How To Get Rid of Palmetto Bugs: Tips and Tricks

Besides being nuisance pests, palmetto bugs can pose significant health risks to you and your family, especially by contaminating food or coming in contact with food preparation areas. Not only this, but their strong, musty odor can trigger allergies and asthma attacks. Let’s look at how to get rid of palmetto bugs.

How To Get Rid of Palmetto Bugs

How To Get Rid of Palmetto Bugs

While these pesky critters do not bite or cause immediate harm, overlooking an infestation can expose you to numerous harmful pathogens, which can cause diseases like salmonella, E. coli, and staphylococcus.

Accordingly, that renders crucial to take immediate measures to eliminate these pests. Following some tried and tested solutions with persistence and patience can help you get rid of palmetto bugs and keep them at bay for good. They are as follows:

Eliminate Common Attractants

In most cases, getting rid of palmetto bugs can be as simple as eliminating their primary attractions. Palmetto bugs are on the lookout for three things – food, water, and shelter. Any space that provides one or a combination of these can become a breeding ground for the pests. Making your space less appealing to these critters can significantly help in reducing their population.

Food Sources

Palmetto bugs have a relentless drive for all types of food. You must ensure that these pests do not have access to any food sources by:

  • Clean up crumbs and spills promptly, 
  • Wiping down kitchen counters with a disinfectant daily
  • Not leaving dirty dishes overnight in the sink
  • Storing all food in airtight containers
  • Emptying the garbage regularly
  • Sealing the trash bin with a tight-fitting lid overnight to block access to it
  • Not leaving the pet food bowl out in the open


Like all living organisms, palmetto bugs need water for survival. Therefore, they thrive in areas that provide dampness and moisture. Deter these pests by removing water sources like leaky pipes, drains, faucets, open containers, or stagnant water.


Palmetto bugs love messy and cluttered spaces as they serve as the perfect spot to hide and nest. Accordingly, decluttering your space by discarding piles of papers, magazines, and old boxes can be a strong defense against these critters.

Prevent Access

How To Get Rid of Palmetto Bugs

While palmetto bugs typically live outdoors, these insects will set up shop indoors if given access. With their flexible exoskeletons, palmetto bugs are able to fit into tiny gaps and holes and make their way inside. 

Accordingly, block their entry points by sealing up cracks and crevices in your property’s foundation, doors, windows, and baseboards using materials like caulk and copper mesh. Also, seal any openings around the utility openings and replace worn door sweeps.

Use Natural and Homemade Remedies

Several natural, homemade remedies can help with palmetto bug control. These include:

Diatomaceous Earth

Applying food-grade diatomaceous earth can kill palmetto bugs by dehydrating them. Spread this abrasive powder where you witness palmetto bug activity while ensuring that the area is dry and the powder does not get washed away.

Boric Acid

With the correct application, boric acid can be a powerful natural method to eliminate Palmetto bugs. The pests succumb to the mineral instantly upon coming into contact with it or consuming it. You can also create a boric acid bait by combing it with sugar or flour.

Essential Oils


Essential oils can be viable palmetto bug deterrents due to their powerful aroma. Some of the best oils to repel roaches include peppermint, lavendar, eucalyptus, citronella, rosemary, oregano, and tea tree oil. Soak the oil in cotton patches and rub it over surfaces where palmetto bugs travel frequently.

Contact a Professional Pest Control Company

Palmetto bugs are highly resilient creatures. Often, the best elimination and prevention techniques can go in vain, especially if the infestation is widespread. In that scenario, tackling the issue is best left in the hands of pest management professionals who can suggest the appropriate palmetto bug control solution and eradicate the problem for good!