American Cockroach: All You Need to Know for Effective Control and Prevention

The American cockroach, known scientifically as Periplaneta americana, is an invasive species that has spread throughout the world.

Originally from Africa, this cockroach has made its way into various countries, including the United States, thriving in areas like basements, sewers, steam tunnels, and drainage systems [1].

As it is a nuisance pest, it’s essential to know more about this insect to understand how to manage and prevent infestations in homes and other structures.

An overview of the American Cockroach

Some key characteristics of the American cockroach include:

  • Brownish-red color
  • Wings that cover their entire body length
  • Active mostly at night
  • Omnivorous, feeding on various food sources
  • Average size: 1.5 inches in length
  • Long antennae
  • 6 legs
  • Yellowish pronotum (the area behind the head)

To reproduce, the female American cockroaches deposit eggs in a bean-shaped protective case called an ootheca, which they usually place in a sheltered area near food sources.

Within each egg case, there can be up to 16 white or yellowish-white eggs [2]. In terms of size, American cockroaches are quite large for common household pests, measuring 1-2 inches in length.

By understanding the American cockroach’s life cycle, habits, and appearance, homeowners and pest control professionals can effectively manage and eliminate these unwelcome pests.

Life Cycle and Reproduction

The life cycle of the American cockroach consists of three stages – egg, nymph, and adult. Female cockroaches deposit their eggs in bean-shaped cases, called oothecae. These cases contain up to 16 white or yellowish-white eggs.

Life Span

The life span of an American cockroach varies, with different stages taking different amounts of time to complete. For example, the nymph stage may take 1 to 6 months, and the complete life cycle can last up to two years.

Common Behavior

American cockroaches are:

  • Nocturnal: Active during the night
  • Omnivorous: Feeding on various food sources
  • Attracted to damp, warm areas

They may emit a distinct odor when disturbed or threatened.

Habitat and Climate Preferences

American cockroaches favor tropical climates and can be found in:

  • Basements
  • Sewers
  • Steam tunnels
  • Drainage systems

Their preferred temperature is above 82°F.

Other Types of Cockroaches

Alongside the American cockroach, there are other common cockroach species:

SpeciesAppearance and Features
Oriental CockroachDark brown or black in color, 1 inch long, males have short wings, females have no wings.
German CockroachSmaller than American cockroach, light brown to tan color, with two dark stripes on the pronotum.
Brown-banded RoachDark brown with pale bands across the wings, prefers drier environments than other species.
Palmetto Bug from India

These species share similarities with the American cockroach but differ in appearance, behavior, and preferred habitats.

Preventing and Controlling Infestations

Signs of Infestation

  • Droppings: Small, dark, and cylindrical droppings found around your living spaces.
  • Egg casings: Brown, capsule-shaped structures that each contain 15 to 20 eggs.
  • Live sightings: Usually seen in dark, damp, and warm areas like basements or near steam pipes.

Preventing Infestations

Preventing American cockroach infestations involves:

  1. Cleaning: Regularly clean and sanitize your living spaces, especially the kitchen and bathroom.
  2. Eliminating food sources: Store food in sealed containers, clean up spills, and remove crumbs.
  3. Sealing entry points: Fill cracks, crevices, and gaps in walls, doors, and windows.
  4. Reducing moisture: Repair leaky pipes and use a dehumidifier in damp areas.

Treatment Methods

There are various treatment methods for controlling American cockroach infestations:

  • Traps: Sticky traps help monitor and capture roaches.
  • Baits: Gel baits, bait stations, and granular baits attract and poison cockroaches.
  • Sprays: Residual insecticide sprays create a barrier that kills roaches on contact.
  • Pesticides: Chemical pesticides should be used as a last resort and applied by professionals.

Some natural predators like the Ensign Wasp, that helps in controlling their population by taking down cockroach eggs.

Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Pest Control

If you prefer to tackle the problem yourself, consider these DIY methods:

  1. Boric acid: A natural and effective insecticide that targets cockroaches in clean, dry areas1.
  2. Diatomaceous earth: A non-toxic powder that can be applied to infested areas.
  3. Over-the-counter insecticides: In this case, use the insecticide with caution and follow the product’s instructions.

However, if the infestation is too severe or you’re unsure about the best approach, it may be necessary to consult a pest control professional.

Health Concerns Related to American Cockroaches

Asthma, Allergies, and Reactions

American cockroach infestations can lead to several health problems, especially for those who have asthma or allergies.

