs don’t work. It may kill the ones that are already in the house, but the ones we see are getting in at night when a door is open. They don’t get in the cabinets and eat food or multiply like rabbits…like I said, they get in by accident. They don’t want to live there.

Normally I would say a roach is a roach and they’re all the same, but they’re really not. When I was a kid we had a roach problem when I lived up North. Palmetto bug issues down here are nothing like that. I know that no matter what I do, I’m still going to get the ocassional bug here and there. Almost everyone down here does. I just want to see about preventing new ones as much as I can.

JLeslie's avatar

@livelaughlove21 If you are sure it is one here andnthere that just crawled in, that happened to me when I moved into my last house in FL, I saw one towards the end of the day and freaked we might have Palmetto Bugs, but he had just crawled in bevause the door had been open all day, I never say another one the 4 years we liced there. Anyway, if it is just the occasional one crawling in you need to seal up wherever they get in, don’t leave doors open. Problem solved.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@JLeslie Yeah, simple as that. haha. But it’s finding any cracks/openings they’re using to get in. The doors used to be an issue, but I’ve gotten on my boyfriend about it and he hasn’t been leaving them open anymore. We’ve gone two nights with no bugs, so I’m hoping what we did was enough.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

How about using sticky traps? It isn’t the most humane way to go, but it helps.

JLeslie's avatar

If you see them in every room of the house, I don’t see why you think they are not living in your walls?

JLeslie's avatar

And, why is your boyfriend leaving doors open, that drives me crazy. If you have palmetto bugs I am assuming he is letting the air conditioning out. I hope he is at least near these doors left open. But, I digress.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@JLeslie Because we’d be seeing a whole lot more of them. The reason we’ve seen as many as we have is because:

1.) We live in a mobile home.
2.) We live near woods, which Palmetto Bugs love.
3.) We live behind someone that has a pool. In other words, moisture.
4.) It’s the southeast at the beginning of summer.
5.) It’s been VERY stormy lately.

Seeing them in every room just means that they can crawl.

As for the boyfriend…it drives me crazy too. He’ll go outside to his truck and leave the door open because he’ll “only be gone for a minute” or he’ll open the door to look outside randomly. Well, it only takes a second for a bug to crawl or fly through an open door. He doesn’t just leave it if he’s walking away and staying away, and he usually doesn’t leave it open for long, but like I said, it doesn’t take long for bugs to get in.

JLeslie's avatar

@livelaughlove21 I see. Well, I feel your pain, I would be reacting the same way you are. I hope you have been able to control it for now :).

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

That pretty much narrows it down to two choices: either the boyfriend changes his ways, or one of you moves out.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer He has changed his ways:

“The doors used to be an issue, but I’ve gotten on my boyfriend about it and he hasn’t been leaving them open anymore.”

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