Cockroach Poop – Why It Is Important to Identify and Remove Them

Cockroaches are unwelcome guests who make themselves comfortable in our homes. The nuisance of their infestation is something that virtually every homeowner detests. Effectively detecting and identifying the presence of these creepy crawlers is the first step in successful cockroach infestation control.

The presence of cockroach poop – usually referred to as specks – is one of the major signs of a cockroach infestation. Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to identify cockroach feces, especially if there are just a handful of droppings in that area of your home. However, once you know what to look for, spotting cockroach droppings is straightforward.

In this article, we take a detailed look at roach feces – how to identify them, the importance of getting rid of them, and how to effectively get rid of them.

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What Does Cockroach Poop Look Like?

The fecal matter of small cockroaches and large cockroaches have different characteristics. Small roaches discharge black or brown specks that look like finely ground black pepper. These feces may sometimes have somewhat dark ink stains on the surface depending on the species and size of the cockroaches.

It is worth noting that small roaches here do not refer to baby cockroaches. It refers to species of small roaches, such as brown-banded roaches and German roaches. The poop of larger cockroaches, on the other hand, are solid droppings that look somewhat like cylinders. The feces can also be brown or black, depending on the species.

Roaches continuously empty their bowels while feeding. This defecation results in the accumulations of feces in various areas of the home, especially where the insects frequently go, including on the walls, on kitchen counters, in bathrooms, along floorboards, etc.

Why It Is Important to Get Rid of Roach Droppings

There are many reasons you should not put off plans to clean cockroach feces in your home. Exposure to feces can cause far-reaching health issues. Here is a look at some of the most common effects of cockroach fecal matter:


This is one of the most common detrimental effects of roach droppings. Research has shown that cockroach feces can trigger the symptoms of asthma. Children and the elderly are usually the most affected, usually because they have a weaker immune system.

Moreover, allergens found in the fecal matter can remain active for a prolonged period. Roaches typically leave a trail of droppings when they move. These droppings contain chemicals that act as a means of communication with other roaches. For example, the substances may define a route the insect is taking to find food. The fecal matter “tells” other roaches where they can find food.

If you do not maintain a clean and tidy home, allergens from cockroach fecal matter can remain in your house for up to five years after eliminating cockroaches. That’s why you should be worried if you spot even one roach in your home. This point underscores just how important it is to continually clean your home.

Allergic reactions

Cockroach feces can enter the air and become inhaled. Inhaling airborne cockroach feces can result in allergic reactions, thanks to the allergens they contain.

Spread of various diseases

When roach poop comes into contact with food, it can become ingested accidentally. Ingestion of cockroach feces can be dangerous. Roaches are known carriers of human pathogens. Research shows that cockroach fecal matter contributes to the spread of at least 33 types of microbes.

These microbes include Salmonella, E.coli, and various parasitic worms. If you ingest cockroach fecal matter and become sick, you could experience various symptoms. You could experience severe diarrhea, belly pain, or unbearable stomach cramps. You may even be oblivious to the fact that roaches are the cause of all your problems.

Bad odor in your environment

In case of a severe infestation, roaches release putrid secretions that flood the air with an unpleasant odor. This odor is one unmistakable visible signs that you could be having a roach problem in your home. If you smell this odor, take a careful look around to see if you can find any cockroach droppings.

Where to Look for Roaches Poop

There are numerous places in your home where roaches can hide and leave their droppings. Keep in mind that these are nocturnal insects, so you need to focus your search in dark areas that receive minimal foot traffic. Here’s a look at the some of the major areas you are likely to find roaches and their waste:

  • Cabinets – whether indoors or outdoors, cabinets are a favorite place for cockroaches. Besides the fact that cabinets are generally dark, they are also the place where one can find food and other attractants. These are the most significant reasons these annoying crawlers like to hide and lay eggs in cabinets.
  • Bathrooms – In your bathroom, you are most likely to find roach feces around the shower and the bathtub. However, you should not ignore the areas under the sink and medicine cabinets. These are also favorite hiding spots for the insects, as they are dark areas the cockroaches like to hide.

It’s worth noting that you may not find many roaches in the bathroom since it is usually illuminated, and these insects abhor light.

  • Crawl spaces – The design of crawl spaces make them one of the areas in the home that are most prone to cockroach infestation. Crawl spaces receive very minimal light and foot traffic; these are conditions that roaches love.

The fact that crawl spaces are used a few times a year gives the crawlers the freedom to be dirty and lay eggs without disturbance from humans. There’s a high chance you will find lots of poop here in case of infestation.

  • Basements – The basement is another favorite hideout for roaches, especially if it is unfinished. Many homeowners rarely go down into unfinished basements. Without human disturbances, the insects have all the time and space to reproduce and leave their droppings.
  • Attics – You may think of ignoring the attic because it is high above the ground. Roaches usually like to lay their eggs in the attic because it is quite far away from intruders. This location ensures that when their young ones hatch, they have a high chance to grow to maturity.

Now that you know where to check for roaches’ fecal matter, what do you do when you find the feces? You’ll need to get rid of them.

How To Get Rid of Cockroach Feces

To meticulously get rid of roach feces, you should start from the top. These crawlers usually hang out on top of cabinets and kitchen appliances. Using a vacuum hose, suck up the roach waste from the inside and surfaces of cabinets.  Vacuum under appliances and in all the cracks and crevices where you have seen the crawlers.

From the top of cabinets and appliances, work your way down. Vacuum the upholstery, floors, and carpets to get rid of any traces of roach feces. It is advisable to wear protective gloves while doing the cleaning. You don’t want your skin to come in contact with the droppings.

After you have finished vacuuming, add some pine-based disinfectant cleaner to a bucket with one gallon of hot water. Wash down all the surfaces, including the top of the cabinets and appliances. This step is an effective way to get rid of allergens left by roach fecal matter.

When the cleansing solution begins to look dirty, prepare a fresh bucket of cleanser. Clean the outsides and inside of cabinets, appliances, countertops, and flooring. Once you have finished, you’ll need to think about ways to prevent re-infestation.

How to Prevent Roach Re-infestation

The best way to ensure you will not be dealing with roach feces again is to prevent a new roach infestation, which we have written a complete guide here. Be sure to do an exhaustive cleaning and sanitizing. Otherwise, there could be a fecal matter left in your house that could continue causing diseases for several years to come.

Then, you’ll need to implement the following measures to ensure no new infestation develops in your home.

  • Cleaning – The first thing you’ll have to do is maintain cleanliness in your house. Roaches abhor cleanliness, and that will keep them away.
  • Store food properly – Make sure you store your food in airtight containers. Avoid storing food in open areas where pests can eat them. Otherwise, the food will attract various kinds of pests to your home, including roaches.
  • Consider using roach baits – After getting rid of pests from your home, you can use the gel bait in various areas of your house. Use them in the bathroom and kitchen. For example, you can use the bait after every ten days and then gradually increase the period between each treatment.

Final Thoughts

The presence of significant amounts of roach feces in your house could be an indication of a cockroach infestation. The size and color of the fecal matter can help you determine the kind of roaches you could be dealing with. Large solid droppings are a sign of bigger roaches, while specks indicate the presence of smaller crawlers.

Roach feces can cause a variety of detrimental side effects. The most common effects include asthma, allergic reactions, as well as the spread of disease-causing bacteria like E.coli and Salmonella. The droppings can also stain your upholstery.

It is essential to get rid of roach droppings as soon as you detect them. Make sure you wear protective clothing while cleaning to prevent your skin from getting into contact with the droppings. After a thorough cleaning, take measures to avoid a new infestation so that you do not have to deal with roach poop in the future.

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