What do bed bug poop look like?

by | Jun 8, 2023 | 0 comments

bed-bugs are notorious pests that can wreak havoc on our lives, primarily when they infest our homes. These tiny bloodsuckers leave us with itchy welts and signs of their presence. One such sign is their droppings, also known as bed-bug poop. This article will explore how bed-bug droppings look and how to identify them.


Cimex lectularius, more often known as bed-bugs, are tiny, spherical reddish-brown bugs that survive almost exclusively on human blood. These nighttime pests are ubiquitous, showing up everywhere from private residences to public transit.

Identifying the signs of a bed-bug infestation is crucial for prompt action and effective control. Among these signs, bed-bug droppings can provide valuable evidence. To understand more about bed-bugs, you can read our article on what bed-bugs are.

bed-bug Droppings: An Overview

bed-bug droppings are the fecal matter excreted by these tiny pests after they have fed on blood. As bed-bugs feed, they digest the blood and excrete waste, which appears as dark stains or marks on various surfaces.

Data/Statistic Description
Size bBed bug faeces are roughly 1mm in size, or the size of a dot created by a ballpoint pen.
Color bed-bug poop is dark brown or black, and leaves behind ink-like stains[2].
Shape bed-bug poop leaves a small and relatively regular stain each time, similar to the shape of ink from a pen soaking into a sheet[2].
Location bed-bugs will usually leave their droppings close to where they are feeding, such as around the bed frame, mattress, box spring, or headboard[1].
Identification bed-bug poop can be identified by its color, shape, and location, and can help in identifying a bed-bug infestation[3].
Other signs of infestation Other signs of bed-bug infestation include seeing the bed-bugs themselves, feeling small itchy bumps on your skin in the morning, and finding bed-bug harborages close to where the droppings are[1][3][6].

Understanding the characteristics of bed-bug droppings is crucial for accurate identification and differentiation from other stains or marks. To know more about where bed-bugs lay their eggs, you can read our article on what bed-bug eggs look like on a mattress.

Characteristics of bed-bug Poop

Size and Shape

bed-bug droppings are typically small and have a distinctive shape. They are similar in size to a pinhead and resemble tiny black specks. When fresh, the droppings are moist and may appear slightly smeared. However, they tend to harden and become more visible as they dry.


The color of bed-bug droppings is usually dark brown or black. The droppings may darken over time as they dry and oxidize. In some cases, bed-bug feces may also have a rusty or reddish tinge, depending on the consumed blood.


The texture of bed-bug droppings can vary depending on their freshness. When fresh, they may appear slightly smeared due to their moisture content. However, as they dry, they become more solid and resemble tiny, dried specks.

Where to Find bed-bug Droppings

bed-bug droppings can be found in various locations where these pests infest. Knowing where to look can increase the chances of identifying an infestation early on. Here are some familiar places to find bed-bug droppings:

Did you know?

bed-bugs are more active in warmer months, but they can still thrive in cooler temperatures indoors.

  • On bedding and mattresses: bed-bugs are commonly found in mattresses and bedding, as they prefer to stay close to their hosts during feeding. Check your sheets, pillowcases, and mattress seams for minor black stains. You can read more about this in our article on bed-bugs in bedding.
  • In cracks and crevices: bed-bugs are adept at hiding in small cracks and crevices near their feeding areas. Inspect baseboards, furniture joints, and electrical outlets for any indications of dark stains or specks.
  • On furniture and upholstery: If you suspect a bed-bug infestation, carefully examine upholstered furnishings, e.g. sofas, chairs, and pillows. Look for black marks or smears on the fabric or in the crevices of the furniture.

bed-bugs in skirting board crack

Distinguishing bed-bug Feces from Other Stains

It’s essential to differentiate bed-bug droppings from other common stains to identify an infestation accurately. Here are some stains often mistaken for bed-bug feces:

  • Blood stains: bed-bug bites can cause individuals to scratch, leading to blood stains on bedding. These stains are typically reddish-brown and appear in random patterns, unlike the black specks of bed-bug droppings.
  • Flea dirt: Flea dirt is the excrement of fleas after feeding on blood. It resembles small, black specks and is often found in areas where fleas reside. However, flea dirt tends to have a more granular texture than bed-bug droppings.
  • Mold and mildew: In damp environments, mold and mildew can develop, leaving behind dark surface stains. Unlike bed-bug droppings, these stains usually have a fuzzy or irregular texture and may emit a musty odor.

