What Does Roach Poop Look Like?

The appearance of cockroach poop, its smell, insides, and how to dispose of it - everything you need to know.
Phyllis McMahon
Phyllis McMahon
Research Writer
Phyllis teaches English Literature at a local college and loves writing in her free time. She’s also a great cook – her British beef Wellington is something the best res read more
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Chas Kempf
Chas Kempf
Expert Consultant
Chas works in a professional pest control company and knows all the nuances of this job. Also, he’s a fantastic tennis player and loves to organize BBQ parties for his fam read more
Last updated: August 25, 2023
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It’s thought that the enzymes found in the excrement, shedding body parts, eggs, and saliva of cockroaches cause allergic reactions in many people. Cockroaches are good at hiding, and you may have an infestation in your home without knowing. The easiest way to find out if your home has cockroaches is to check for their droppings.

What does roach poop look like? In this article, we will explain how to identify their excrement and eggs and the difference between cockroach poop and mouse poop. This information will help you to know where to look for roach droppings, how to clean them, and what measures you can take to get rid of cockroaches. We will also discuss whether cockroach droppings can make you sick. Read on to find out more.

The Physical Appearance of Roach Droppings

What Does Roach Poop Look Like?
Some roach poop is cylindrical or oval and larger cockroaches have larger droppings that are dark brown or black.

Although you might find roach poop anywhere, you will find most of it where the cockroaches feed or live. You will also find their egg cases, debris, and shed skin and body parts around the poop.

What does roach poop look like? The round-shaped droppings look like ground pepper or coffee grounds and appear as stains or smears. The size of the droppings can give you an idea of the size of the cockroach and the quantity indicates the extent of roach infestation.

Cockroaches leave their droppings on any surface they come across but you can always get rid of them using the best roach killers will effectively eliminate the problem. Roach poop pictures can help you recognize the size and species of cockroaches and help in the identification of mouse poop vs roach poop. For instance, small cockroaches will have smaller droppings and the American cockroach poop will be smaller than the German cockroach poop.

Droppings From Large Cockroaches

The American cockroach is one of the largest cockroaches, measuring more than an inch in length. Other large cockroaches include Oriental cockroaches, Australian cockroaches, and Smoky Brown cockroaches.

These roaches produce larger droppings that are brown or black and cylindrical with blunt ends and ridges running from tip to tip. The roach poop can be the size of a grain of rice.

Droppings From Small Cockroaches

Small cockroaches include brown-banded cockroaches, German cockroaches, and Asian cockroaches. Their length ranges from ¼ inch to ½ inch. These cockroaches produce black or brown poop that resembles ground black pepper or coarse ground coffee. If you look at roach poop images, you will notice that the droppings of smaller cockroaches vary in size and shape. The poop is much smaller, compared to large cockroach poop. It might look like a black or brown stain or smear, depending on the surface it is placed on and the cockroach species. The droppings might also appear raised. German roach poop is wetter than the poop of brown-banded cockroaches because of the former’s environment.

Frass From Baby Cockroaches

Frass refers to the feces of insects. Nymphs or baby cockroaches leave behind specs or droppings that are generally the smallest. Large nymphs produce poop that is ridged and cylindrical, and small nymphs have spotted poop that is black or brown.

Later on in this guide, we will explain how to clean roach poop. You will see frass along a path that the cockroaches use often. It might include cardboards, paper and wooden surfaces in bathrooms and kitchens where the roaches can find food and water.

Due to their tiny size, you will only notice frass from baby cockroaches if there is already a colony of cockroaches.

Inside Cockroach Droppings

What Does Roach Poop Look Like?

Besides knowing what roach poop looks like, it is important to understand what’s inside cockroach droppings. The feces consist of dead insects, rotting flesh, garbage, and food from your countertops, cupboards, and drawers.

Apart from that, roach poop also has an aggregation pheromone that attracts other cockroaches. Pest control professionals place the best roach bombs and foggers in areas adjacent to cockroach excrement such as next to roach poop on the wall to increase the likelihood of cockroaches accessing the poison.

Does Roach Feces Have a Smell?

Roach feces have a smell that can help you identify an active infestation. They have a distinct smell that is acrid and oily. This odor serves as a signal that attracts other cockroaches and enables them to follow a trail and congregate.

Can Cockroach Droppings Make You Sick?

According to the National Center for Healthy Housing Trusted Source Cockroaches | NCHH The National Center for Healthy Housing nchh.org , roaches carry germs that cause gastrointestinal diseases and asthma, among other allergies. Cockroach antigen, which refers to the protein in their saliva, droppings, and shed egg cases and body parts can trigger or exacerbate asthma attacks. This allergen can settle in beddings, furniture, and fabrics and cause children to develop asthma if they inhale it after a fan or vacuum stirs the allergen and makes it airborne. We will explain how to clean roach poop properly to prevent this protein from lingering in your home. Cockroaches also emit an unpleasant smell.

