Gut Rumbles

August 25, 2005

palmetto bugs

Doesn't the term "Palmetto bug" sound sweet? Almost "cute?" Well, you can forget that shit right now. A palmetto bug is a giant fucking COCKROACH, about the size of a nice cigar butt and capable of flying, too.

I read this post about 'em and it send shivers up my spine. I came home from a night of playing guitar on River Street and went into my bathroom. I'll admit that I wasn't perfectly sober at the time. When I turned on the bathroom light, a saw a MONSTER palmetto bug crawing on the mirror.

I was gonna KILL that sumbitch.

I slipped off one of my shoes and took a swing at it. I missed. The damn thing flew off the mirror, hit me in the face and scared the shit out of me. We were in an immediate bug-tussle.

We went at it tooth and nail, with no quarter on either side. The palmetto bug was flying around the room, I was swinging at it with my shoe and things were getting hairy.

I ended up tearing down the shower curtain, breaking one end off the towel rack and putting one hell of a knot on my head when I fell into the bathtub, but I finally got that bastard. He crunched like fresh celery when I slammed my shoe on him.

I picked him up and flushed his broken body down the commode.

I won that war. But it was one hell of a battle. I looked like I had been in a pretty good bar-fight when it was over.

I HATE palmetto bugs.


"bug tussle"!!!

Posted by: beth on August 25, 2005 02:23 PM

Now if you'd'a had cats, it would have been only a dead palmetto bug you'd have found. The buggers don't last over fifteen minutes inside of my house.

"But then I'd have cats..." yeah yeah.

Posted by: Desert Cat on August 25, 2005 02:32 PM

Yep. And the gotdam things are like mice in a barn-if you manage to see just one that means you got a bunch of them. If you have a wood pile outside you got 'em and mulch around trees will hold the sumbitchs also. They don't seem to like pine needles or pine bark so thats what I use for mulch. Also spread and sweep in borax powder under the base boards and keep in behind the kitcher ranger and refrig. I hate the sumbitchs too. Palmetta bugs my buut-they ain't nothing but a fucking cockroach on steroids.

Posted by: GUYK on August 25, 2005 02:34 PM

My ceiling fan now operates on two blades thanks to those nasty sumbitches, me, and a broom.

Posted by: gravdigr on August 25, 2005 03:03 PM

Well, I have learned to not eat or drink before I sit down and read one of these posts. I am either so grossed out that I can't eat or laughing so damn hard that I spit my drink all over the computer screen, and that won't do at all...

Posted by: Kelly on August 25, 2005 03:16 PM

Ever seen one with those weirdly crinkled wings? It's the most disgusting sight. The fuckers also come in, any way they can, and climb on your ceiling... and FALL ON YOU while you SLEEP. Nothing bugs do irritates me more than that -- waking up with a spider crawling across your bare chest is worse than a roach, but only slightly.

Posted by: Adam Lawson on August 25, 2005 03:50 PM

With all of the rain we've had here lately in Savannah, the damn things have been EVERYWHERE! I hate em and I get a lot of joy out of beating them to death and screaming profanities. Palmetto bugs, my ass!

Posted by: Beth on August 25, 2005 04:07 PM

Another reason I live up here.

Posted by: Alaska Kim on August 25, 2005 04:18 PM

I remember as a child (in St. Cath., ON) there were these huge beetle-like bugs (sound similair to the Palmetto .. well they used to be burrowed in the grass in the early evening and when the sun went down they would fly around like blind bats and they had sticky wings and would get stuck in your hair. Now THAT was gross!

Posted by: Tamra on August 25, 2005 04:22 PM

One fun thing about the American cockroach ("Palmetto bug" is a euphemism intended to make them sound cute) is that it will bite you if you let it.

Cockroaches eat ANYTHING, and that includes people. I had one crawl up my leg and take a bite out of my thigh. It left a disgusting red bump.

The other thing about them that annoys me is that they're so big, you can hear them stomping around in your bedroom while you try to sleep.

And they poop all over the place, and if you have a lot of them, their urine and feces will make your house smell.

A good way to off them when they're in a spot where they're hard to mash is to use a cigarette lighter and some sort of flammable aerosol, like Lysol, that doesn't leave much residue. They don't see it coming. Even if the flame doesn't kill them, it messes them up so bad they can't figure out how to run away, so then you can take your time killing them.

The new Combat disks from Raid actually work. I know of no other roach product in the history of man that has had any effect whatsoever on roaches, so this is a big deal.

Posted by: Steve H. on August 25, 2005 04:54 PM

This story made me laugh outloud!

Posted by: Kim on August 25, 2005 05:02 PM

As bad as big cockroaches are, I think camel crickets are worse. Those sumbitches come out of the basement/crawlspace and hop around at night chewing on God knows what. The good thing is you barely have to hit one to dismember it. I can't ever seem to get rid of the sumbitches.