Cockroach allergens are proteins found in their feces, saliva, and body parts. These allergens can trigger:

  • Asthma attacks: Cockroach-infested areas may worsen asthma symptoms, particularly in children.
  • Allergic reactions: Some people experience skin rashes, nasal congestion, and eye irritation upon exposure to cockroach allergens.

Bacterial Contamination

Cockroaches can carry harmful bacteria, such as salmonella, staphylococcus and streptococcus on their bodies. They can spread these bacteria by crawling on food, countertops, and other surfaces. Common areas for contamination include:

  • Kitchens: Counters, sinks, and food storage areas are susceptible to contamination.
  • Bathrooms: Contact with bathroom surfaces and sinks can spread bacteria.
  • Restaurants: Cockroach-infested restaurants pose a significant risk to public health.

Contaminated surfaces can lead to foodborne illnesses and infections.

Washing hands, keeping a clean environment, and controlling pest populations can help prevent bacterial contamination.

Cockroach Bites

Although rare, American cockroaches can bite humans, particularly during infestations. A bite may cause symptoms ranging from mild to severe, such as:

  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • Pain or discomfort

Controlling American cockroach populations is essential for maintaining a healthy living environment. It helps prevent asthma and allergy issues, bacterial contamination, and potential bites.

American Cockroach’s Natural Environment and Distribution


American cockroaches are actually not native to America. They originated in Africa and were later introduced to the Americas.

Geographical Range

American cockroach populations can now be found in various parts of the world. They are primarily distributed in tropical and subtropical climates, thriving in spaces like:

  • Sewers
  • Crawl spaces
  • Drains
  • Basements
  • Bathrooms

They thrive on smooth surfaces, such as glass, and can climb vertical surfaces. Small openings (about 1/16 inch) in the foundation and walls of buildings allow them to enter the structure.


The American cockroach, an invasive species from Africa, is now found globally. Active at night, it thrives in basements, sewers, and drains.

Prevent infestations with proper cleaning and sealing, or consult pest control professionals.

Beware of health risks like asthma triggers, bacterial contamination, and rare bites. Stay vigilant to maintain a healthy living environment.


  1. ( 2

American Cockroach- Readers’ Mail

Over the years, has received hundreds of letters and images asking us about American cockroaches. Scroll down to have a look at some of them.

Letter 1 – Reported Palmetto Bug Bite

Subject: palmetto bugs DO BITE
Location: Metro Atlanta
July 11, 2013 7:40 am
Hi Mr. Bugmann,
Last night I picked up a Palmetto looking bug, on my way to feed it to my Dragon Lizard, It clamped down on my finger. I did an Indian war dance and shook it off my finger to find blood dripping from it.

My wife tracked it down and smacked it with a flip flop fly swatter. I went to inspect to see what it chomped down on me with, Well then I heard the toilet flush, My wife wanted to make sure it didn’t wake up and attack again.

Anyway, Once I got the blood to stop I tried to find other occurrences with others. No luck. I was once bitten by a scorpion by its claw with a similar result.
Signature: Champ

Palmetto Bug Bite
Palmetto Bug Bite

Hi Champ,
Palmetto Bugs are a pretty name for the American Cockroach, actually a species believed to have been imported to the new world from Africa via slave ships.  Way back in 2003, we reported that Palmetto Bugs do not bite, but the spines on their legs might break the skin.  If your experience is accurate, it appears we may have been wrong ten years ago.

Palmetto Bug from India
Palmetto Bug from India from our archives

I’ll try to get a photo if I see another one so we know for comparing apples and apples. By the way have you ever heard the song “big cockroach” back Kip Adonna?

We have not heard of the song but we did locate this by Kip Addotta on Song Meanings.

Letter 2 – Unnecessary Slaughter of an American Cockroach or Pondering the Meaning of Life!!!

Cockroaches will definetly outlive humans.
I found a large American Cockroach in my bedroom, as they tend to freak me out, I grabbed a large knife from my dresser and sliced it alongside the upper abdomen. Both parts continued to move.

It laid still for a moment, but when I went to pick it up, the body made a run for it. It ran about 5 feet and stopped. I picked it up again and put it on my dresser, with the head.

The head was moving it’s mouth and little mandible things quickly, it looked very mad. I took pictures of it, and a video so I could prove it was still moving. Then I started to feel bad for it and cut it’s head from it’s abdomen, thinking that would surely do it in.

