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Cockroach Poop: How It Looks Like and How to Get Rid of It

When you see a cockroach crawling in your home does it suggest there is a cockroach invasion? No, when you spot a roach in your kitchen, it doesn’t necessarily mean there is an infestation, and neither it means your home is not tidy enough. You can accidentally introduce cockroaches to your home through cardboard boxes, shoes, or appliances if they came from an area infested with roaches.

One sure way to suggest roaches have invaded your house is in case there is cockroach poop. If you notice lots of cockroach feces around your house, then it is a sure sign these pests have infested your place.

lots of roach poop

But what does roach poop look like? And how can you distinguish it from other pests poop?

Well, I have specialized in both urban and agricultural pests, and I will use my expertise to help you handle these pests. So read on to learn more about cockroach droppings identification, where to find roach poop in your house, how to clean roach feces, as well as the effects of ingesting roach poop.

How Do Cockroach Feces Look Like?

Roach droppings have the same deep brown color regardless of their species. However, most of these feces differ in size based on the type and size of the pest.

Generally, smaller cockroaches leave behind feces that resemble ground coffee or pepper. In some cases, their feces may look like stains. The German cockroach is an example of small roaches that drop such feces.

Bigger roaches such as American cockroach, popularly known as the palmetto bug, produce bigger feces. Their poop resembles large solid crystals, almost the size of a grain of rice. Their feces also have rounded ends and ridges that run across the ends.

german roach droppings

You can easily confuse feces of large cockroaches with rat’s droppings. As you may notice on cockroach poop pictures, roach’s feces have rounded ends while mice feces have sharp ends. Besides, the mice poop does not have ridges. You can use a magnifying glass to see these differences.

Difference Between Roach Poop and Other Pests

Below, I will describe in what way cockroach droppings differ from various pests poop. To take active measures against pests intrusion into your home, you must identify them. The best way to do that is by identifying their poop.

Roach Poop vs Mouse Poop

Cockroach poop looks similar to mouse feces. The difference is very minimal that you can’t easily tell them apart. So how do you differentiate roach poop vs mouse poop?

The major difference between the two is that roach droppings have ridges crossing from one end to the other while mouse feces have no ridges. Also, mouse droppings may have short hairs and are slightly larger. These differences can easily be visible on roach poop images.

mouse poop compared to others

Palmetto Bug Poop or Cockroach Poop

Palmetto Bug refers to large roach species and beetles. Mostly people use this term when referring to the American cockroach. So in this context, we will use the Palmetto Bug poop to mean feces from the large roach species.

Palmetto bug poop has a solid shape similar to a cylinder, and it is black or brown with ridges running across the sides. Smaller roaches, on the other hand, have smaller droppings in the form of coarse coffee grains that are black or brown.

How to Clean Roach Droppings

If your house has been infested by roaches, identifying and cleaning up cockroach feces is important for your family’s health. Here are some steps you should follow when cleaning.

roaches and their poop

Wear Protective Gear

Since cockroach droppings are dangerous, you need to wear protective gear before you get down to work. You should have a respirator or wear a protective face mask to prevent exposure to airborne allergens. Make sure you also have a pair of gloves to prevent direct contact with the poop. This will prevent any infestation.


The first cleaning step is to vacuum the place. This will get rid of all the loose droppings. Ensure you vacuum all areas where you can find cockroaches. Some of these places include cabinets, kitchens, appliances, open containers, and refrigerators, among others.

Clean the Surfaces

Once you’re done vacuuming, you should clean all the surfaces next. Clean all places where you think the cockroaches might be by using water and soap solution. This solution should be enough to remove all allergens, but you can also use disinfectants to kill germs.

There are common household items you should clean to prevent disease that may result from roach feces. These items include mattresses, carpets, and clothing. These pests are more likely to poop on heavy jackets and other heavy clothes. Be sure to clean the stains earlier because old stains are very difficult to remove.

If you have carpets, especially heavy rugs, then you need to clean them thoroughly. It’s best to use a mixture of dishwashing soap and vinegar to thoroughly get rid of the stains.

When cleaning the mattress, you should focus on the folds and cracks. This is where poop can be found.

Where You Can Find Roach Poop

Do cockroaches leave droppings? Well, they do. Usually, roaches have no specific place to poop. Since some roaches fly, you are likely to find their feces anywhere in the house. However, to ensure your home is spotlessly clean, you must know areas where you are likely to find the most cockroach excrement.

