How To Identify Cockroach Poop

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When you find yourself face-to-face with a roach infestation, certain discoveries are unpleasant, while others are just plain… awful.

Roach droppings for most of us fit right into the awful category. & if you’ve been unlucky enough to lớn find the stuff somewhere (like where your family eats and sleeps and lives), you’re probably not only thoroughly disgusted. But angry. & more than a little confused.

After all, roaches haven’t just been attacking your home. They’ve been using it for a toilet. & if there are enough droppings around that you’ve actually seen it (think for a moment about all the droppings in places you can’t see), the roaches have been winning. That is, until right now.

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If you can manage lớn hold your nose to lớn the kết thúc of this article, you’ll not only have a better idea of how and why roach droppings got into your home. But how khổng lồ get rid of it, along with all the roaches too. Ready?

Contents hide
1 Introduction
2 Need sản phẩm Recommendations?
3 What’s Inside Cockroach Droppings
4 What Cockroach Droppings Look lượt thích
5 Does Roach Feces Have a Smell?
6 Can There Be Droppings But No Roaches?
7 Can Cockroach Droppings Make You Sick?
8 How khổng lồ Clean Roach Droppings
9 Suggested Products If You Have a Cockroach Problem
10 Next Steps
11 Frequently Asked Questions

What’s Inside Cockroach Droppings

Cockroach droppings are made up of all sorts of things that roaches have digested: Food from your cupboards, counters, và drawers. Garbage. Rotting flesh. & dead insects, including the carcasses of other cockroaches.

Cockroaches don’t pee (a not-so fun fact), but instead secrete solid và semi-solid waste. All of which varies in appearance, depending on the size, age, and species of roach you’re dealing with.

What Cockroach Droppings Look Like

What does roach feces look like? What you find will probably look something like this:

Roach droppings are often surrounded by other cockroach debris, including body parts, old egg cases và discarded cockroach skin.

Generally speaking, cockroach droppings are dark brown or black pellets. They’re either roundish chunks or oval-shaped, và much of what you find will simply appear as smears and stains on the surfaces that cockroaches have been crawling over.

Of course, before a full-blown infestation, roach droppings will be so minimal & scattered that you may not even see them. While on the other hand, during a large infestation they’ll be almost impossible khổng lồ miss, along with other nasty cockroach stuff lượt thích egg cases, discarded shells, và cockroach toàn thân parts.

Since you’ve managed lớn make it this far, let’s take a closer look at some of the tell-take signs that the leading culprits leave behind.

Droppings From Large Cockroaches


If there were a single rule of thumb that helped identify roaches by their frass (the more proper name for insect droppings), it would be this: Larger roaches make bigger droppings. American, SmokyBrown, & Oriental cockroaches are all considered larger species. They are usually more than 1 inch long. They produce solid, cylindrical feces that can be as large as a grain of rice.

If you were to look closely, you’d see ridges running from one end of the dropping khổng lồ the other – giving it an appearance sort of like a fennel seed.

Do you have mice, too? Other than cockroach frass being smaller, this is one of the main differences between mouse droppings and those of cockroaches. Because mouse droppings will be mostly smooth. It will also be pointed at each kết thúc (unlike roach feces which is blunt), and sometimes has small hairs from the animal’s toàn thân stuck to it (which roaches of course don’t have).

Droppings From Small Cockroaches


The droppings from small cockroaches is different. Not just in size, but in shape. Small species like Brown-Banded và German cockroaches leave behind tiny brown or đen specks or stains. The droppings can look lượt thích coarse ground coffee or grains of coarse black pepper, while the stains can be inky, smeared, or raised.

If you had to distinguish German cockroach frass from that of Brown-Banded cockroaches, you’d find that German roach frass was moister (more smeary), due to lớn the German roach’s preference for wetter environments.

Frass From Baby Cockroaches

Baby cockroaches (called nymphs) produce feces similar khổng lồ adult roaches, but smaller. The droppings of large cockroach nymphs are small, cylindrical, và ridged, while those of small cockroach nymphs are minuscule brown or đen specks.

Does Roach Feces Have a Smell?

