Monday, August 19, 2013

Is it a Palmetto Bug or Cock roach?

Working in restaurants a good portion of my younger days, I recall a few kitchen visits by cock roaches here and there that came in with produce deliveries and by other wayward means. These critters can disarm you when you see them scaling a wall showing off their giant antennas. Their ability to breed quickly and spread germs is the worry of most restaurateurs and property managers. The image created by these critters is an environment created by uncleanliness coupled with bad sanitation practices. While dirty conditions can encourage roaches to thrive; there is often a misconception that these pests are the automatic creation of uncleanliness. Take a warm climate such as the southeastern U.S, and you will likely see a large amount of these roaches in the wild whether in fields, lawns, parking lots, just about anywhere. Though in Dixie, they are referred to as Palmetto bugs. I have seen plenty of them in Florida up through the Carolinas. These critters definitely keep the exterminators busy and profitable. My trips to the south have really changed my opinion on the stereotyping of their presence as being “unclean”. While on vacation on Kiawah, I will take my dog for a night time walk and see plenty of them scurrying across the sidewalks. Stay at a hotel, rent a villa or home in the south, and you may one or you may not see one scurrying across the floor. If you do see one, please do not indict the property owner or manager as running a dirty “house”. Tourists leaving doors and windows slightly ajar will likely provide an opportunity for these critters to take up residency at which point the presence of the bug is not the landlords fault, though it becomes his or her problem. So are they Palmetto bugs or Cock roaches? Well, up here in the north, I still refer to them as Cock Roaches since we do not have palms. Down in the low country or Florida, I call them Palmetto bugs. Regardless of the label, just remember to keep an open mind that these critters are prevalent down south. Their ambition is to get inside your lodging looking for a wayward crumb or two. Keep your place clean and keep doors and windows shut.

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