Posted by: knothead on August 25, 2005 05:15 PM

Lighting them on fire is fun, but seting your house on fire is a slight drawback to that.

Boric Acid powder is the best thing I have found to exterminate the little bastards. Just sprinkle it where they come in and run at and they pick it up on their legs and antenni they take it back to the nest and kills the colony.

If you chose to use a bug bomb be sure to extinguish all pilot lights in our house, it has a tendency to EXPLODE. I know from second hand experience.

Posted by: gravdigr on August 25, 2005 05:58 PM

It's enough to make you keep a gun filled with shot loads handy.....

Posted by: BobG on August 25, 2005 06:24 PM

....crunched like fresh celery.....

Oh my gawd.

Posted by: Trish on August 25, 2005 06:48 PM

You can hear them stomping around in your bedroom and they bite? *shudder*
I think I'd move north. Seriously.

Posted by: Alaska Kim on August 25, 2005 07:04 PM

We get 'roaches in the bush up here that are 2+ inches long. They look really nasty. They're called Macropanesthia rhinoceros.

I've had a division of them march into a campsite on more than one occasion , and had to wade through a carpet of 'em to get to a deadfall dunny.

Some of the aboriginals I've spoken too claim that they taste pretty good. Not something that I'm prepared to experiment with.

Posted by: efa on August 25, 2005 07:07 PM

We have some 'wonderful' insects in these part known as Maybugs which are similarly bloody minded bastards, but fortunately, they only (usually) come out to play once a year.

btw, Are you going to play with my meme I asked you about or what?

I will show you the 'cherry stalk trick' at some pont if you do ;)

Posted by: Misty on August 25, 2005 07:13 PM

You haven't lived (or damn near died) until you're flying down the highway on a bike and have a palmetto bug nail you in the forehead. I just about couldn't see to pull over.

Posted by: Ralph Gizzip on August 25, 2005 08:14 PM

I grew up in Wisconsin and remember Junebugs - big flying beetle-looking things. I don't believe that they were biting insects; just gross.

Out here in California when we lived in the country (in a eucalyptus grove which is the only place I've seen these) we had a lot of bugs which my ex called 'firebugs'. They have a long narrow orange-colored body and mosquito-type legs; when they bite, it burns - not a pleasant experience.

Posted by: Trish on August 25, 2005 08:26 PM

You can hear them stomping around in your bedroom and they bite? *shudder*
I think I'd move north. Seriously.

Alaska'd take a hell of a lot more than a Palmetto Bug (a.k.a. huge ass roach that can fly) to make any Southerner worth a damn to move north...Hell, every other week the Storm of the Century is heading straight toward us...and here we sit...eating boiled peanuts....

Posted by: Kellie on August 25, 2005 09:00 PM

A june bug is *nothing* next to a palmetto bug. The only thing more fearsome is a palo verde beetle, which looks very much like an up-armored and up-armed version of a palmetto bug.

Posted by: Desert Cat on August 25, 2005 11:55 PM

since y'all are so brave whwn it comes to dealing with these disgusting prehistoric monsters, maybe someone could come over to my house and remove the roach that i trapped under a plastic cup with a book on top three weeks ago because unlike rob, i can't psychologically deal with the celery-crunching sound they make when you crush them. eeeeew, (((shivers))). no joke, i'm afraid to pick it up. very skeevy.

Posted by: erica on August 25, 2005 11:58 PM

Give me 25 copperheads, I don't like bugs! Some people hurt themselfs getting away from a snake, Ha ! I'll break my neck to get away from a bug. call me a pussy. Murry


Posted by: Murry on August 26, 2005 01:51 AM

A real Southren' boy'll take off his shoe and squash 'em with his bare foot jist to hear 'em crack, heh, heh, heh. Also even better is to keep a couple of wolf spiders around. no-bugs-mi-lady there. That said I done damn near the same thing more then once, especially walking out my back door at night with the light behind me.

Posted by: emdfl on August 26, 2005 02:55 AM

as fate would have it, not ten minutes after i left my last comment, i discovered a HUGE unspecified-type bug with what appears to be claws nesting in the creases of a folded t-shirt i had put on the couch. i ahven't slept all night (check my time stamp). i'm exhausted.

Posted by: erica on August 26, 2005 04:24 AM

A couple months ago I killed about 24 of those bastids in and around my folk's home in Houston. In the course of about an hour. They weren't foraging, so I think the wimmen roaches were putting out their sex attractant.
The most satisfiying way to kill them is to wound them with a flyswatter, breaking wings and legs so they couldn't quite crawl away. Then I left them on their backs, near an ant hill. In 15 minutes they'd have little scout ants all over them, but the roaches couldn't kick hard enough to get away. After an hour, the bug's lower abdomen looked deflated, so I think the small ants crawl in through the ass and eat the roach out from the inside. If I could think of a worse roach torture, I'd do it. I'm glad I live in Colorado, where it's too dry for roaches, fleas and other nasty creatures to live.