Mostly, roach excrement can be found in areas near their nests and places where they can get food. This means that the kitchen is one of the areas you should expect to get most of the droppings. Other areas you are most likely to find their droppings include cabinets, shelves, drawers, underneath equipment like dryers, toilets, refrigerators, as well as near drain pipes.

It is advisable to identify roach feces in time because if the droppings are left to accumulate, they can attract more cockroaches into your home. The odor they produce attracts other roaches.

You can also place baits and pesticides near the droppings to get rid of roaches. This is because the feces attract other roaches, so there is a high likelihood that they will eat from the bait if you place it near their droppings.

How to Tell if You Have an Infestation

It is difficult to investigate if you have an infestation because you can rarely see roaches during the day. Being nocturnal, these pests only come out at night to look for food.

There are several ways to tell whether there is an infestation, with one of them being the presence of abundant roach feces. The presence of roach exoskeletons is another sign of infestation. You may see these exoskeletons in areas where they defecate or in places near food. The exoskeletons come about when the nymphs undergo transition when growing up. They shed the exoskeleton to accommodate the increasing body size.

roach exoskeleton

Are They Dangerous?

Even in small amounts, roach feces can spread diseases. Cockroaches are very filthy insects that crawl inside toilets, garbage, and sewage. These pests do not produce poison, but they are acting as hosts to pathogens. They carry these disease-causing germs like salmonella in their digestive tract, and then they are passed out through their poop and transmitted to humans. When ingested, the poop can make you sick.

Also, studies have shown that roach droppings trigger asthma and allergy symptoms like coughing and wheezing. The feces contain allergens that are airborne and can easily get into someone’s respiratory tract and increase the severity of asthma.

Related Post: Best Roach Repellents That Work

When in large numbers, cockroaches produce an odor which, in addition to being unpleasant, contains chemicals that trigger allergic reactions and asthma attacks. Further research shows that children who get exposed to cockroach droppings from an early age are more likely to develop asthma later.

What if You Accidentally Eat Roach Feces?

Cockroaches harbor diseases like salmonella in their digestive tract, which get carried through the feces. Since cockroaches do not have a specific area to defecate, they end up dropping their waste anywhere, including on the food we eat. If you have roaches in your home, there is a high chance of ingesting cockroach excrement.

If you accidentally eat roach feces, you may fall sick. Roaches spread various types of diseases. You can contract any disease being carried by the cockroach.

Prevent Cockroach Infestation with Early Roach Poop Identification

Cockroach feces is one of the signs of roach infestation. Proper cockroach droppings identification is, therefore, the best way to prevent an infestation from getting out of hand.

If left to increase, roach poop can cause several health problems for your family. Roach poor causes different types of diseases and is an allergen that can increase the severity of asthma. Roach feces identification also allows you to use the right cleaning techniques to keep your home tidy and safe.

After reading this article, identifying roach excrement should now be easier. Never confuse cockroach droppings with mouse feces. Be sure to get rid of these waste immediately you spot them to prevent bigger problems. Have you had any experience dealing with roach infestation? Also, if you have any questions on the topic, feel free to leave your thoughts and queries in the comment section below. I will gladly assist you in their enlightenment.

Also read:


  • Cockroaches (Illinois Department of Public Health):
  • Cockroaches (Victoria State Government):


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Nicholas Martin

Nicholas Martin

I am Nicholas Martin, and I am an entomologist. I combine the insect survey work with the consultation for private pest control agencies. My narrow specializations are both urban pests and agricultural pests. I studied their control over the previous 25 years. More about Nick

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  1. I think I ate roach poop what do I do help

    • Well, we probably regularly consume products that do have some insect waste products (you just have to live with this) so if you accidentally consumed something with roach feces on it and you realise you can’t deal with it, I’d induce vomiting to get it back. Make sure to contact a doctor if you have any unusual symptoms.

  2. I think I found a baby roach crawling near my oven! It is late so I plan on thoroughly cleaning tomorrow, but I am really panicked! I find crumbs and things that look like coffee grounds sometimes in my home, but I am not sure if they are just from food or could be from a roach!
    Do I need to throw away all of my utensils, etc.?

  3. Hi, I had an infestation a few years ago ave since then I’ve seen no more roaches and done many thorough deep cleans since then, but I can still smell them. I’ve cleaned with disinfectant, bleach, baking soda, orange cleaner, pinesol, plain soap and water, everything I’ve read that can supposedly help get rid of the smell and nothing has worked. Do you have any suggestions for something that will work that I haven’t tried?

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