Everything About Cockroach Poop (with Dropping Pictures)

Cockroach poop is one of the clear signs of a home infestation. Cockroaches poop just like any other type of bug. Most importantly, the poop left behind indicates a possible home invasion and it might also attract other cockroaches into the house.

Cockroach poop is mainly made out of food leftovers. It has an acrid odor similar to just about any other type of poop.

Homes with a roach problem can find cockroach poop just about anywhere. This type of poop is found on the kitchen floor, behind the cupboards, or in the drawers. It can even be found in clothing.

Cleaning a home properly is important to eliminate all cockroach droppings. Even if you eliminate roaches inside the house you still need to get rid of cockroach droppings as they continue to pose a health risk as well as to make your home smell.

Do cockroaches poop and pee?

Cockroaches poop, but they don’t pee. Cockroach poop is the unprocessed or leftover food of whatever roaches consumed lately.

Cockroach poop is found to contain insects, food, garbage, cardboard, and other types of unprocessed material. Cockroaches do not pee as they eliminate all of this waste through poop.

How often do cockroaches poop?

Cockroaches poop frequently, just as frequently as they eat. Most cockroach droppings are identified either next to their nests or next to their feeding area.

You will find cockroaches poop frequently in the area they eat, which is more likely the kitchen. Cockroaches also spend a lot of time in the nest together where droppings are more frequently seen closer together and easier to analyze.

What does cockroach poop look like?

Cockroach droppings are known for smelling bad. Other cockroaches walk over roach poop further spreading out the odor.

Furthermore, a large number of roach droppings in the house can lead to more serious health concerns such as allergies.

Cockroach poop size

Cockroach poop size depends on the species of roach as well as its stage of development. Adult roaches have the largest droppings while young roaches and small species have considerably smaller poop sizes.

  • Small poop size

Small poop size is characteristic of small roach species as well as of baby cockroaches. There’s a difference in how this poop looks here as well.

Small species of roaches make the same cylindrical-shaped poop with ridges that measures up to 0.5 inches. 

Baby roaches have different poop sizes. Even smaller, the poop of baby roaches resembles stains or splattered poop.

Tiny cockroach poop on wall
Tiny cockroach poop on wall
  • Medium poop size

Stains or specks are medium poop size. These types of roach droppings are seen all over the house with invasive species. They have the same cylindrical shape, comparable to rice.

  • Large poop size

The largest poop home roaches make measure up to 1 inch. This poop has a cylindrical shape with ridges as the surface isn’t perfectly smooth. 

Making a large poop doesn’t mean cockroaches poop rarely. It means the droppings are released as frequently as the droppings of smaller species, but with a larger size.

Cockroach poop color

Cockroach poop is either dark brown or black. This color remains constant throughout various species.

Cockroaches with black droppings on the floor

One of the reasons why this is a problem is when trying to get rid of roaches inside the house. You cannot make a distinction between different roach species simply by analyzing poop color.

However, the brown and black color of roach poop can at least let you know you don’t have other types of pests in your home which are known to have a different poop color.

Cockroach poop shape

The cockroach pooch is best described as having an oval shape. These cylindrical droppings are narrower to the sides which also makes them resemble grains of rice.

Cockroach poop is always shaped cylindrically in adult roaches. Its length and width may vary, but the shape remains the same.

Cockroach poop texture

small cockroach droppings
Small cockroach droppings

Cockroach poop is neither too soft nor too hard. These droppings are known for being sticky and rather softer in the first hours and days when they are easily picked up by other roaches.

Cockroach poop hardens after a few days.

  • American cockroach poop

American cockroaches are the largest roaches found in US homes. This means they also have the largest droppings.

Roaches of this genus are known to grow up to 2 inches which means their droppings are long, dark in color, and shaped like a grain of rice.

American roach droppings are known to have a dark brown color. They have a ridged texture and they have rounded ends, just like a grain of rice.

These droppings are in the kitchen, in the basement, behind, or under the furniture. You can also check drains and sewage lines for multiple American cockroach droppings.

  • German Cockroach poop

The German cockroach is also common in US homes. This type of roach is smaller with smaller droppings.

German cockroach

The German cockroach can be half the size of the American cockroach. This means the species is known for dark color droppings that are similar to grains of rice, but smaller.

German cockroaches are attracted to humidity first. You might see these droppings in the basement or the bathroom.

Droppings of this genus are also seen faster than the roaches themselves. The nocturnal species might not be easy to spot during the day.

  • Oriental Cockroach poop

Oriental cockroaches are smaller than American roaches. They are known for having similar dark brown droppings with a cylindrical shape. Ridges are distinguishable on the surface of the droppings.

The location of the droppings might help identify them as coming from Oriental cockroaches. These roaches prefer environments with high humidity a lot more than other roach species.

Poop of the Oriental cockroach genus is found in basements and the kitchen. These roaches congregate under the sink, especially if there’s a leak that brings in more humidity.

