"P" is for Palmetto Bug

Oct 12, 2017

Credit SC Public Radio

"P" is for Palmetto Bug. Three hundred million years ago, cockroaches [or palmetto bugs] made their first appearance on earth. While thousands of species have developed and become extinct since then, the cockroach thrives. The palmetto bug is the largest of three different species of cockroaches that infest our homes. It may grow to be one and a half inches in length and has reddish-brown wings. Both males and females have fully developed wings and can run fast and fly. A single female can produce 150 offspring in a year. One of the myths surrounding the term palmetto bug is that the insect drew its name from its home in the stubs of palmetto trees. The other is that proper South Carolinians did not have common cockroaches in their homes, but rather they had "palmetto bugs."