Q: Palmetto bugs really bother me. We’ve sprayed insecticides around the perimeter of the house and some inside, mostly around pipes. I worry that bait stations might harm our dog. Is there any more advice you can give?
A: Whenever I spot our canister vacuum in the middle of the floor, with a plastic bag taped over the nozzle, I know my wife has captured another palmetto bug indoors. We use the traps set near each of our doors, but a few of the creatures still survive indoors long enough to endure the wrath of the “sucker” each summer.
The number of bugs you see indoors depends a little bit on summer weather conditions. The wet summer of 2005 increased their numbers dramatically. The homeowner insecticides you sprayed might actually have caused you to see more bugs. Most products have a chemical component that “excites” insects, to make them more likely to travel and come in contact with poison.
There is no one hundred percent solution, but you are doing exactly what you should: seal cracks, spray hiding places, use traps (which don’t harm dogs) and keep your vacuum handy!