If you live in the Southeast, chances are high that you’ve had an encounter with a roach or “Palmetto bug,” as they’re often called. In nature, roaches help recycle organic material; however, they can also contaminate food and spread disease if they infiltrate your home.
While there are over 70 identified roach species within the US, there are four main types that we deal with in our region:
- German roach
- American roach
- Smokybrown roach
- Asian roach
The term Palmetto bug is often used to refer to larger species like American or smokybrown roaches, though it is not a scientific name.
Outdoors, roaches live in damp, warm areas such as mulch piles and garden beds. The inside of your home is an ideal environment for a roach, as it provides warmth, water, food and plenty of nesting sites. Once inside your home, roaches can reproduce very quickly and remain active year-round.
Roaches can enter houses in a variety of ways: through vents, sewer and drainpipes or cracks and crevices. They can even be carried inside on boxes, grocery bags or luggage.
Roaches often breed and travel in sewer systems and forage in waste sites for food and water. If they make their way into your home, they can transmit bacteria and disease by contaminating the food in your pantry and cupboards.
Additionally, roaches leave behind droppings and dead skin shells that can negatively affect the air quality in your home and aggravate allergies.