Of course it didn’t, because apparently the brain doesn’t have much to do with it. I packed it into a plastic bag, went on the internet to investigate (make sure it was really a cockroach). I found your site. Now, I read the cockroach page, the unnecessary carnage page, and the bug love page.

I felt much worse for killing it. Then I got up to get a soda, walking past the plastic bag I noticed the one of the cockroach’s legs is still moving. It’s been at least 30 minutes now since I first killed it. Is this normal?

I think I may have some super cockroach strain. I know the praying mantis males compulate without their heads, but how long can an insect go without a head?

Hi Patrick,
I’m not sure I can answer your question accurately. Death of the Cockroach is imminent. The exact moment of death in any being is definitely a hot topic worth debating, and science and religion are often at odds. Chickens run about without heads but that is usually a matter of seconds or minutes at most. I think the Cockroach accomplished quite a feat by provoking both your sorrow, your pondering and your subsequent webwearch. We believe much of what you observed was reflex reaction. Our question to you is “What is a large knife doing on your bedroom dresser?”

Update (02/06/2006)
Hey Guys!
This is just a comment for the carny page. The decapetated roach that was still moving after 30 mins is quite normal. I read once that a roach is able to live for 7 days without a head and will thus eventually die of hunger.

This was proven with a test I did, my headless roach lasted 5 days. I think the 30 min roach didn’t make it for that long cause of the fact that the knife took more that just the head. I’ll see if I can find the articel for you again. Nways, Great Site! Love it!
Hardus Swanepoel

Letter 3 – American Cockroach

Subject: What is this please?
Location: Southern California
January 9, 2017 1:28 am
Dear Bugman, I live in monrovia hills which is in southern calif. In the last week I have encountered two of these bugs indoors on the floor in 2 separate bedrooms. Their torso are about 2 inches long and by the photo it appears the wings are about the same .

One actually aggressively jumped on me and I had to keep swatting it away. I have been in my home 20 years and living in the hills I have encountered my share of insects from millipedes , scorpion, Jerusalem bugs, black widows etc. Neverthess despite exhaustive research I cannot identify this insect and wonder if you can help me.

Identifying it hopefully will help me discover where they are coming from and how I can prevent them from infesting my home. Your help would be greatly appreciated . Many thanks
Signature: Erin

American Cockroach

Dear Erin,
We believe this Cockroach, based on its appearance and the size and behavior you described, is an American Cockroach,
Periplaneta americana, which despite its name is NOT a native species.  According to BugGuide:  “They are significant pests throughout the world. They are not native to the Americas at all. They come from tropical Africa. They were probably transported to the Americas on slave ships.”  Because of their large size, American Cockroaches are not as likely to infest homes as the much smaller German Cockroach, and we suspect the two you found were most likely accidental visitors as opposed to breeding individuals that have taken up residence in your home.

Letter 4 – American Cockroach

Subject:  Huge bug
Geographic location of the bug:  Indiana
Date: 11/09/2017
Time: 10:10 PM EDT
Was sitting in my sons hospital room when this strange bug flew in and landed on the wall. It was between 1-2 inches long and scary!
How you want your letter signed:  Concerned mom !

American Cockroach

Dear Concerned mom,
Many people are surprised to learn that the American Cockroach can fly.  Here is a BugGuide image for comparison.

Letter 5 – Wood Cockroach: Drowned in the Fountain

nocturnal brown flying insect
July 21, 2009
Dear Mr. Bugman,
I hopelessly freaked out by bugs! Just last night, I saw a few of these bugs flying around my backyard. When they land they scurry around quickly like cockroaches but then take flight. The one photographed drowned in my waterfountain (oopsie). Can you please tell me what it is?
Buggin’ out
Fontana, CA (So. Cal)

American Cockroach
Wood Cockroach

Dear Buggin’ out,
These are American Cockroaches, Periplaneta americana, which is something of a misnomer since according to BugGuide:  “They are significant pests throughout the world. They are not native to the Americas at all. They come from tropical Africa. They were probably transported to the Americas on slave ships.”
BugGuide also has this to report:  “Adults have wings and will occasionally fly. However, they are awkward fliers and prefer to run when disturbed. Males and females are about the same size and look very similar. Both have a pair of cerci, finger-like appendages, at the tips of their abdomens. The cerci are used to detect air currents in the cockroach’s surroundings. Male cockroaches have an additional set of appendages called styli on their abdomens. The styli are located between the cerci but are smaller and more delicate. The presence of styli is the easiest way to distinguish male from female cockroaches. Immature American cockroaches resemble adults, except they are wingless. The American cockroach egg capsules are mahogany brown and about 1/3 inch long.”

American Cockroach
Wood Cockroach

Correction:  Wood Cockroach
March 14, 2010
This is not the American cockroach (Periplaneta americana), but rather a male of the native wood cockroach (Parcoblatta; most likely P. americana.) They are not pests, and cannot live inside houses.
Piotr Naskrecki

Letter 6 – American Cockroaches

A few days ago I had a very uncomfortable experience with what I now think was an American cockroach. It seemed to me to be about two inches long and an inch wide and very shiny. And very aggressive! It boldly scurried up to me two times, both times I shooed it away.

Then it actually followed me aggressively as I backed away from it. I didn’t want to step on it – too yucky. I just wanted to get away form it. I finally kicked away and it hit a wall and ended up on it’s back. I had a good look at it and it really was huge. I’d never seen a roach like this before. This all took place in a washroom in a train station.

I found the experience unnerving. I’ve never known cockroaches to actually chase after people. I know it sounds laughable, but it’s true – the damn thing actually chased me! > >Is this normal for American cockroaches? Or I am now some kind of roach-magnet?
thanks ……… Terrified in Toronto

Dear Terrified in Toronto,
Roaches are not aggressive in the manner you described. I doubt that it was attacking you. More
likely, it was seeking shelter in your shadow. They do like dark places you know. Rest assured you are not a roach magnet. It does sound like an American Cockroach, which get very large and often frequent bathrooms. We have big ones in the basement bathrooms and darkroom of a college where I teach in Los Angeles.

Letter 7 – Central American Cockroach

Unknown cockroach species
Hi, Bugman!
I love your site! Fascinating and one of my most frequent references. I wish there were a Bug Guide type site for Central America because that’s where I live and find my little beauties. I did send you one photo of a strange new cockroach, but haven’t heard anything from you.

Is this because cockroaches are just too boring (not to me!) or because you can’t find a reference. Because of the transparent shield (part of the oddly shaped pronotum) over the head of the cockroad, the creature reminds me of a space man or astronaut.

If you can’t ID it, can you suggest some reference sites on the web? I live in an isolated area and there are no libraries or book stores or universities within at least a day’s travel, so I depend on the Internet. Thanks for any help. I’m attaching several more photos of this roach just in case the first one got lost.
Mary Thorman

Hi Mary,
Sorry to have been negligent. We can’t even recall seeing your previous images, so they might be in the jumble of letters that is clogging up our in box. Sadly, we cannot recommend any good sources online for your question, nor do we recognize your species. It is difficult enough to identify “flashy” exotic species like butterflies in less traveled parts of the world. Your Cockroach is indeed fascinating. Good luck putting a name to it. Eric Eaton quickly wrote in with this information: ” The cockroach is something in the Blaberinae, maybe even a Blaberus sp, but probably a related genus.”

Letter 8 – Suicide Attacker: American Cockroach

Dear What’s that Bug?
Last night, as I was preparing to bicycle over to a friend’s house, I noticed that my chain had fallen off. When I bent down to reattach it to the gear ring, I noticed this little feller, quite dead, resting on my derailer cables.

I enjoyed keeping him on my bike for a few miles, as bugs are the only hitchhikers a cyclist can really pick up. I was charmed to have a rider, despite his deadness.

When I brought my bicycle into my friend’s home, it was time for my rider to leave (not polite to bring cockroaches into a home, even if they aren’t breathing), and I ripped a page from a nearby phone book and prepared a makeshift coffin. It was only later that I wondered about the connection between my chain falling off and the presence of the bug.

Could there possibly be a cause and effect at work here? Was this cockroach some sort of suicide attacker, hoping my chain problem would cause me to have an incident? Can bugs be devious? Are there any cockroaches in Al Queda? Should I call Homeland Security? Please advise.
Another paranoid American.

Dear Paranoid American,
While I would like to assure you that this was just a random event, ask any homemaker, and you will be assured that Cockroaches are indeed devious, well-organized and capable of planning strategies. What is most disturbing about your hypothesis is that appears to be an American Cockroach,
Periplaneta americana, a non-native immigrant despite its name. If there is an Al Queda connection, it would be frightening to think that we may soon be on high alert against six legged foes. This is way too big for What’s That Bug? to handle and most assuredly a job for the leader of the Free World.


