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Roach Poop Guide: Pictures, Identify, Compared, 6 Things to Know

Cockroaches are almost universally despised, and poop is one of the grossest substances you can discover in your house. If you found something that looks like roach poop, this guide will help.

I’ll guide you through everything you need to know about cockroaches and their poop. This article will equip you with the proper knowledge to recognize roach poop in your home and be able to recognize a possible infestation before it’s too late.

To help, I’ll compare roach poop with roach eggs and mouse droppings. If you’re a squeamish person, hold your nose and read on. 

roach poop

This article is part of our huge set of information about cockroaches.

If you have a roach infestation in your home, you have no choice but to identify then eliminate the invading creepy crawlers and their disgusting droppings.

What Does Cockroach Poop Look Like?

Where roaches are often elusive and shy, their droppings are often the most visible signs to spot.

Cockroach poop is recognizable as either brown or black particles, ranging in size from specks the size of coffee grounds to small pellets, depending on how large the cockroaches are. 

what does cockroach poop look like

The above image shows what poop from roaches looks like: a collection of tiny black specks.

In contrast, poop from large roaches is larger and shaped like small pellets. They are cylindrical, and if you look closely, you can observe that they are lined with ridges. 

If you only have a few roaches, you might not notice the droppings because they will be so small and scattered. However, this marker becomes much more evident when a more extensive infestation moves in.

Roach droppings will not be confined to a single area of the house; instead, they defecate everywhere, leaving droppings behind everywhere they travel.

However, there are a few locations where droppings will be located more prominently: near the nest and the roaches’ food source. Two prime areas where you are likely to see a large number of roach droppings are the kitchen and the laundry room.

Be sure to check inside cabinets, on counters, in drawers, and underneath appliances. If these surfaces are dark in color, the feces will be more difficult to spot, as they usually take a black or brown hue.

Cockroach Eggs vs. Poop

Cockroach eggs and droppings are often found together but are not the same. 

As disgusting as it is to find poop, roach eggs are also an intimidating prospect because they are becoming established.

Rather than laying individual eggs, female roaches lay clusters of egg sacks that resemble a small leathery purse. Each capsule can contain up to 48 eggs that will eventually become adult roaches. 

Here’s how roach eggs look compared to roach poop.

roach eggs vs poop
Roach eggs vs poop: the differences are obvious

Do Roaches Pee?

Like most species of bugs, cockroaches do not urinate. Their excretions are limited to poop, which can be both solid and semi-solid.

Semi-solid feces can sometimes be runny or fluid, resembling an ink stain. This fact being said, it is not urine. 

If you have roaches, at least you only need to worry about one kind of excrement.

cockroach poop kitchen
Small kitchen is overtaken by cockroaches and is covered in roach droppings

Roach Poop But no Roaches?

You think you have identified foreign droppings in your home as belonging to a family of cockroaches, but you can’t find the bugs themselves. What now?

One possibility is that the feces you found are remnants of a former infestation that has since been eradicated. Exterminators often kill and remove the bugs in question but do not always thoroughly clean areas that might be covered in poop.

You can figure out if this is the case by cleaning up the feces in your home and keeping a sharp eye out to see if they reappear. If you find new poop, you have an active infestation on your hands.

If some time passes after you clean up and you don’t have any new roach droppings, you are likely in the clear.

Roach Poop vs Mouse Poop

It’s essential to be able to tell to what kind of animal or insect the fecal evidence in your home is pointing. Cockroach droppings are often confused for mouse droppings, but a few key differences between the species will help you tell them apart.

roach poop vs mouse poop
Roach Poop vs Mouse Poop

The first is size. Mice are bigger creatures and will naturally produce larger droppings than most cockroaches.

The second main difference is that mice are mammals, and as such, you will often see tiny strands of fur sticking out of the feces.

The third distinguishing feature is whether the droppings have ridges.

  • Feces produced by certain large species of roach will have ridges running down the length of the cylindrical pellet.
  • Mice droppings, on the other hand, are completely smooth and do not show bumps.
roach droppings
Cockroach with fresh droppings

Differences Between Cockroach Types

Now you know the answer to the question of what cockroach poop looks like, it’s important to dive into some other details.

Experts generally divide cockroaches into two categories: small and large. Each category contains a huge variety of species, but a few common culprits are often found in homes in the United States.

  • German cockroaches and oriental cockroaches are both of a small variety and are some of the most typical home invaders.
  • American cockroaches and Palmetto cockroaches are two of the larger species of roach. They typically measure over an inch in length, and most people dislike them more because of their size.

Unfortunately for humans, cockroaches are resilient. They exist as thousands of species and can survive in even the harshest living conditions. Here’s more about why cockroaches exist.

pictures of roach poop
Pair of orange-spotted roaches in a cardboard box, surrounded by their poop

How to Tell Them Apart

One of the first ways you can tell what kind of roach you’re dealing with is by the size of their droppings.

  • Small roaches produce the smallest droppings that will look like spilled coffee grounds or black pepper.
  • Giant roaches have big poop: a single dropping from a large cockroach can be the size of a grain of rice. 

If you catch sight of the insects themselves, you will be able to identify more narrowly to what species they belong. 

  • Both male and female American cockroaches have wings and can fly short distances. Oriental cockroaches, on the other hand, cannot take to the skies with wings.
  • Another main difference between these two species is that Oriental cockroaches have darker, shinier bodies. American cockroaches (also known as Palmetto bugs) are reddish-brown or light brown.

There are a few key differences between the two most common small species of cockroach found in homes.

German cockroaches are the most prevalent and are pale brown in color, whereas brown-banded roaches have wings and two yellow bands that run across their bodies.

Here’s more about the many types of cockroaches.

Final Thoughts

Not only are cockroach droppings disgusting, but they can also pose a health hazard.

Feces on commonly touched surfaces such as counters, cabinets, and floors can spread bacteria and disease. Roach droppings also have a more significant impact on individuals with asthma.

Pheromones in roach poop mean that uncleaned feces can actually attract more roaches, the opposite of what you want!

Coming across roach poop is an essential step for you in waging war against pests and can give you an upper hand. Armed with the information in this article, don’t wait to get in touch with a local exterminator.