  • Brown-banded cockroach

Brown-banded cockroaches have black droppings. Their droppings look black specks and are found all around the house including in kitchens, bathrooms, and around garbage.

Droppings of these roaches are harder as the genus of cockroaches is not known for having very high humidity preferences as German and Oriental cockroaches.

What Do Cockroach Droppings Smell Like?

Cockroach droppings have an acidic musty smell. The smell is unpleasant and off-putting. You feel its off-putting nature when stepping into a room with a considerable roach infestation.

Cockroaches are also known to have poop without a smell whenever there are just a couple of droppings around.

People usually don’t pick up the odor of the droppings when there are just a few of them. On the other hand, when there are tens of roaches in a home, these droppings start to emit a very unpleasant scent.

The musty scent of roach droppings eventually spreads out to the entire house. Roaches walk all over the droppings carrying them with their legs all over the house.

At this point, it can be difficult to establish the exact location of the nest since the smell can be persistent around the house. 

Roaches tend to have the most droppings around the nest or food sources such as garbage. It’s best to look for clusters of droppings to establish the location of the nest.

What is inside cockroach droppings?

Cockroach droppings are known for containing traces of food. This includes insects and the type of food they can find inside the house.

Fruits, meat, and cereals are often found in small amounts in cockroach droppings.

Cockroach Smear Marks

Smear marks should not be confused with 1mm diameter cockroach droppings. Smear marks are very common around infested homes, which are a sign of a serious pest problem.

Smear marks are created by roaches as they move around on the surface with water on them. These can be horizontal surfaces such as floors or vertical surfaces such as walls or toilets.

Cockroach Poop vs Mouse Poop

Sometimes you might be unsure about the pest you have in your home. Cockroach poop can be differentiated from other types of poop by shape and texture.

Cockroach poop is considerably different from mouse poop.

  • Size

Cockroach poop is smaller than mouse poop. You will not see large roach droppings even if they come from the largest American cockroach.

  • Texture

The texture of mouse droppings is smooth while the texture of roach droppings is ridged. There are no exceptions to this rule, regardless of the type of roach.

  • Ends

The ends of a single dropping are rounded on cockroach poop and elongated on mouse poop. The shape of the poop’s ends is the biggest difference between the poop of mice and the poop of roaches.

Cockroach poop vs termite poop

Color and the location of the poop are the biggest differences between cockroach poop and termite poop. You will be able to find further differences such as texture, but these are less obvious.

  • Color

Termites have multicolored droppings. Cockroaches have brown or black droppings. Coloring alone is the biggest difference between the poop of termites and the poop of roaches.

  • Location

The location of the poop can indicate its sources. Cockroach poop is found in warm humid places around the house. Termite poop is found very close to wood.

Where to look for cockroach droppings?

Cockroach droppings seem to be everywhere in case of a home invasion. However, they are mostly found in one of the following places in most houses.

  • In the kitchen

The kitchen is the area of the house with the most food. This is where roaches gather to eat open food, leftover food, crumbles, and even garbage.

  • Under sinks

Sinks are known for high humidity, especially when they have leaks. The space under the sink is also known for having specific scents from dirty dishes.

  • In basements

Basements mainly attract roaches with high humidity and darkness. Nocturnal roaches are routinely found in basements where they sometimes hide during the day.

  • In locker room

Locker rooms and changing rooms are other areas where roaches congregate. These are seen in commercial spaces such as hotels and gyms. High humidity attracts many types of roaches here.

  • In corners

Corners are ideal for roaches hiding from certain predators. Many roach nests are discovered in a corner of a house.

  • Next to walls

Roaches always move along walls. This is one of the distinct traits that help guide them but also ensures they have no predators at least on one side when moving.

  • Behind the furniture

Roach droppings are commonly found behind furniture. It’s here that roaches can live freely undisturbed by the home’s residents.

  • Under furniture

Droppings are even more common under the furniture where they can move freely without humans or pets being a real threat.

  • Inside cabinets

Roaches also make their way inside cabinets for warmth and food. Open boxes of cereal, as well as other stored foods, make cabinets the ideal hiding place for roaches and the place for droppings.

Why Should You Remove Cockroach Poop?

Cockroach poop is known to have an unpleasant smell. But the bad smell is only a minor problem compared to what can truly happen when you don’t remove roach poop from the house.

Cockroach droppings can cause allergic reactions and respiratory problems. Even more, cockroach droppings have a strong pheromones odor that acts to attract other roaches. The more roach poop you have the more roaches are expected to flock to the house.

How to Clean Cockroach Poop

Cleaning cockroach droppings is not pleasant. However, it’s necessary for a healthy habitable space. One of the first things to do before starting to clean is to wear the right protective gear. You want to stay away from directly touching roach poop with its bacteria.

Use potent sprayer cleaners

Disinfectants and other types of spray cleaners are recommended for cleaning roach droppings. These cleaners might need to be used at the same time as a disinfectant cleans the area but it doesn’t smell good.