  • Bugman

    Bugman aka Daniel Marlos has been identifying bugs since 1999. is his passion project and it has helped millions of readers identify the bug that has been bugging them for over two decades. You can reach out to him through our Contact Page.

    View all posts
  • Piyushi Dhir

    Piyushi is a nature lover, blogger and traveler at heart. She lives in beautiful Canada with her family. Piyushi is an animal lover and loves to write about all creatures.

    View all posts

30 thoughts on “American Cockroach: All You Need to Know for Effective Control and Prevention”

  1. This is not the American cockroach (Periplaneta americana), but rather a male of the native wood cockroach (Parcoblatta; most likely P. americana.) They are not pests, and cannot live inside houses.

  2. This is NOT a blaptica dubia male.If you’d like,I can post pictures of some males I have.I am a long time breeder of B.Dubias and they do not look like this roach at all.Not sure what this roach is,but for sure it is not a blaptica dubia.

  3. My advise would to research information about the species of roaches in your state/country.One way I can tell besides the obvious looks of it that it isnt a B.Dubia is that its climbing a smooth surface….Dubias cannot climb smooth surfaces.Good luck!You have an interesting find there!

  4. I grew up in Houston, where swarms of these lovelies would leave the sewer systems on summer nights and gather by the hundreds under the glow of the streetlamps. I once heard a loud, “Crunch, crunch, crunch,” from across the living room, late one night. I scooted over to check it out, and there was a giant roach, crunching down on its midnight snack of ruffled potato chip. Yeah. I believe it could deliver a pretty good bite to a finger. I learned not to watch TV while lying on the floor, and I learned not to walk outside barefooted at night, either. The Kip Addotta song was probably written about the potato-chip-eating-bug from Houston.

  5. very interesting although i wonder if they would only bite if they were being picked up or provoked and not just landing on people to bite them of course having roaches in your bed nibbling on you would be no picnic either 😉

    • I woke last night because i felt something crawling on my face. I was scare because i thought it was a spider. I squished it with pillow jumped and turn the lights on and it was a palmetto bug. Omg. I almost flipped out. I went pick it up with a papertowel and it was still alive a tried to get away. I thought i was gojng to have a heart attack lol. Because im afraid of bugs. But i smashed it on the wall and it made a crunching sound so i knew it was dead then. I picked it up and flush it down the toilet. I think i will sleep with tv light on tonight. Lol

  6. This bug is my biggest fear. I literally go in to fits if one gets near me. I live in central Georgia and our house is old they are everywhere. My son chases me with them. Ugh I wish I lived in a bubble.

  7. Palmetto bugs DO bite! I live in Atlanta and last night while in my kitchen I felt something crawling up the back of my arm. I quickly knocked it off and starting jumping and screaming when I saw that it was a Palmetto bug (one of the smaller ones that looks like a beetle). I couldn’t believe that thing was crawling on me!!! The back of my arm starting itching so I went to look at it in the bathroom and sure enough I had swelling, redness, and pain similar to that of a large mosquito bite! UGGH! I could not believe it!!! How nasty is that, ughh!!! I HATE those bugs! I had itching and hives on my back and right leg about 10 minutes later as well and had to take a bendadryl! Then I remembered years ago when I had blood work for allergy testing the results came back that I was allergic to a lot of things including cock roaches (along with a lot of other things like feathers and grass, etc) I couldn’t believe that. I Iive in a pretty nice apartment and we do not have roaches but these palmetto bugs get in from time to time and I hate them!!!

  8. Roaches, including palmetto bugs, do bite. Hence the cases of child neglect cases where the homes are infested & the children, especially infants, are covered in bites. I live in charleston and we have those dreaded palmetto bugs. I have seen one latch on to a friends shirt, not by those sticky prickly legs, but by mouth. It was horrifying to say the least.. friend has been in the mental hospital ever since, about 5 yrs now.. (ok, that part is a joke, but she is still very much affected by that incident & is obsessively afraid of them now)

  9. I have been trying to track down what type of bite I have-it looks just like the one pictured! Small red with that black thing in the middle-think it was a palmetto bug-tis not biting needs to be restudied! I have been putting alcohol on the bite and corizone. Seems to be shrinking and less red. Never has hurt-did not even know it was there til I saw it-any advice-please! Thank you!

    • The bite you describe sounds like a puncture wound, not the type of bite one would get from a Palmetto Bug which has mandibles. Our advice if you are concerned is to see a health care provider.

