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How to Identify Cockroach poop? (RAT’s or Roach?)

Correctly identifying cockroach poop will help you know about an ongoing roach infestation, but identifying cockroach poop can sometimes be tricky because it looks identical to droppings from other insects. However, a few learned identification points will make the job much easy for you.

Cockroach poop looks semi-solid, waxy deep brown to black 1 mm crystals with rounded ends and streaks on the side. It appears similar to ground coffee or black peppers.

However, the appearance of cockroach poop highly depends upon the humidity and presence of water. Therefore, when it’s dry, the cockroach poop might appear solid, like grains of rice or liquified smear marks in places with high humidity.

Roach feces not only appear filthy and smell awful but can also be the cause of diseases spread like typhoid and paratyphoid fever. Moreover, cockroach feces also trigger allergies and asthma episodes in people with known allergies to cockroach products.

Therefore, correct identification of cockroach poop is essential, and this blog will help you in this regard.

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Do Roaches Poop?

Before we move on to identifying cockroach poop, we must answer, do roaches poop? Yes! Roaches, like all other living creatures, poop and can make the surface look extremely dirty.

Moreover, insects, including cockroaches, do not urinate. Instead, cockroaches have Malpighian tubules that open into their gut, making their poop semi-solid.

A cockroach poops daily depending on food availability, with each poop measuring 1 mm in size. Many roaches pooping in an area make the place look dotted and extremely filthy.

What does roach poop look like?

As mentioned earlier, the appearance and consistency of roach poop can vary depending on the humidity in the environment. However, the following features are common to roach poop,

1. Shape of cockroach poop

Generally speaking, cockroach feces are either roundish chunks or oval-shaped and mostly appear as black or brown fecal stains. These stains are also referred to as cockroach smear marks.

Smaller roaches have smaller droppings that appear finely ground pepper with blunt ends. The droppings from the larger roaches leave behind dark cylindrical droppings and have ridges running across the sides. 

2. Size of cockroach poop

Roach frass (the more proper name for insect dropping) may be large like a grain of rice, or small, like coffee grounds. In simple words, It is directly proportional to the size of the cockroach.

However, on average, the size of cockroach poop can vary from 0.5 mm to 2 mm.

3. Color

Roach feces are dark brown to black and waxy in texture. In high humidity, the cockroach feces leaves a light trail on the surface with a reddish color.

4. Smell of roach droppings 

It has an unpleasant, musty urine-like strong odor due to pheromones in the droppings. The smell of roach droppings can be nauseating.

The smell of roach excrement is awful, but it can also attract more roaches, which can be troublesome. 

5. Baby roach droppings

Baby cockroach poop looks similar to adult cockroach poop except it is smaller. Also, it more often looks like specks.

Roach poop pictures 

Cockroach poop looks like waxy semi-solid multiple black dots that are difficult to remove and can’t be blown away with a puff. On the other hand, poop from other organisms, e.g., mice or lizards, is not attached firmly to the surface, is easy to clean, and can be blown away with air.

Here are pictures of cockroach poop,

Picture of roach poop inside kitchen cabinets (on hinges)
Picture of cockroach poop Inside the wardrobe
Picture of cockroach poop under the kitchen sink
Picture of cockroach poop under the bathroom sink
Picture of cockroach poop under the kitchen sink
Picture of cockroach poop inside kitchen cabinet
Picture of cockroach poop at corners inside the wardrobe
Magnified view of cockroach poop

Spots to look for cockroach Droppings

Cockroaches poop anywhere they go, but the droppings are mostly found inside cockroach nests and in places with a food source such as kitchens, pantries, bathrooms, etc.

Places you are likely to find cockroach poop includes,

  1. In the corners of the room
  2. On the top of the shelves and cabinets
  3. Under the sinks of the bathroom
  4. Inside of drawers, closets, and other food storage areas
  5. Trashcan and dumpsters 
  6. Leaf litter and mulch
  7. Any cracks or gaps in the floor.

Do you know where roaches hide? Read this article: Cockroach hiding places, to know more!

Cockroach poop can be Dangroues! 

A cockroach poop not only appears filthy and smells awful but can also be harmful to humans. This is because cockroaches eat feces and rotting matter and inhabit filthy environments like sewers, drains, and garbage pumps.

These places are hotspots of bacteria and viruses, and after they return indoors, they carry these bacterias and excrete them in their feces. Therefore, cockroach poop can cause diarrhea, food poisoning, stomach pain, etc. 

Aside from causing sickness, the debris they leave behind (including feces and sheddings) contains proteins that can trigger allergic reactions and asthma attacks.

Additional Read: Why Ultrasonic Pest Control Devices Does not Work on Roaches? 

Mouse poop vs Roach Poop

Although a roach poop looks similar to mice feces, it is not difficult to differentiate them. Cockroach poop is different from mouse poop in shape, size, and texture. Moreover, the contents of the poop also help differentiate them better.

Here are the few differences between cockroach and mouse poop,

  1. Cockroach droppings are much smaller than mouse poop (cockroach poop = 1 mm, Mouse poop = 4 to 8 mm) .
  2. Cockroach poop has blunt ends while mouse poop may have tapered ends. 
  3. Another key characteristic of roach poop is that it has ridges running across the sides of the dropping while mouse poop don’t have these ridges.
  4. Mouse poop has hairs and sometimes bits of food particles such as paper or wood whereas roach poop is slimy and lacks such contents.

The world’s most enormous cockroach measures 4.5 inches in length with an estimated wingspan of 8.6 Inches.

How to clean Cockroach poop?

Cockroach poop is not easy to clean because it is waxy in nature and sticks to the surfaces adherently. However, here are a few steps to clean cockroach poop,

Step 1: Vaccum Clean the Area

Use a vacuum hose with a HEPA filter to suck up all the droppings from the areas where you find feces.

Start vacuuming from the highest point, such as the top of the kitchen cabinet, then work your way down. After vacuuming, remove the bag from the machine and dispose of it safely. 

Step 2: Disinfect the Area

The next step is to disinfect the area using a disinfectant such as Alcohol or a deteregent to kill all the bacteria and viruses.

Spray a generous quantity of disinfectant on the area and wait for a few minutes, then carefully scrub the area with a piece of cloth. Repeat this step two to three times to completely eradicate bacteria and viruses. 

Step 3: Wash the Area with Soapy Water or Washing Powder

First, apply soapy hot water with a piece of cloth, wait for ten minutes and then scrub the surface with a brush or sponge. Next, thoroughly wash the area with plenty of water to remove cockroach smear marks and stains on the surface.

For better results, add baking soda to the mixture. 

Step 4: Destroy any leftover Allergens

Prepare a solution of pine-based disinfectant in a water gallon and sanitize all the surfaces where feces were spotted.

Despite all cleaning, if any allergen is left behind, it will be destroyed or removed. 

Step 5: Wipe the Area dry

After successfully removing cockroach droppings, the next and last step is to wipe the area dry. You can use a piece of dry cloth to mope the area or blow a fan for a few minutes to let the water evaporate.

Additional Read!