Big Brown Flying Cockroaches (aka Palmetto Bug) Prefer the Forest not Your Home


By Rick Orr 01/14/2023
Dead cockroach laying on floor
Most Palmetto Bugs found in the home are “belly up” – dead. They are forest insects and prefer the cool moist dark forest floor to your kitchen floor.

Palmetto Bugs

Those big brown cockroaches – AKA Palmetto Bug -  you see scurrying across the floor are forest insects. Sometimes while foraging for food and water in your landscape, they may wander into your home. And when they do, they can be very unsettling scurrying across the kitchen floor. The good news is they cannot survive in the dry home and will often die unless they escape back to their natural habitat.

Life and Times of the Brown Cockroach – aka Palmetto Bug

American cockroaches are also known as “water bugs" because they are commonly found near water sources. That is one reason you often find them in your kitchen and bathrooms, they are searching for water sources. They are nocturnal - they rest by day and search for food at night. Unfortunately, cockroaches forage through dirty areas and carry germs and bacteria into our homes. Their shed skin and waste products can contaminate food and trigger asthma, especially in children.

The Biology of the Florida Big Brown Cockroach

The American Cockroach [Periplaneta americana] is very common in the humid southern areas of the US and all of Florida. They are forest insects feeding on decaying organic matter. During their travels looking for food and water, they end up in your home. The good news is the American cockroach, also called the palmetto bug, does not nest or reproduce in your home – they are just passing through.

Control of the American Cockroach

The American cockroach is easily controlled by treating the outside of your home. A perimeter spray creates an invisible barrier all around the outside of your home and prevents bugs from entering your home. For the professional, this is an easy task with modern insecticides and equipment. For the DIY’er, this can be done with a backpack sprayer and an insecticide labeled for that use.

Rick Orr Owner-Operator APL Pest Control/Creator of ILOVETURF.COM
APL Pest Control

Since 1995, Rick Orr has worked in Pinellas County providing turf management and pest control. Rick Orr is a graduate of VA Tech in Agronomy (Turf Ecology) and the creator of

Since graduating from VA Tech in 1979, Rick worked in the green industry, mostly with golf courses, resorts, and large communities. Rick has obtained certifications in arboriculture, landscape contractor, and irrigation contractor, and taught Environmental Horticulture at St Petersburg College. 

Currently, Rick is the owner and operator of APL Pest Control. APL Pest Control provides lawn care and pest control for all of Pinellas County.

To learn more about APL Pest Control CLICK HERE

Free Price Quote from APL Pest Control for Home Pest Control and/or Lawn Care CLICK HERE

Find Rick on these social sites: