Difference Between Roach and Palmetto Bug (With Table)

Pests are agreeably a nuisance when they invade our homes and private spaces. But even still, they are an important aspect of our ecosystem. Cockroaches are the most common types of pests that we find in our homes. Even these creatures have different names and categories based on the place where they are found. Roaches and Palmetto Bugs are two different names given to the same pest.

Roach vs Palmetto Bug

The difference between Roaches and Palmetto Bugs is that the Palmetto Bug is a unique name assigned to a specific kind of cockroaches. While Roaches is a term used in a more general sense for all types of cockroaches, Palmetto Bugs refer to a distinct type of Roach.

Roaches, also known as cockroaches, come under the heading of insects. The order of insects that they belong to is referred to as the Blattodea. There are said to be around 4600 species of roaches, and out of these, approximately 30 are known to be associated with the habitat in which humans survive.

Palmetto Bugs are a species of cockroaches. In a layman’s sense, Palmetto bugs and cockroaches are the same. But the name Palmetto bugs is specifically used for the cockroaches that are found in the Southeastern United States that too especially in Florida. These could be called large cockroaches.

Comparison Table Between Roach and Palmetto Bug

Parameters of ComparisonRoachPalmetto Bug
DefinitionRoach, popularly known as a cockroach, is a term used for insects belonging to the family of Blattodea insects.Palmetto Bugs are a specific kind of roaches generally the ones found in Florida, USA.
FoundCockroaches are found almost in all corners of the world. Depending on their type, the specific locations may vary. Palmetto Bugs are also known as the Florida Woods cockroaches as they are found in the woods of Florida.
UsageRoach or cockroach is the widely used term for the brown house pests.Palmetto Bug is the term used by the people in America, specifically in Florida for the cockroaches that are found there.
TypesThere are about 4600 species of roaches, 30 of these are accustomed to the human habitat.Palmetto bug is in itself a specific type or species of cockroach that is large and seen on palmetto trees.
AppearanceDepending on the species, size varies from that of a thumb to that of the largest finger. The color of most ranges from reddish-brown to dark brownPalmetto Bugs are large ranging from 1.2 to 1.6 inches. They have a blackish-brown or dark brown color.

What is Roach?

Roaches, another name for cockroaches, are an ancient species. These fall under the category of insects. Belonging to the family of Blattodea, these are annoying pests that infest our homes and private spaces. Around 30 known species are understood to be accustomed to the human habitat.

Roaches are believed to be the most primitive of the winged insects, which means they have been in existence for a long time. Some of them can fly while some can’t. They vary in size depending upon their species. Some are the size of a nail, while some could be larger. Their color also differs according to the species, but it mostly remains some shade of brown.

Anatomically, these roaches have a flat yet broad body, with their heads being comparatively smaller in size. They sport two antennae that are quite long in height. The outer skin of the roaches is quite hard as it is made up of calcium carbonate. This acts as a protective covering for its internal structure.

Cockroaches are commonly placed in the entire world. They have the capability to exist and survive even in the harshest of weather, and hence they can be found even in snow-clad areas of the Arctic. Interestingly, out of the multiple known species, only four of them are deemed to be pests.

What is Palmetto Bug?

Palmetto Bugs, popularly known as the Florida woods cockroach, are a specific species of cockroaches. Their name seems to be apt because these types of roaches are generally found on the palmetto trees that are widely present in the Southeastern part of the USA, and more specifically, in the woods of Florida.

Palmetto bugs are a species of cockroaches that are accustomed to live outside as well as inside. At times these are confused with the American cockroaches, but in truth, they are more associated with the Florida woods cockroaches, scientifically named Eurycotis Floridana.

A distinct feature of it is that it is comparatively larger and also moves a little slower when compared to other cockroach species. The length or size that a palmetto bug achieves ranges between 1.2 to 1.6 inches. Its color also varies from being blackish-brown or dark brown. Unlike other species, it is not accustomed to extreme cold weather conditions.

For this reason, Palmetto bugs prefer an environment that is warm and sheltered. As for its appearance, it does not have hind wings, and the frontal wings are quite short. The usual places that these bugs use as their habitat include trees, leaf litter, etc. More often than not, these roaches do not enter places where human activity is a lot.

Main Differences Between Roach and Palmetto Bug

  1. Roach is the term widely used the winged insects, whereas Palmetto Bugs is a name given to the specific species of cockroaches.
  2. Roaches can be found all over the world, but Palmetto bugs are specifically located in the woods of Florida.
  3. While roaches can be of numerous types, Palmetto Bugs are large cockroaches that do not have hind wings.
  4. Most of the roaches can survive in extreme weather conditions, but Palmetto Bugs are found in an environment that is warm and sheltered as they cannot tolerate low temperatures.
  5. The appearance of roaches varies according to their species, but Palmetto bugs are blackish-brown to dark brown.


Roaches and Palmetto Bugs both refer to cockroaches, but the former is an umbrella term, whereas the latter is the name given to the cockroaches that are specifically found in the woods of Florida. Roaches are present almost everywhere on the globe. Depending on their species, their appearance varies. They could be reddish-brown or dark brown in their color.

Palmetto Bugs is the specific name given to the roaches that are found in the Palmetto trees. These trees are in abundance in the Southeastern part of the US, and more specifically, in Florida. Hence, these are also named the Florida woods cockroaches. These are comparatively taller, and their color could be blackish-brown or dark brown. These are not usually found as annoying pests inside the homes.


  1. https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007/s10750-016-2984-3.pdf
  2. http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=
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