Do cockroaches leave droppings? Yes, and the correct identification of their feces is important in diagnosing a roach infestation. So what exactly does roach poop look like? Is it dangerous, can it cause allergies, or make you sick? Let’s take a look at all these questions.
How to identify cockroach droppings?
It’s easy to spot once you learn what to look for. Cockroach poop is shaped like small cylindrical pellets and colored black or brown. The size of the droppings are proportional to the size of the cockroach (adult or nymph) and can vary slightly by species, but ranges from small specks to pellet shapes that look like a small tic-tac candy (colored brown or black, of course).
One cockroach feces here or there on the floor is not easy to identify because at first glance it may look like ordinary dirt or debris. But cockroaches tend to congregate and travel through their favorite crevices and hiding places, and their droppings can accumulate in these areas. When a cluster of cockroach droppings is discovered, it is much easier to identify. Roaches love kitchens the most, so that is often where large amounts of hidden roach droppings are located. Please reference the photo in this article of a large amount of roach poop that is accumulated under the refrigerator.
Are cockroach feces dangerous?
The presence of roach droppings in the home have been linked to human health issues. Allergies, most notably asthma, are exacerbated by chemicals present in cockroach feces. In addition to causing breathing difficulties, roach poop is also linked to skin rashes and eczema.
If you have spotted roach droppings, you can be sure that the filthy bugs are crawling along your floors and counter surfaces in search of food and water. When doing so, they transmit many different bacteria to these services which can easily be transferred to people’s hands, feet, and the food they eat. This bacteria can cause gastrointestinal issues such as diarrhea and stomach aches. Bacteria transmitted from feces to an open wound can cause serious infection. Additionally, a large roast infestation can lead to painful cockroach bites on people.
So yes, cockroach feces are dangerous and can make you sick. But they won’t kill you and it’s nothing to panic about. Certainly, though, you should take serious and deliberate steps to get rid of the roach infestation and clean up the roach droppings.
Cockroach poop on the wall
It’s easier to spot a single cockroach dropping when it is attached directly to a wall. Most feces will be on the ground because that’s where gravity carries it, but sometimes when a cockroache is crawling up the wall it will leave a poop that sticks to it, and it can stay there for months without dropping to the floor.
Since most walls are white and roach feces are black or brown, the color contrast and the conspicuous location makes them easier to spot. That and their telltale cylindrical poop shape makes roach feces on the wall easy to identify.
Does cockroach poop smell or leave stains?
Most people cannot easily smell roach droppings. Those with sensitive noses can smell it, however, especially if there is a large amount of it and it has been decaying for some time. Fresh roach droppings will not stain floors and other services. But as it decomposes, especially if wet or mixed with water, the poop can cause discoloration and stains to whatever it is in contact with.
Cockroach droppings vs mouse droppings
When identifying pest droppings, a common question is how to tell the difference between mouse and cockroach poop. The truth is they look very similar except for size. Mouse feces are several times bigger than that of a cockroach. Again, reference the image of roach feces at the top of this article.
How to clean up cockroach droppings properly?
So now that you are aware of all the negative health implications, what’s the best way to clean the droppings and kill the associated bacteria? Simply sweep up or vacuum the dry droppings as best you can. Then, for hard surfaces, use a mop or sponge with a heavy dose of disinfectant to kill the bacteria. For carpeting, steam cleaning with disinfectant will be necessary to kill the bacteria.
And of course, you have to get rid of the roach infestation to prevent the accumulation of more droppings. Luckily, there are several excellent roach poisons to choose from and you can read all about them in my article about how to get rid of roaches.