Palmetto bugs

As a child, in summer our neighborhood would occasionally be invaded by large, flying, cockroach-like creatures. My mom always brushed aside our complaints with, “That’s not a roach, it’s a palmetto bug.” As an adult, I confidently told my SO when we found one in the bathroom, “No, no, it’s not a cockroach, it’s a palmetto bug.” At which he broke into laughter. So are palmetto bugs just monster roaches? Should I freak out about them?

An answer from the Palmetto State:

It’s the same bug. Palmetto is just a different variety – there are hundreds of different kinds of cockroaches. So yes, IMHO, palmettos are just monster roaches with wings… that fly out and attack when you go at them with a big can of Raid. And you shouldn’t freak out… unless you find more than a couple in your abode… and then it’s time to spray nasty chemicals around. From what I’ve learned: the palmettos (2-3" long, brown, wings and nasty attitudes) do not like to live inside your house – they just come in for water.