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What Does Roach Poop Look Like? Easy Ways To Identify It

Several roaches and droppings inside a red bowl.

The thought of having a roach infestation can bring on a ton of worry.

Roaches can be hard to spot since they usually come out at night, but they will likely leave behind droppings, indicating to you that they are in your home.

What does roach poop look like? Roach poop varies in appearance depending on the size of the roach. Small roaches leave behind little, dark specks resembling coffee grounds or dark, ink-like stains. Large roaches leave behind cylindrical droppings with ridges that resemble mouse poop.

Finding roach poop in your home can mean that you have a big problem on your hands or it could just be a small little task to take care of.

With the help of this guide, you will be able to tell how big the roaches are and when and if it is necessary to call an exterminator to take care of your problem. 

Before calling an exterminator, read through all of our roach articles to learn various DIY roach control methods that really work. Click here to see them all.

What Does Roach Poop Look Like?

If you have found what you believe to be roach poop in your home, then you may be feeling a little worried.

Fortunately, a roach’s poop can help you identify exactly which type you’re dealing with and how big they are so that you can better understand how to get rid of them.

Small Roaches

Smaller species of roaches, such as brown-banded and German cockroaches, will leave behind waste that looks like tiny black or brown specks.

These droppings typically look like coffee grounds or black pepper. Also, depending on the type of surface, the feces may appear to be a dark, ink-like stain or ink smear. 

Large Roaches

Larger species of cockroaches, such as smoky brown, American, and Oriental cockroaches, will typically leave behind droppings that resemble mouse poop.

They will be solid, cylinder-shaped, and black or brown.

Is It Mouse Poop or Roach Poop?

There is no doubt about it; when you find poop in your house, you want to identify the critter it came from as quickly as possible. 

Here are some ways that you can tell if your intruders are large roaches and not small mice:

  • There will be no hairs in the poop.
  • The poop will have ridges or grooves in them rather than being smooth.
  • The droppings will be slightly smaller than mouse poop.  

Once you have discovered if there is, in fact, roach poop in your home, you need to understand what needs to be done to get rid of the roaches. 

The Amount of Poop Matters

It is important to know that you can easily tell if there are many roaches in your home by the amount of feces that you see.

If it is just a few droppings, then you likely do not have an infestation, but one may be forthcoming if you don’t act quickly.

If there is an abundance of roach poop, you may definitely have a few too many running around. 

Did you know that seeing baby roaches (and their tiny poop) indicates that you’re dealing with an infestation? Learn more here.

Where Is Roach Poop Usually Found?

After finding an area of roach poop, it is important to look in other areas of your home for roach poop so that you can clean up the mess, which can be dangerous and unsanitary.

Here are some places where roach poop is usually found:

  • Hidden Areas – A hidden area can be anywhere that is not regularly cleaned. This can be on top of cabinets, doors, shelves, and anywhere else that is high.
  • Kitchen Areas – Most people find roach poop in their kitchens due to the food located there. You will likely find roach poop in cabinets, in pantries, in drawers, around trash cans, and under stoves and refrigerators.
  • Appliances – You will likely find roach droppings around any area where there is an electrical appliance. The appliances can include televisions, washers, dryers, Wi-Fi modems, sinks, computers, and even coffee makers.
  • Kids’ Rooms – You may find roach poop in places where your children play regularly. Check toy boxes, playpens, and anywhere children tend to snack.
  • Structural Areas – You can find roach poop in any cracks that are in your walls or floors. You may even find it along the baseboards in your home. 
  • Clutter – Unfortunately, you could possibly find roach poop in areas where things are stored, particularly if the things are stored in cardboard boxes with lots of paper. 

Be sure to check out all of these areas if you have found roach poop in just one.

You will want to be sure that you know how many roaches you are dealing with, and you will want to get all of those areas clean as soon as possible.

Know that even clean houses can be welcoming homes to roaches (learn why here), so don’t be too horrified when you do spot some roach excrement.

What Do You Do If You Find Roach Poop?

After you find roach poop in your home, it is important to get the problem taken care of immediately.

Examining the amount of poop that you find in all of the common places poop is usually found will give you a good idea of the next steps that you need to take.

First and foremost, you will want to get the roach poop cleaned up as quickly as possible.

Roaches are filthy creatures. However, there’s no need to worry about them biting you and causing physical harm as you investigate their hiding spots.

As we explain in this article, roach bites are not common at all. The main threat comes from their waste.

The next couple of days should be able to tell you if you need to call an exterminator. 