Droppings But No Roaches

Can there be roach poop but no roaches? Yes, you can find their droppings long after the cockroaches have left or died. The feces might remain and decay over time unless you clean the roach poop or another insect eats it. As we know by now, poop contains  food-borne pathogens Trusted Source Cockroaches and Food-borne Pathogens - PMC www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov  and an allergen that could be a potential health risk in your household for many years.

Cockroaches like areas where they can find food and water. Roach poop is mostly present in cracks, crevices, cabinet drawers, countertops, and behind the refrigerator. You can research roach poop pictures and use the information we have provided on the physical appearance of roach droppings to check these areas. If you find a large number of feces, then you have an active infestation and you need to act fast to get rid of the cockroaches.

Where To Look for Roach Droppings

What Does Roach Poop Look Like?
They typically defecate in or near their sources of food and trails and in areas where they nest or congregate.

Cockroaches leave their droppings wherever they go and in whatever they eat and they can contaminate your food with bacteria and spread diseases. This should help you know where to look for roach droppings.

You can find roach poop in the following areas:

  • In pantries, cabinets, drawers, closets, and other food storage areas
  • On countertops, shelves, or doors with a hidden passage
  • Under appliances such as stoves, refrigerators, sinks, washers, and dryers
  • In storage areas like paper and cardboard boxes
  • In garbage cans
  • Along baseboards and the corners of rooms
  • You can also find roach poop on walls and in cracks and crevices in floors
  • In toy chests and playpens for your little ones
  • In bathrooms where they source water

If there is a large quantity of roach poop in a particular location, it means that there are several roaches that spend a lot of time in that area. The method of pest control will largely depend on the type of cockroach. For instance, the best German roach killers will be helpful for this type of cockroach.

Mice Droppings vs. Roach Droppings

What Does Roach Poop Look Like?
Mice poop is larger longer in shape, ut looks like rice grains (on thr right).

Now let’s learn to distinguish between mouse poop vs. roach poop.

Mouse droppings have tapered ends and look like black grains of rice. The poop ranges from 1/8 inch to ¼ inch in length, and it may have small hairs stuck in it.

Roach poop is dark brown or black and it looks like ground coffee or ground pepper. Cockroach droppings are ¼ inch to ½ inch long for smaller species and the length can be more than 1-inch long for larger species. Another difference between roach poop vs. mouse poop is that cockroach droppings have blunt ends and ridges on the sides that run lengthwise from one end to another.

Lastly, mouse poop has a smooth texture while roach poop has a waxy texture and appearance.

How to Clean Roach Droppings

Cockroach droppings retain allergens and bacteria that can cause diseases and allergic attacks such as asthma. Whether you have found German roach poop or feces of other cockroach species, there are general guidelines to go about cleaning it. Below we will discuss how to clean roach poop to keep your family and home safe.

1. Wear Protective Clothing

To avoid contact with the droppings and potential allergens, you should wear protective gear, including a respirator or face mask and a pair of gloves.

2. Vacuum

Start by vacuuming to remove loose debris. Confirm that the vacuum you are using has a High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter that eliminates at least 99.97% of dust, bacteria, mold, pollen, and airborne particles with a size of 0.3 microns diameter or more. This will  reduce airborne contaminants Trusted Source Air Cleaners, HVAC Filters, and Coronavirus (COVID-19) | US EPA EPA recommends precautions to reduce the potential airborne transmission of the virus, such as ventilation and air filtration as a part of a larger strategy that includes minimizing close contact, surface cleaning, handwashing, and other precautions. www.epa.gov  as the vacuum stirs up the allergens. If you don’t have a vacuum cleaner, you could soak the droppings with a disinfectant spray and then wipe them away with your hands.

3. Clean

What Does Roach Poop Look Like?

The cleaning method will vary depending on the area you have found the cockroach droppings.

  • Roach poop on walls, cabinets, and tiled or hardwood floors: Spray the area with a disinfectant spray that is compatible with the material, and then leave it on for the recommended period. Scrub to remove the stains.
  • Roach poop on carpets: Scrape off any debris and then vacuum. Dilute a carpet detergent according to instructions and spray the affected area. Scrub the soap into the carpet. Vacuum again after allowing the carpet to fully dry. If you don’t have carpet detergent, you can use a mixture of a full spray bottle of water, one teaspoon of white vinegar, and dish soap.
  • Roach poop on mattress: Mix warm water and disinfectant soap and spray the area with it, and then use a coarse sponge to scrub. Rinse the area by spraying it with water only and then air dry the mattress.
  • Roach poop on clothes: After scraping off dried debris, treat the stains and use warm water to wash the fabric.
  • Roach poop on other surfaces: Wipe down the surface with soapy, hot water to remove the  aggregation pheromones Trusted Source Sensory neurons that respond to sex and aggregation pheromones in the nymphal cockroach - PMC www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov  and to prevent the bacteria from spreading.

