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What Do Cockroach Droppings Look Like?

No one wants to deal with the problem of lots of cockroaches, let alone having to deal with their droppings at home! In addition to being unpleasant and smelling unpleasant, the protein (or allergen) content in cockroach droppings is known to be harmful to human health and triggers an allergic reaction in some people.

The good news is that cockroach droppings can be very easily spotted and become real evidence of a cockroach problem at home. Learn more about what cockroach droppings look like and the dangers of cockroach droppings to human health in this article.

Or call Rentokil right away if you’re really bothered by the presence of so many cockroaches at home right now.

What do cockroach droppings look like?


What are cockroach droppings like?

Cockroaches always leave brown or black, cylindrical droppings wherever they go. In general, cockroach droppings are less than 1mm wide and of varying lengths. However, the colour and size of the cockroach droppings will depend largely on the type of cockroaches you currently face at home.

Cockroaches’ food includes dead animal flesh, garbage, or even human feces, causing them to produce large amounts of feces every day. In addition, the form of cockroach droppings can vary widely, from solid to semi-liquid, depending on what the cockroaches eat.

Below are some ways to identify the forms of cockroach droppings based on their type and the differences from other animal feces, such as rat feces.

What do the cockroach droppings of a large cockroach look like?

One of the most common species or types of large cockroaches found in many Indonesian homes is the American cockroach. American cockroaches generally leave cylindrical, dark black droppings with rounded edges and bumps or teeth along their edges. The average size of American cockroach droppings is approximately 1/8 inch, or equivalent to the size of a grain of rice.

If you find large amounts of cockroach feces or droppings in the shape described above, then you may have a serious problem with the American cockroach type you have at home!

What do cockroach droppings from small cockroaches look like?

Some of the most common small cockroaches found haunting every homeowner in Indonesia are the brown-striped cockroach and the German cockroach.

In general, the smaller types of cockroaches leave black or brown semi-liquid feces that are more like spots or stains and, at first glance, look like coffee grounds or black pepper.

One of the significant differences between the brown-striped cockroach droppings and the German cockroach droppings is that the German cockroach droppings are much wetter in texture. This is because the German cockroach’s habitat prefers damp places.

What is the difference between cockroach droppings and rat droppings?

For untrained eyes, both cockroach droppings (especially large cockroaches) and rat droppings look very similar and are difficult to distinguish. But if you take a closer look, there are some key differences between these two annoying pests.

Looking at their shape, rat droppings do not have the same protrusions or teeth as cockroach droppings. Rat droppings are larger in size, have a smooth texture, and have tapered ends, so they are not the same as blunt-tip cockroach droppings.

Rat droppings are also often found to have little feathers attached to them, which are unlikely to be found in non-bristle cockroach droppings.

Where can cockroach droppings be found at home?

Cockroach pests don’t have a special place to defecate, so cockroach droppings can be found anywhere around your home.

The easiest way to find cockroach droppings is to look at some of the spots close to the nesting places (warm and humid places) and where they usually find food sources in your home.

Check out some of the most common places where cockroach droppings have been found in your home below:

Kitchen: in kitchen cabinets and drawers, under cookware, and behind refrigerators or water dispensers.

Bathroom: near drain pipes, behind sinks, and bathroom cabinets.

Washing room: near damp areas, such as between or near bucket stacks, and in warm spots, such as behind a washing machine.

Are cockroach droppings harmful to your health?

If you ask, “Are cockroach droppings harmful to human health?” So, the short answer is yes.

Cockroaches can carry and spread disease from parts of the body and their droppings. In addition to cockroach eggs, their saliva, and decaying bodies, cockroach droppings are also known to trigger allergic reactions in humans.

Cockroaches are not the same as mosquitoes, which can transmit disease vectors directly through mechanical transfer. But like green flies, cockroaches also act as reservoirs or shelters for some dangerous pathogens, including salmonella and staphylococcus.


Cockroach droppings can contaminate human surfaces and food.

Because of their unhealthy eating habits, cockroaches can spread harmful pathogens through their droppings. When a cockroach eats something contaminated, such as raw chicken pieces or animal waste, the organisms enter and may be stored in their digestive system.

The pathogen will then be removed through cockroach droppings and will contaminate the surface and the food to be consumed.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there are several diseases of cockroaches, including:

  • Diarrhoea
  • Dysentery
  • Typhoid fever
  • Cholera

Why should cockroach droppings be cleaned immediately?

Apart from how dangerous cockroach droppings are for human health, cockroach droppings also act as a pheromone for other cockroaches. Why is that?

Cockroach droppings contain chemical signals that are capable of ‘calling’ other cockroaches to feed them at the nearest food and water source. Maybe you only see one cockroach wandering around, but there are hundreds of other cockroaches hiding and waiting for the right signal to immediately go out and find a meal.

Because cockroach droppings can be harmful to your health if you handle them yourself, the best way to remove cockroaches and their droppings from your home is to get help from a professional cockroach remover.

Contact Rentokil today to schedule a free cockroach pest survey at your site.

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