Posted by: ispdrudge on August 26, 2005 05:20 AM

In my past life as Drummer for The Shakes Society we opened up for The Specials.
I watched one of there Roadies come flying out of the dressing room bathroom, at the Ritz Theatre in Ybor City Fl .
Nostrils flaring,
Pants down around his scrawny Pale legs and his eyes were white with fear.
He was screaming like Micheal Jackson at a Boys camp.
Cursing with rage he was screaming that the biggest bug he had met before was a house fly.
His Mates were merciless but also terrified at the size of the little bugger..
I stomped the bastard and told him it was a little one.The room full of drunken Musicians was laughing all night.
The funniest part is the guy was pierced and tattoed all over and I mean all over,Bloody Prince Albert and hes afraid witless over a fooking roach.
My theory is the same for terrorist scum .
Kill them all let God sort them out.
Cheers from another Palmetto hating Musician in the South...

Posted by: LC.IB NeilV on August 26, 2005 11:24 AM

Now THAT is hilarious!

Alaska KIm, I'll take a dozen palmetto bugs any day over the clouds of mosquitoes, gnats, midges and biting flies you have to deal with every June in AK.

Posted by: Desert Cat on August 26, 2005 05:03 PM

Sissy! At least where you live, it freezes sometimes, and knocks 'em back, a bit. Here in the just-recently-Katrina-wiped area, we have to put up with them all the time. You have to learn to talk to them, and explain that they shouldn't come out when the humans are up and about.

Posted by: Justthisguy on August 26, 2005 05:53 PM

Are you talking about mosquitoes? 'Cause the farther north you go, the worse they get. As a refugee from rural Minnesota, I would know. I hear tell that in Alaska, the swarms are capable of lifting a full grown bull moose off the ground and transporting it to their lair.

Posted by: Desert Cat on August 26, 2005 09:29 PM

Wow, I really hate roaches too!! I was up late and I saw one. Went to kill it and the stupid shit flew at me. It became my mission to destroy it. I started after it again and again with no success. Finally, I hammered it!! Only to have it spurt gross green guts all over. Damn, I did not know this shit stained carpet and clothes. Well, what ever. I am glad it is dead!!

Posted by: Ugot2loveit on August 30, 2005 12:49 AM

Oh My God I just moved to South Carolina-and today saw the biggest damn cockroach ever in my bathroom. As I was picking it up off the floor (thank God it was dead) something caught my eye in the mirror and an even larger one was on the wall --alive!!!
I got it into the bathtub and sprayed water on it--that thing was fast!!! Finally I got it into the drain and closed it up. 8 hours later I opened the drain and out walks that damn cockroach---once again I sprayed him into the drain. I will be travelling for about a month and I can't wait to see if he is still alive when I get back!!!

Posted by: Barb on September 1, 2005 07:35 PM

Yea i just moved to Savannah from NY and these things freak the hell out of me! I was asleep and this damn thing woke me up at 430am munching away on some boxes in my bedroom. I fliped out! went to get my hammer and by the time i got back it was already on the other side of the apartment! mr. craftsman showed him who was boss. Ive found about 4 or 5 since ive been here and the people at work tell me to wait till the spring....where's my gun at?

Posted by: chris on September 4, 2005 10:09 PM

I was going to go to the bathroom at about 2am and noticed a big fuckin' palmetto bug crawling towards my roommates' bedroom. I ran to the bathroom grabbed the trash can and smashed it down as hard as I could on the motherfucker warping the can as I did it. Feeling pretty confident that I had saved my roommates I grabbed some napkins and lifted the trash can so I could pick up the surely dead roach. As soon as I reach for it, it popped up and ran towards me, so without thinking, I reached for the can and slammed it on top of it again. I sat in my room staring out into the hallway at the trash can that was hopefully still over the bug. I pressed down as hard as I could and when I lifted the thing up the abdomen was smashed and it appeared to be dead. Deciding to wait for a better time to vacuum the sucker up, I barricaded my room and put the can back on top of it for good measure, clearly I have not bee able to sleep, so I thought, okay now I'll just get the fuckin' thing out of my house so I picked up the trash can and the god damn thing seemed right as rain! It's still there. I hate them.

Posted by: Dan on August 26, 2006 08:14 AM

I knew it!! Palmetto bugs ARE cockroaches!!! EEEWW I've lived in Western Mass my whole life up until October when I moved down here to SWFL...THOSE DAMN BUGS ARE 'EFFIN ROTTEN!!! My Mom's a clean freak and we still get them....there was one inside the coffee pot just chillin this morning YUCK! SO much for the extermination performed last week...anyone have tips on how to get rid of them or at least keep them to a minimum???