Does cockroach feces have a smell? Absolutely. It stinks. It also has an acrid, oily odor, but what your nose smells is only half the story. Because the odor roach droppings give off harbors a sinister secret.

It conveys signals lớn other cockroaches that they’re around, provides a trail for other roaches to follow, & ultimately helps them find each other.

Which means that the smell of roach excrement isn’t just bad. It’s actually attracting more roaches.

Can There Be Droppings But No Roaches?

In a word, yes. There can droppings from roaches that once lived inside your house, but have died or somehow left (like from a past extermination). Unless a roach or other insect eats it, or you knuckle down & clean it up, the droppings will just sit there, slowly decaying & sometimes molding for many, many years.

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One way khổng lồ tell if you have an active cockroach infestation is to lớn clean up all the droppings you’ve found, then monitor your trang chủ to see if more appears. If it stays roach dropping-free, you probably don’t have a current infestation. If you find that more droppings appear however, it means it’s time khổng lồ get those roaches out.

Can Cockroach Droppings Make You Sick?


Even if you don’t have an active infestation, roach feces is a bad thing lớn have around. Can roach it make you sick? Yes, it can.

Cockroach droppings (and shed skin) contain proteins that trigger allergies và asthma attacks in some people. They may even cause children khổng lồ develop asthma. These proteins can linger in the trang chủ even longer than the feces themselves, remaining dangerous for years after the roaches themselves have gone.

Not only that, but cockroaches’ eating và living habits bring them into tương tác with bacteria, mold, fungi, viruses, và worms that they leave behind in their feces.

Couple that with the fact that roaches go lớn the bathroom literally everywhere, including in the food that you và your family eat.

Let that sink in for a moment. It means that if cockroaches are living anywhere inside your home, there’s a good chance you’re ingesting cockroach excrement.

Now consider this: Food poisoning can be caused by roach feces. & if the harmful bacteria that’s sometimes carried by cockroaches spreads from your digestive system lớn your blood stream, it could – potentially – even kill you.

How to Clean Roach Droppings

Image by Michal Jarmoluk from Pixabay

Cleaning feces & cockroach smear marks is nobody’s idea of a good time. But with your family’s health và safety on the line, you’ll be more than glad you did.

Suit Up

Suit up before you get khổng lồ work. Old clothes are fine, and put on a pair of gloves. Purchase a protective face mask or a respirator lớn reduce exposure khổng lồ potential airborne allergens.


Plan to lớn vacuum first, using the vacuum to remove loose, dry roach droppings that have accumulated over time. Since vacuuming can stir up allergens, you’ll want to lớn use a vacuum with a HEPA filter khổng lồ keep the air around you safe. If a HEPA vacuum isn’t available, soak the feces in disinfectant spray instead, then wipe it up by hand.


Everywhere that you find roach feces will require different cleaning methods.

For carpets, start with the vacuuming tips above (you can scrape off any dried, stuck-on cockroach pellets before vacuuming lớn get most of it off first). Next, either use a carpet detergent (read the label to lớn determine how much lớn dilute it) or mix up trắng vinegar, dish soap, & water (one teaspoon each of vinegar & soap to a full spray bottle of water) và spray the area. Scrub lớn work the soap into the carpeting. Let it fully dry before vacuuming again. On walls and hardwood, tile, cabinets, or vinyl flooring, choose a disinfectant spray that is safe for the material. Spray the affected area & leave it on for the recommended amount of time, then scrub to lớn get out the stains.If you find roach droppings on your clothes, first scrape off any dried there, then treat stains & wash in the warmest water that is safe for the fabric. Cockroaches can also infest mattresses. As with clothing, the first step is to lớn scrape off the dry feces. Next, mix disinfectant soap & warm water in a spray bottle, spray the area, & scrub with a coarse sponge. Spray again with just water khổng lồ rinse the soap out, then let the mattress air dry.


Since cockroach feces is so unhealthy, you’ll want khổng lồ wash or throw away anything that comes into liên hệ with it. When you’ve finished the job, be sure khổng lồ wash (or throw away) your gloves & work clothes, và dispose of rags và vacuum bags, preferably in sealed plastic trash bags that animals or other people can’t get to.

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