Sneaky Ways You Might Be Attracting Palmetto Bugs To Your Home

Despite what many think, palmetto bugs are not their own species of cockroach. In fact, "palmetto bug" is another term for several species of cockroach, including the American cockroach, and refers to the roaches who enjoy living in climates that have palmetto plants and can thrive indoors and outdoors. Unfortunately for many, this means that when you see a large bug crawling across your kitchen floor, the chances of it being a palmetto bug are quite high. But they aren't coming inside for no reason — palmetto bugs are mainly attracted to water sources (another reason to get that leaky pipe fixed ASAP), but they will also come inside when the weather cools down to search for food and seek shelter in a dark place, like the pile of dirty clothes on your floor. 

No one wants to see palmetto bugs in their home, and while keeping a clean home is a great way to keep them away, even the most spotless house can attract a palmetto bug from time to time. To ensure your home is palmetto bug-free, pay attention to the sneaky ways you might be attracting them into your home and learn how you can get rid of them for good.

Why palmetto bugs keep finding their way inside your home

If you're looking to get rid of unwanted roaches or palmetto bugs, you need to first understand what is bringing them in. During colder months, palmetto bugs will venture inside to find warmth, as they thrive in temperatures between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. These large roaches will then stay if they find food sources (think crumbs in the kitchen) or a water source, such as a dripping faucet or humid basement. Many people will encounter their first palmetto bug in their bathtubs or kitchen sinks.

But just because it's hot outside doesn't mean you won't encounter one. While palmetto bugs prefer the humidity of the outdoors, your home can be pleasing to them any time of the year, especially if you are making one crucial mistake: keeping it cluttered. Since palmetto bugs seek out warmth and protection, they will often be attracted to homes or spaces that have clutter. If you have piles of clothes on the floor of your garage, you may be surprised to find a palmetto bug or two nestled inside. If you have a lot of clutter inside your home, palmetto bugs can use the mess to make a home and even lay eggs, creating a big problem for you as a homeowner.

How to keep palmetto bugs away

You shouldn't wait until you spot a palmetto bug to take action. In order to ensure palmetto bugs do not venture inside, you can do more than just keep a clutter-free home and fix your leaky faucet (but you should definitely do those things as soon as you can!). Palmetto bugs are not just waltzing through your front door like an uninvited in-law — they are sneaking in through cracks in the foundation, windows, or walls. Use caulk to seal up any of those entry points, even the tiny ones, to deter the roaches from getting inside.

If you have already spotted a palmetto bug or two, you may want to consider spraying boric acid, a natural insecticide, around the house. Another option is diatomaceous earth, which is a powder that will kill any roaches should they find a way inside. If you want to go even more natural, consider essential oils, like pine, peppermint, or lavender, which will ward off the roaches and prevent them from returning.