How to Clean Roach Poop

Since we know that the first thing you should do when you find roach poop is to clean it, you will need to know the most effective way to get the areas clean.

Cleaning the areas where you find poop is extremely important because roaches spread bacteria.

They run through trash and sewage, eating anything and everything that they can find.

When they poop, they are ridding themselves of that waste and spreading bacteria and possibly diseases all over your home.

Follow these steps in order to effectively clean the roach poop:

  1. Sweep or vacuum – Pick up the droppings. (Then promptly clean and sanitize the vacuum or broom and dustpan.)
  2. Dispose of the droppings – Immediately take them out of your home, preferably to the outside trashcan.
  3. Use hot, soapy water to thoroughly clean the areas – Wear gloves while cleaning.
  4. Disinfect – Once the area is cleaned and rinsed, use a cleaning chemical, such as bleach, to disinfect the area. This will also help to remove the odor, which attracts more roaches.

Once you have thoroughly cleaned the areas, be sure to check them daily so that you can tell if you still have roaches in your home. 

Using all-natural cleaning products that contain antimicrobial essential oils can help disinfect surfaces and will act as a deterrent as roaches are repelled by many essential oils (see which ones here).

Combat Roaches Yourself or Use an Exterminator

Once you have cleaned the roach poop areas well, you will easily be able to tell if you need to call an exterminator or not.

If you have only seen one small area of roach droppings, you could easily handle the problem yourself.

In our article “Best Roach Killer,” you’ll find an explanation of the different pesticide forms and the top 10 products to use when combating roaches.

Some people choose to use a fogger device, which disperses tiny droplets of pesticides over a large area for fast and effective roach extermination.

If you’d like to go this route, you’ll find out which fogger is best to use in this article.

Glue Traps

Glue traps are simple to use and effective when placed in prime locations.

The roaches (and other pests) walk unsuspectingly across the sticky glue board, are unable to free themselves, then die eventually.

This pack of 90 glue traps comes with plenty of glue boards to place along baseboards, in corners, under sinks, and anywhere else you’ve seen evidence of roach activity.

The traps can either be folded into a triangular shape or left flat to slide easily under appliances and other items low to the ground.

Trapper Insect Trap (Great for Bed Bugs, Spiders,...

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Roach Bait

Roach bait comes in liquid, gel, tablet, and solid form and typically contains an attractant and some type of pesticide.

They work by attracting roaches with their scent, and once the roaches locate the bait, they take some with them back to the nest, thus destroying the entire population.

A roach bait station, like this child-resistant bait station, is usually best if you have children or pets in the home and want to be sure that only targeted pests will come in contact with the bait.

Combat Roach Killing Bait, Roach Bait Station For...

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Roach Motels

Roach motels are basically glue traps; however, they also contain a lure scented with pheromones to attract as many roaches as possible.

The glue trap and lure are enclosed in a box, so dead bugs remain out of sight.

This roach motel by Black Flag will keep on killing for up to four months and provides you with eight traps to place in strategic locations.

Black Flag 8 traps Roach Motel Cockroach Killer...

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When to Call an Exterminator 

If it has only been a couple of days since you cleaned the areas, and now you have to clean them again, you might want to think of contacting an exterminator. 

You will also want to call one if you have seen roaches during the day or hundreds of them at nighttime when you turn lights on in certain areas.

When you see roaches out during the day, it can mean there is no room left for them wherever they are hiding. 

How Often to Have an Exterminator Spray

It is recommended by pest control specialists to get your house sprayed for pests once a month, regardless if you have seen any or not.

This will help to prevent any severe infestations, which could cost hundreds of dollars to take care of.

Your exterminator will help develop a plan for extermination and maintenance.

It is even noted that just because you have only found one small area of roach droppings, that does not mean that there are only a couple of roaches in your home.

They reproduce very quickly and can go inside your walls and other places that you cannot access. 

The best thing to do is call an exterminator immediately so that you know you are going to completely get rid of the roaches.


In conclusion, it is very easy to identify roach poop. Depending on the size and shape, you will be able to tell if you have a smaller or larger species of roach in your home. 

Roach poop varies in appearance depending on the size of the roach. Small roaches leave behind little, dark specks resembling coffee grounds or dark, ink-like stains.

Large roaches leave behind cylindrical droppings that resemble mouse poop.

The best thing to do is to search your home thoroughly for roach poop that could be hidden, clean the areas well, and call an exterminator to eliminate your pest problem.

Learn about key prevention tips, natural elimination solutions, and recommended pesticides in our article “How To Get Rid of Roaches.”