Brevard County, like the rest of Florida, is notorious for their nocturnal insects. Almost nationwide, their reputation for harboring large flying roaches is enough to make anyone’s skin crawl. They have made horror movies about such monstrosities. But they are a very real nuisance and carry harmful diseases. Commonly referred to as Palmetto bugs or even water bugs, are they really a type of roach?
It is hard to know what a person is referring to when they are calling a bug a palmetto or water bug, but it’s pretty safe to say that yes, it’s a roach. These highly adaptive creepy crawlies are said to be able to withstand nuclear fallout. They range in size and color in as many ways as you can imagine and they are all roaches. They may be found near water, but they are not aquatic insects. Roaches prefer warm and humid environments, but water bugs actually live on top of water. So you can mark them off your list the next time you see one in your bathroom tub or sink. It’s really a roach.
The name palmetto bug was actually given many years ago when settlers were harvesting the palm hearts for a food source. They would encounter these very large and sturdy cockroaches known as Florida Woods Roaches. They do not have wings and are actually pretty slow moving. They are a dark brown to reddish brown color and can grow to be around 1.5 inches long. These roaches almost have a glossy shine to them. They are known to have an offensive odor, especially when stepped on.
The flying large roaches most Floridians refer to as palmetto bugs are actually American Cockroaches. They are very fast, but are not palmetto bugs. They began being called as such when they were commonly found crawling up palmetto trees a common place for the real palmetto bugs. They have been known to cover parking lots and roads after heavy rains. But again, they are really roaches.
Whether you call them water bugs or palmettos, they are still roaches and can carry over 30 different diseases, bacteria, parasites and viruses. They are also known for triggering allergies and asthma symptoms. If you ever see one, there are likely more that you can’t see. Talk to your Brevard County pest control servicers for ways to eradicate and prevent infestations.