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Sat Jun 15, 2013, 12:57 AM

Battling with "tree" roaches (don't read if sensitive!)

If you live in Houston or any where in the South, you've probably seen these huge, flying "tree" roaches, also called palmetto bugs. They are at least 3 inches long and love flying right at you!

Well, tonight I open the garage door to step out for a quick smoke. One flies in the garage and I quickly sweep it back out with a broom. Now 6 more have appeared and more are coming. It's a swarm. This happened last week! I quickly close the garage door, turn off the light and go back in.

I can hear them hitting our office window over and over. They are attracted to light. I need to go back into the garage to get something and when I do, I find out that one of them tripped the safety sensor and the garage door was open and full of these flying creatures. I scream, not out of fear, but out of surprise that they re-opened the door!

AllenVanAllen is inside and working in his underwear. I tell him what happened and he immediately begins putting on his battle gear, lol! Pants are donned, hair is put back into a ponytail and he fashioned a club from an empty wine box. In he goes! Boom, boom, boom for 5 or so minutes. These guys are very hard to kill. He comes back in looking battle-weary, but triumphant! As you can imagine, it's very unnerving.

All is quiet now

What's really weird is that this would only happen once a year. In a little over a week, we've had 2 now. I suspect climate change.

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Arrow 23 replies Author Time Post
Reply Battling with "tree" roaches (don't read if sensitive!) (Original post)
onestepforward Jun 2013 OP
Rincewind Jun 2013 #1
AllenVanAllen Jun 2013 #2
UtahLib Jun 2013 #3
onestepforward Jun 2013 #4
dixiegrrrrl Jun 2013 #5
onestepforward Jun 2013 #11
nolabear Jun 2013 #7
nolabear Jun 2013 #6
onestepforward Jun 2013 #9
RebelOne Jun 2013 #8
onestepforward Jun 2013 #10
Trailrider1951 Jun 2013 #12
ScreamingMeemie Jun 2013 #13
onestepforward Jun 2013 #15
onestepforward Jun 2013 #14
Trailrider1951 Jun 2013 #16
onestepforward Jun 2013 #20
a kennedy Jun 2013 #17
Xipe Totec Jun 2013 #18
onestepforward Jun 2013 #19
Denninmi Jun 2013 #21
Trailrider1951 Jun 2013 #22
texanwitch Jun 2013 #23

Response to onestepforward (Original post)

Sat Jun 15, 2013, 04:54 AM

1. I for one,

welcome our new insect overlords.

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Response to Rincewind (Reply #1)

Sat Jun 15, 2013, 11:05 AM

2. Roach overlords....if they were giant. I can only of one thing more frightening.

Last edited Sat Jun 15, 2013, 02:57 PM - Edit history (1)


oh yeah, and this is it.


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Response to onestepforward (Original post)

Sat Jun 15, 2013, 11:22 AM

3. I'm going to search for a picture.

I have never heard of the tree roach, thank my lucky star.

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Response to UtahLib (Reply #3)

Sat Jun 15, 2013, 11:25 AM

4. Yes, be grateful!

I was going to post one, but I didn't want to creep anyone out

I never saw one before I moved to Houston. Luckily, they live outside.

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Response to onestepforward (Reply #4)

Sat Jun 15, 2013, 01:52 PM

5. "Luckily, they live outside."

Till they fly inside.

one flew in last night as I was bringing the dog in from his last walk.
I quickly tuned off the hallway light, turned the porch lights back on and left the door open.
It flew outside. ( they are noisy, on top of everything else)
dog cowers at them, he caught a wasp last week and got stung, now EVERY flying insect makes him want to bolt to the safety of the house, even before he does his outside business.

This is the summer I broke down and bought a bug zapper with a mosquito attractor in it.

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Response to dixiegrrrrl (Reply #5)

Sat Jun 15, 2013, 03:02 PM

11. Good move with the bug zapper! n/t

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Response to onestepforward (Reply #4)

Sat Jun 15, 2013, 01:59 PM

7. You hang onto that illusion.

If it helps you sleep.

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Response to onestepforward (Original post)

Sat Jun 15, 2013, 01:57 PM

6. You have just described my nightmare. I fear NOTHING like I fear palmetto bugs.

I would never sleep again. Actually, I say that, but I was subjected to those motherfuckers as a kid who was sort of in charge of things, and I fear I exposed the family to so much RAID none of us will ever know the extent of its effects.