Get it vacuumed

A vacuum cleaner is one of the easiest tools to use for clearing roach droppings. Classic paper-bag vacuum cleaners are probably the best as they can be sealed and disposed of soon after the cleaning process is done.

Scrape it off (clothes)

Scrapping with a brush or broom might be necessary whenever roach poop reaches textile surfaces such as clothes. Make sure to scrub it off completely and wash the clothes properly afterward.

Use soap and water

Soap and water are required after physically removing the poop. Stains such as roach mattress poop stains are only removed with soap, water, and scrubbing. Roach poop leaves out brown or black marks which are also odor-emitting. They need to be washed.

Safety tips when cleaning cockroach poop

Even the most thorough poop-cleaning job requires good safety measures. If you want to avoid rashes, eye or nose irritation, and even allergies, you should look towards wearing complete safety gear.

  • Use a face mask

Face masks are the most common type of protective gear you can wear against roaches and droppings. You need to wear a face mask regardless of the method (vacuuming, brushing, or scrubbing) cleaning technique.

  • Wear safety glasses

Safety glasses are recommended in heavily-infested homes. These are going to prevent any roach droppings from making direct contact with your eyes, which may irritate them.

  • Wear protective gloves

Protective gloves keep your hands away from the droppings. Hands are the most exposed to droppings when cleaning.

Since you can touch your mouth with your hands, it’s ideal to wear protective gloves when cleaning a house of roach droppings.

  • Wash your hands when you’re done cleaning

You have to wear protective gloves even when you’re done cleaning the house. It might take a long time to clean the entire premise and it’s best to be thorough about washing your hands.

How do get rid of cockroach poop smell?

The musty smell of the poop is highly persistent, especially whenever there are tens or hundreds of roaches inside the house.

This smell might persist for weeks or months even after removing the droppings.

Why do roach droppings smell is still there after removing it

Droppings tend to stain floors, walls, furniture, and other surfaces. These stains contain traces of the droppings as well as potent pheromones which have a distinct off-putting smell. 

The smell doesn’t go away after physically removing the droppings as the traces of these droppings are still present.

Deep cleaning is required to remove roach-dropping odors after removing the droppings themselves. This step requires using warm water (it helps dilute poop marks) and soap. Scrubbing the area is required.

Rinsing the area you’ve washed with a clean mop is recommended further. There’s no reason not to use soap and water even if you think there’s no smell as roaches might still pick it up and get attracted by it.

How to Prevent Cockroach Poop

Preventing cockroach poop is the same as preventing roaches. If you don’t have any roaches you don’t have any poop in the house. Here are the basics of keeping roaches and their droppings out for good.

  • Clear out all food around the house

Food attracts roaches inside the house the most. Most food traces are often overlooked. But even bread crumbs laying on the floor can attract roaches.

Cockroaches can eat in the same place they poop. This means you may be facing cockroach poop in the kitchen if you don’t pack and store food in containers or the refrigerator.

  • Keep the home clean

A clean home is less likely to be attractive to pests. This means dusting often, removing signs of mold, opening up the windows frequently, and even checking humidity levels.

Clean homes are always the best against a larger number of pests so you get to eliminate flies, spiders, and other home invaders as well.

  • Declutter and eliminate everything that isn’t used

Clutter such as unused cardboard boxes, piles of furniture in the basement, or old mattresses is also known for attracting roaches. It’s best to throw these out as soon as they aren’t necessary or when they aren’t in their best shape.

  • Use disinfectants

Disinfectants clear a wide range of bacteria and odors. Used correctly, they can be among the must-have cleaning products in a home. You should always disinfect areas that aren’t necessarily within easy reaches, such as spaces behind cabinets and fridges.

Maintain a clean habitable dry space inside the house

Dry air is less likely to attract pests compared to high humidity indoor air. An air filter can be a good investment when it comes to maintaining proper indoor air quality.


Why do I see cockroach droppings but no roaches?

Some roaches such as German cockroaches are nocturnal. They only come out at night.
The droppings of these roaches are obvious signs of their presence even when they don’t seem to be around. These roaches can be hiding in their nest during the day.

Will cockroach poop attract other bugs?

Cockroach poop contains pheromones which attract other bugs. These pheromones can persist for weeks and months. Poop of one roach species can also attract cockroaches of other species.

What to do when you or your pets accidentally eat cockroach poop?

Cockroach poop can carry bacteria, disease, and other toxins. These can cause a disease or another type of reaction such as vomiting. If your pets have accidentally eaten cockroach poop you should keep them under close observation for up to a few days to ensure they’re fine.

Where do roaches poop?

Roaches mostly poop in the area they eat in and in the area of the nest. These are areas that attract most roaches. Grouped roaches create more visible poop as an individual roach’s poop might go unnoticed.


Cockroaches are known for pooping all the time. They eat and they poop all around the house.

Apart from the bad smell this brings, their poop is also unhealthy and can cause allergies. Cockroach poop can also carry certain diseases as do cockroaches. It’s best to clean it whenever you find it and take preventive measures to stop cockroaches from making it into your house.

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