4. Dispose

Once you have cleaned roach poop, wash the protective clothing you wore while cleaning. Next, dispose of vacuum bags and sponges or rags in a sealed plastic bag to get rid of the bacteria and allergens.

Does Boric Acid Kill Roaches?

Yes, the powder can kill cockroaches rapidly by disrupting their nervous system. It can also kill bugs that look like roaches. They include crickets and carpet beetles. However, we recommend getting the best roach killers such as Syngenta Advion Cockroach Gel Bait which is more effective at getting rid of roaches.

Why Are There Suddenly So Many Cockroaches in My House?

We hope that you can now identify roach poop vs mouse poop. You can suddenly find your home invaded by many cockroaches and there are several reasons for this occurrence.

Firstly, the pill-shaped egg casings or ootheca deposited by female cockroaches may have hatched and since baby cockroaches mature quickly and breed at a high rate, you can face a cockroach infestation all of a sudden.

Secondly, cockroach droppings contain an aggregate pheromone that attracts other cockroaches. So, you may have only noticed a couple of roaches and thought nothing of it. However, cockroaches like hiding in tiny gaps and tight spaces, and the pheromone in roach poop can draw them out in large numbers.

What Should You Do to Prevent a Roach Infestation?

Using effective products such as Maxforce FC Select Roach Killer Bait Gel can prevent a cockroach infestation. You can also prevent cockroaches from invading your home by following these simple tips.

  • Keep a clean home: Cockroaches leave their droppings everywhere they go in search of food and water. You can find roach poop on walls, cabinets, and countertops as well as in bathrooms and under kitchen appliances. Keep your home clean and empty your trash bag regularly. Wipe surfaces such as tables, stovetops, and countertops with hot, soapy water to remove the musty odor, stains, smears, and pheromones that serve as a natural attractant for cockroaches.
  • Seal your food and garbage: Keep food in sealed containers, clean any crumbs or spills immediately and dispose of any food scraps.
  • Check the problem spots: We have already mentioned where to look for roach droppings. The common areas are your kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, upholstered furniture, carpets, curtains, and clothes. Since we spend a good amount of time sleeping and pillows can harbor cockroach allergens, we recommend washing your bedding weekly with hot water. You can also encase your pillows and mattresses in a protective cover.
  • No dirty dishes: Avoid leaving dirty dishes around after meals. Otherwise, cockroaches will come to your sink or counter to eat the food scraps.
  • Remove unnecessary fabric: Get rid of curtains and carpets that you don’t need or use often because they can collect dust and allergens. Otherwise, vacuum at least twice a week to improve air quality, remove roach poop and prevent exposure to allergens. Remember to dispose of the bag and its contents afterward.
  • Reduce humidity: As with other pests, cockroaches thrive in a damp environment. Keep your kitchen, bathroom, and other damp areas dry. Reducing moisture and humidity can help to prevent a roach infestation.
  • Remove clutter: Apart from serving as shelters for cockroaches, stacked newspapers, cardboard, and boxes are food for cockroaches.
  • Fix any leakage: Finding roach poop but no roaches does not mean that the pests are not nearby. A leaking roof, pipe, toilet, or faucet can draw them out in search of water.
  • Seal any cracks and crevices: Check for gaps and cracks in walls, cupboards, and electrical and plumbing systems.
  • Consult a professional: Since cockroaches hide very well and you might not be able to access all the areas where they could be, you should consider hiring a pest management professional if you notice persistent roach poop. They are equipped with effective techniques that can eliminate cockroach infestation without causing you and your family and pets any harm. By doing this, you can avoid using roach killers that employ toxic chemicals that can worsen asthma symptoms.


Good home maintenance can prevent an invasion by cockroaches. Since you understand what roach poop looks like and how to differentiate between roach poop vs mouse poop, you can detect the presence of cockroaches in your home and take cautionary measures before the situation escalates. Cleaning roach poop removes odor, stains, allergens, and the possibility of a cockroach infestation after following the pheromone in the droppings. For a more effective method of eliminating these disease-causing pests, we recommend investing in the best roach killers which include bombs and foggers. These products are safe to use and they work better than Boric acid at killing cockroaches.


Cockroaches | NCHH
The National Center for Healthy Housing
Cockroaches and Food-borne Pathogens - PMC
Air Cleaners, HVAC Filters, and Coronavirus (COVID-19) | US EPA
EPA recommends precautions to reduce the potential airborne transmission of the virus, such as ventilation and air filtration as a part of a larger strategy that includes minimizing close contact, surface cleaning, handwashing, and other precautions.
Sensory neurons that respond to sex and aggregation pheromones in the nymphal cockroach - PMC
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