Wherever they go, roaches will leave behind droppings. Roach poop is not only a health hazard to humans, but it also contains pheromones that signal other roaches to gather. This means that even if your roach infestation has been handled, if you do not clean up the droppings, more roaches will be attracted to the area. Cleaning up cockroach droppings is not a glamorous job, but it needs to be done.
Why is it important to clean up roach droppings?
Cockroaches that are household pests are known to inhabit filthy environments like sewers, drains, and garbage dumps. They will also eat nearly anything including trash, decaying food, and waste. This is why roaches can spread many different kinds of bacteria and human pathogens. They contaminate food and surfaces by walking on them and by leaving excrement behind.
Aside from causing sickness and spreading bacteria, roach poop is also known to contain specific proteins that can trigger an allergic response in some people. Allergies to cockroaches are becoming more and more common, especially in big cities. These allergies can exacerbate asthma in susceptible populations. As mentioned earlier, cockroach poop also contains chemical signals, known as pheromones, that tell other roaches to come join them to find food and water. These “aggregation pheromones” must be eliminated if you hope to control a cockroach infestation.
What does roach poop look like?
Cockroach poop varies in size, depending on the roach species that left it. Small species like German roaches leave behind droppings that look like tiny dark, coffee grounds or black smears. Larger roaches, like American or Oriental roaches, leave behind droppings that look like black or brown cylindrical pellets.
Where to look for cockroach droppings?
Roach droppings will be present wherever roaches live or travel. Large quantities will be present in areas where they spend the most time. Common roach hiding places include: behind appliances, under sinks, in cupboards, in closets, around bathrooms and laundry rooms, and in basements and crawl spaces. If you notice roach droppings in these or other areas, it’s time to get cleaning.
How do you clean up roach droppings?
In order to systematically get rid of roach droppings, start at the top. Roaches will often spend time on top of cabinets, refrigerators, or other appliances. Use a vacuum hose to suck up all the droppings from these areas. You also want to use a vacuum to remove droppings from any large cracks or crevices you may notice in your home.
Next, thoroughly wash areas where you see droppings. Soap and water are a good start, but you can also use baking soda to help get rid of the roach smell. Another option is to use a disinfectant cleaner to wipe down surfaces. Make sure you clean floors, appliances, counter tops, cabinets, and anywhere else you have seen signs of roaches.
If you are struggling with a cockroach infestation, PF Harris can help. Our full line of Harris cockroach products has been developed to help homeowners do their own pest control with great results. From roach baits and gels to sprays and aerosols, we have everything you need. For more information, check out Cockroaches: The Ultimate Guide.