Health Risks Associated with bed-bug Droppings

While bed-bug droppings themselves may not pose direct health risks, their presence indicates an infestation, which can lead to various health issues. bed-bug bites can cause allergic reactions, skin infections, and psychological distress.

Did you know?

bed-bugs have flattened bodies, allowing them to hide in narrow spaces such as seams, cracks, and electrical outlets.

Additionally, scratching the bites can increase the risk of secondary infections. To know more about the effects of squishing a bed-bug, you can read our article on what happens when you squish a bed-bug.

How to Identify and Confirm bed-bug Feces

Identifying and confirming the presence of bed-bug droppings is crucial for effective pest control. Here are some methods to identify bed-bug feces:

  • Using a magnifying glass: To get a closer look at suspected bed-bug droppings, use a magnifying glass or a smartphone with a macro lens. This can help you examine the characteristics and distinguish them from other stains.
  • Conducting a bed-bug inspection: If you find indications of bed-bug droppings, it is essential to conduct a thorough inspection to confirm the presence of an infestation. Look for other signs such as live bed-bugs, shed skins, or eggs in the vicinity. You can read more about this in our article on what bed-bug nests look like.

Preventing and Eliminating bed-bug Infestations

Prevention is key when it comes to bed-bugs. Here are some measures you can take to prevent and eliminate bed-bug infestations:

  • Regular cleaning and vacuuming: Regularly clean and vacuum your home, paying close attention to areas where bed-bugs may hide, such as mattresses, furniture, and baseboards. Dispose of the vacuum bag or clean the canister after each use. You can read more about this in our article on how to clean after bed-bug treatment.
  • Professional pest control: If you suspect or confirm a bed-bug infestation, it is advisable to seek professional help from a licensed pest control company. They have the expertise and specialized treatments to eliminate bed-bugs from your home effectively.
  • Proper hygiene practices: Maintain good hygiene practices to minimize the risk of bed-bug infestations. Wash bedding and clothing regularly in hot water and dry them on high heat to kill any potential bed-bugs or their eggs. You can read more about this in our article on how to get bed-bug stains out of sheets.


bed-bug droppings indicate a bed-bug infestation and can help you promptly identify and address the problem. By understanding the characteristics of bed-bug feces and knowing where to look for them, you can take the necessary steps to eliminate these pests from your home.

Remember to practice preventive measures and seek professional assistance to control bed-bug infestations effectively. To know more about how long bed-bug treatment lasts, you can read our article on how long does bed-bug treatment last.


How do you identify bed-bug feces?

bed-bug feces are typically small, dark stains or spots found on surfaces such as bedding, mattresses, furniture, or walls. They are often similar in appearance to tiny black specks or ink dots.

Is bed-bug poop soft or hard?

bed-bug feces are usually found in the form of small, dried droppings that resemble black or dark brown spots. They are typically firm or solid in texture.

Is bed-bug poop harmful?

While bed-bug feces themselves are not known to transmit diseases directly, their presence indicates a bed-bug infestation, which can cause various health issues such as allergic reactions, skin irritation, and psychological distress.

Can you wash out bed-bug poop?

Yes, bed-bug poop can be washed out. It is recommended to use hot water and detergent to clean affected items such as bedding, clothing, or furniture. Thoroughly launder or vacuum the area to remove any traces of feces. You can read more about this in our article on how to dispose of bed-bug mattress.

How long does bed-bug poop last?

The longevity of bed-bug feces depends on environmental factors such as temperature and humidity. In general, dried bed-bug feces can remain visible for a long time if undisturbed. However, regular cleaning and maintenance can help remove them.

How sick can bed-bugs make you?

Diseases are seldom transmitted to people by bed-bugs. Their bites may result in itching, swelling, and pain. Scratching the bites too much, though, might cause illness. Anxiety, sleep disruptions, and emotional discomfort have all been linked to an encounter with bed-bugs.

Do bed-bugs like clean or dirty beds?

bed-bugs do not discriminate between clean or dirty beds. They are attracted to humans and warm-blooded animals, primarily seeking a blood meal. bed-bug infestations can occur in any environment, regardless of cleanliness. You can read more about this in our article on common misconceptions about bed-bugs.

Duane Cepeda is a highly skilled and experienced bed bug exterminator with a passion for creating pest-free living spaces. With a keen eye for detail and a thorough understanding of bed bug behavior, Duane is dedicated to providing effective and tailored solutions to help clients rid their homes of these persistent pests. Trusted by many, Duane Cepeda is committed to delivering top-notch pest control services that ensure peace of mind and a good night’s sleep for his customers.


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