  10. Thanks to those who tried to id this critter. To me it looks like Darth Vader, so I call it the Darth Vader roach. It does have the incredible ability to not only climb glass, but to almost “sucker” to a surface so that it is hard to remove. I’ve never seen a cockroach that can do this before. It is a bit wider and a bit shorter than a standard Australian cockroach. I have tried all sites for Latin America and for Costa Rica and Panama in particular, but have found nothing. I will post a few more macro photos of a specimen I found sleeping under my washing machine lid yesterday morning. Maybe the detail will help identification.

    • Hi Mary,
      If you want to post additional images, you should submit them using the Ask What’s That Bug? link on our site. Maybe a new posting with a link to this posting will inspire one of our readers to search the World Wide Web for a proper identification.

  11. Palmetto bugs, do infact, bite. I’ve been woken from a deep sleep while staying on the beach in Fl. By a bite. It wasn’t the spiny legs, either. I am deathly afraid of these assholes and recently jumped out of a moving vehicle when a German cockroach ran across the dashboard.

    • We are no longer disputing the possibility that a Palmetto Bug might bite, though this posting describes a “Palmetto looking bug” which, since there is no image to prove its identity, might actually be a Root Borer in the genus Prionus, a group with very powerful mandibles that could definitely draw blood. The hysterical fear of being bitten by a basically harmless creature and the subsequent action “jumped out of a moving vehicle” seems far more dangerous to us. Many creatures will bite if provoked, but that is not typical behavior for most insects, exempting of course blood suckers like flies and mosquitoes that definitely target humans as food.

  12. These nasty palmetto bugs terrify me. I was a bouncer in several night clubs and fought for entertainment and I am not at all ashamed to say that these bugs creep me out in every way possible. Several times now I have been awoken by these creatures craelung on me while I slept. I don’t know about the biting and I don’t want to know. God has a purpose for everything, but forgive me Lord, I have to question this one! No offense to entomologists everywhere, but your job takes a “special” kind of weird to actually want to play with and study bugs. I don’t think I’d fight an entomoligist. Who knows what “secret weapon” they may have in a little container! Kudos to you all. Yes, I’m a big, 6’2″ 250 lbs baby when it comes to bugs!

  13. ALOHA FROM HAWAI’I!!! I came across your site after googling Palmetto Bugs. OMG!!! Like many of the others, I’m completely terrified of any cockroach…but especially the HUGE flying Hawai’ian (American) Cockroach which I guess Southerner’s call a Palmetto Bug. Call it what you may, but a roach on the floor or ceiling is nasty in itself, but that 2″ shitface at eye level is absolutely INSANE!! I have actually fallen down running away from them. When they land on me, I feel like I’m going to have a heart attack and I always was told they bite…so this is worse yet!!! I can hear them fluttering their disgusting wings and I almost passed out one evening while I was cornered in my shower, being held hostage for over 30 minutes because I was scared motionless, knowing if I ran, it would land on my body and for sure eat me!! Lol! Honestly, I would have doused myself in bleach if that happened. Here, I swear, they go on full attack mode. No matter what I have tried, nothing has taken my fear and anxiety away, when it comes to cockroaches. There’s nothing else in this entire world, that freaks me out as much as roaches. Just seeing images of them makes my skin crawl. I paid my daughter $5 (cuz I didn’t have a 20!!) to pick a dead one up with a paper towel…I see absolutely nothing positive or meaningful about them, other than scaring the shit out of a grown ass human which is funny to watch…but not experience.

  14. When I was a child in Miami, FL, way back in the 1960’s we had jalousie windows and no air conditioning. I woke one night in terror with something biting me on the big toe… I screamed and my mom came in and flipped the light on and there it was looking at me… a HUGE Palmetto bug!!! I shrieked and flailed and cried and hid under the covers as it flew wildly around the room with my mom batting at it with a rolled up newspaper or something… I was traumatized and have been terrified of them ever since…. THEY DO BITE!

  15. Yes Palmetto bugs do bite….. One flew under my pajama top last night and it took me a few seconds to get it off me. After a sleepless night, I found a small red mark the size of a dime with a darker red dot (almost black) in the middle of it, where the creature had landed on my skin. I remember it pinching slightly, but at the time was only interested in getting if off me. They bite!

  16. I put my shoes on and got in my car to go to town. Not even out of the driveway I felt something stabbing my toe. Took off my shoe to find a palmetto bug partially squished. That’s the last time I leave my shoes outside.


Leave a Comment