Cockroaches are one of the most common pests that can infiltrate houses, restaurants, hospitals, warehouses, offices, or any place with food. They usually have flattened, oval-shaped bodies and long antennae. They also have wings, but only a few of them fly. You might also find cockroaches in different sizes, colors, and markings. This is because there are different types of cockroaches – german, brown-banded, american, and oriental. But all of them pose a health risk to the humans and other animals living in the area they are infesting. They can cause asthma and other breathing disorders. They can transmit disease, produce a foul odor, destroy fabric, and stain surfaces. Luckily, you can easily know if you have a cockroach infestation – cockroach smear marks. 

What are Cockroach Smear Marks?

Cockroach smear marks are black or reddish-brown streaks of dissolved cockroach poop. Their poop turns into liquid because of the humidity and dampness of the surrounding. This liquid poop will then leave marks on the surfaces or fabrics. You might see these stains and think of them as only food stains or rust. But these stains will release a smell that can attract other cockroaches. Cockroach smear marks can cause asthma and other breathing-related diseases because they contain pathogens. 

How to Remove Cockroach Smear Marks?

If you have cockroach smear marks, the best thing to do is to remove them to avoid suffering from diseases and attracting more cockroaches. You can call a pest control company or an exterminator. But, you can always do it yourself if you want to. As mentioned before, cockroach smear marks can stain fabrics and surfaces. So there are two ways to remove cockroach smear marks depending on where the stain is.


  1. Vacuum the surface to remove any loose smear mark particles. Start at the highest point possible and run the vacuum along the sides of the stains.  
  2. Wear disposable gloves and use a disinfectant spray on the surfaces. Leave the spray for at least 10 minutes. 
  3. Wipe the surfaces dry with a disposable cloth. 
  4. Rubbing the dried surface using a brush or sponge with soap and water.
  5. Repeat the process until the stain is gone. 


  1. Brush the stained fabric and use a laundry stain remover. Leave the stain remover for at least 30 minutes or, based on how long the instructions state so. But the rule of thumb is that the longer the stain is, the longer the stain remover should soak the fabric. 
  2. Blot the area with a clean and wet cloth to remove the stain remover. For tougher stains, apply 3% hydrogen peroxide and let it soak for 5 minutes before blotting it. For fresh stains, spray the stained area with cold water and blot it with a cloth before washing it in the laundry. 
  3. Dry the fabric with another new cloth and wash or dispose of all the cloth that you have used. 

Other signs of cockroach infestation

Besides cockroach smear marks, there are also other signs that may indicate that there are cockroaches in your area. Below are other signs of a cockroach infestation. 

  • Droppings – These are cockroach feces that you may find in cabinets, along walls, or places where they travel. They look like ground coffee or black pepper. 
  • Egg cases – These are small dark brown oval-shaped or capsule-shaped casings that are dry.  
  • Damage – If you find that your food packages are damaged, cockroaches can be a reason for this. Cockroaches love food, and they enter houses to look for food. If they smell one, they can destroy its packaging to get the food.
  • Unpleasant odor – Cockroaches can release a musty odor, especially if so many are in the area. 
  • Sightings – If you see live cockroaches roaming or dead cockroaches lying around, you might be dealing with an infestation. 

Avoid cockroach infestation

Cockroaches are a nuisance in an area. They can cause damage to the area and transmit diseases. Therefore, you should know how to get rid of roaches by having a knowledge on what attracts them. Food is the number one thing that attracts cockroaches. Store your food properly in an air-tight container so that cockroaches won’t smell them. Avoid leaving crumbs or leftover food out in the open. It also means that you should immediately wash your dirty dishes. Dirt can also attract cockroaches. 

Declutter your area to remove any dirt. Moisture also attracts cockroaches. If you have leaky pipes, have it fixed to avoid building up extra moisture. Cracks, holes, and any kind of gaps can serve as an entryway for these cockroaches. Seal them up so that cockroaches won’t be able to come inside your area in the first place. You can also use boric acid to kill cockroaches in your area. You may spread it in different areas of your house and wait for the roaches to crawl into the boric acid. Once the boric acid is digested by the roaches, their nervous and digestive system will be affected.

Nonetheless, if you want the most effective way to get rid of the roaches in your home and prevent cockroach infestations in the future, hire a cockroach exterminator