I have been in a cage with tigers. I have handled snakes, poisonous and enormous (with tools; I'm not an idiot). I have interacted with dangerous prisoners and I've been held at gunpoint by a truck driver on too much speed. Nothing, NOTHING scares me like those hair-seeking, face-flying, crunchy, nasty, middle-of-the-night-face-crawling sons o' bitches.

That is all.

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Response to nolabear (Reply #6)

Sat Jun 15, 2013, 02:57 PM

9. I totally understand, that's why I put a warning :)

I love your post!

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Response to onestepforward (Original post)

Sat Jun 15, 2013, 02:00 PM

8. I have had many experiences with palmetto bugs

when I lived in South Florida. I know they will dive bomb you. I have killed too many to even count.

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Response to RebelOne (Reply #8)

Sat Jun 15, 2013, 03:00 PM

10. I almost went into shock the first time I saw one FLY!

Giant roaches aren't supposed to fly or dive bomb, dammit!

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Response to onestepforward (Original post)

Sat Jun 15, 2013, 03:04 PM

12. Oh,yes, I remember my battles with them in the many years I lived in Houston

Then I moved to the Austin area. They're here, too.


Someone once told me that they are the Texas State Bird.

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Response to Trailrider1951 (Reply #12)

Sat Jun 15, 2013, 05:23 PM

13. I love how they refer to them sweetly as waterbugs in my neighborhood.

As freaking if...

The cats are petrified of them.

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Response to ScreamingMeemie (Reply #13)

Sat Jun 15, 2013, 08:00 PM

15. Have you seen a swarm of them before?

They were even hitting our windows. You'd hear a thud about every 15 or 20 seconds. It lasted for about 15 or 20 minutes, then they were completely gone. It's the strangest thing.

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Response to Trailrider1951 (Reply #12)

Sat Jun 15, 2013, 07:57 PM

14. Lol, I forgot about the Texas state bird classification!

Have you ever seen a swarm of them? That's what's baffling me. One here and there, but 2 swarms in a week now.

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Response to onestepforward (Reply #14)

Sun Jun 16, 2013, 06:46 AM

16. I saw a swarm of them in Houston, when I was walking my dog in the evening

in July or August. I couldn't get back inside fast enough! This was about 15 years ago. Now, when those bugs come inside the house, my cats think they are cat toys and "play" with them until they don't move anymore. Good kittehs!

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Response to Trailrider1951 (Reply #16)

Sun Jun 16, 2013, 01:07 PM

20. I'm glad you saw a swarm of them too.

I was starting to wonder if that was just something "special" that happened around my house, lol! We get 1 or 2 in the house a year and luckily, my cat subdues them too. Good kittehs indeed!

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Response to onestepforward (Original post)

Sun Jun 16, 2013, 07:35 AM

17. Yikes, just saw the movie "The Mist" by Stephen King......

and that's how it starts.....a strange mist moves over the city and then, 3 inch long bugs start hitting a grocery store window,

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Response to onestepforward (Original post)

Sun Jun 16, 2013, 08:34 AM

18. The day I learned they could fly....


I found out they could fly, as a boy, when I heard some rustling coming from under the dead fronds of a palmetto tree. I thought it might be a bird's nest so I went and lifted the frond to see.

The trunk of the palmetto tree was crawling with hundreds of palmetto bugs and as soon as the light hit them they took flight in a swarm...

... I was surrounded by a buzzing cloud of palmetto bugs as I ran down the street in a blind panic.

Long after I left the cloud behind, I was still running, and ran until my liver felt as if it was about to explode.

I collapsed on a neighbor's front yard.

Do I fear palmetto bugs?

You bet!

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Response to Xipe Totec (Reply #18)

Sun Jun 16, 2013, 01:03 PM

19. Wow!

They are frightening!

In the future, I will never lift a dead frond of a palmetto

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Response to Denninmi (Reply #21)

Sun Jun 16, 2013, 04:12 PM

22. I don't think you quite get the picture

I grew up in central Ohio, and moved to Texas as an adult. I had no clue about these bugs, as I had never before seen them. These damn things are big enough to take that away from you and swat YOU with it! Here is the size difference:
The fly:




Goddam fricken flying roaches:





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Response to onestepforward (Original post)

Sun Jun 16, 2013, 04:32 PM

23. The poor things are just hot like the rest of us.

I hate the way they take off and have not control where they land.

I have killed several already.

Damn bugs.

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