Posted by: Buttercupeyez on May 21, 2007 06:49 PM

I remember it well. All of 6 years of age and a mere 40lbs. of a child. I went to the kitchen of our Margate home to get some water. Walking, in the dark, feeling so fearless and courageous, I stepped through the living room, on my way to thirst-quenching tap water. And then, the horrifiying squish beneath my un-shoed left foot. I'll never forget it. You could actually hear the exo-skeleton snapping under my tender foot. The guts and puss of the ill-fated vermin under my skin. The wings flapping in the last throws of death. Oh, the horrors.

Some 34 years later, and I still remember it like it was yesterday.

Posted by: former southern gal on August 23, 2007 01:31 AM

I have em too! Learned about a receipt to get rid of them - mix 2 tablespoons ea. of white powder sugar and baking soda. I cut a paper towel into squares 2" x 2" and put the mixture on the squares and placed them around in the kitchen and bathroom cabinets. You'll know the palmetto bugs have been in the mixture b/c the second they eat it they poop right on the spot. So, you'll see a black speck or two when they get into it. After they eat the mixture I find them in different places in the house lying on their backs. They crawl off a good distance from the spot before dying. Just wish there was something to get rid of them completely so I wouldn't have to see them. The sprays don't kill them.

Posted by: Linda on April 15, 2008 01:35 PM

...Oh the greatly feared palmetto bug... or at least for me...

I live in south miami so these bugs are every no matter what time of day or regaurdless of the weather. I think i personally have a roach fan club where they all meet up just to worship me. I mean..they follow me where ever i go so they must adore me. I can picture them all lifting wieghts and smoking cigarettes while building a shrine for me.

There have been many times i've seen them and came into contact with them but one time sticks out the most. it's friday night and i'm working as a waitress in an itallian restaurant. One of my regulars that i have a crush on comes in for dinner with his friend who is mentally handicap. I go to take thier order and...holey fucking shit..there is a 11/2 inch roach on the handicap dudes shoulder. The restaraunt is packed. every table is full, but still i ran the fuck away. i couldn't say anything to the guy. i couldn't get anywords out.

My boss makes me go back to the table to take thier order. Well, what happens... the mother fucker flies right at me, so what do i do...."FUCK!!!!" As loud as ever in the middle of the restaurant. I ran screaming my way to the kitchen. The roach however felt right at home under the next table of completely calm people. I actually told the costumers to just go home because that shit ain't right. and they still continued eating!!!

...What the hell!!?? FYI.. I am moving out of florida. to be at peace with my horrible phobia. The fan club will have to suffer.

Posted by: Emily M. on October 25, 2008 10:08 PM

i just moved to atlanta about a month ago and found a dead palmetto bug in my bedroom. does anyone know how to get rid of them? i put boric acid in the perimeter of my apartment. then i sprayed as much i could. i did this about two weeks ago..and i thought i would stop seeing bugs. im scared. i couldnt sleep last night. tonight i wont sleep either...thank god im going home tomorrow (up in the northeast)..i can sleep then...(btw, i am so scared of bugs that i would rather see a 1000 ghosts and be haunted every night then to deal with this)

Posted by: sleepless nights on October 30, 2008 07:11 PM

I don't know why but mine are not affraid of light. I went into my spare bathroom the othernight and flipped on the light and counted 8 PB just hanging out in the sink around the toilet and in the shower....ewwwwww I think they are getting in thru my dog door! I killed one in my master bathroom this morning and 2 in the hallway last night but I refuse to go into a room with 8 of them because I could never kill them all and I fear they would swarm me.... I have a dog and cat so i am worried about chemicals but I will not let anyone come over to my house because i think they will think I am nasty for having PB (roaches)

Posted by: Abby in P-cola on April 27, 2009 11:51 AM

I live in So Fla, so I know all about PBs. I just flushed one down the toilet not 20 mins ago! I never crush them...I actually feel kind of bad for the little dudes, and the noise is SO not appealing. I found that trapping them in a cup and sliding a piece of paper under the cup to carry the bug to the toilet works just fine. But hearing about everyone's phobia, trapping the bug so close to you and carrying it around might NOT be what you want me to suggest haha. They're really not so bad though...they are very large and they do fly, but they don't harm you. And really, they're so much smaller than us! The only thing that really bothers me about them is their legs. I WISH THEY WEREN'T SO...FAST. They upset me when I leave the room to find a cup and come back to a missing bug. I feel uncomfortable until I find the thing, because I don't like surprises and it would be one HELL of a surprise to have a PB crawling up your back while sitting on the toilet. Good luck fighting the giants!

Posted by: An on February 25, 2010 01:43 AM
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