Bed Bug Poop: What Does It Look Like?

What Does Bed Bug Poop Look Like?

Bed bug poop is small and hard to spot if you are not looking for it. 

Here are some guidelines on what bed bug poop looks like:


Bed bug dropping range in color from dark red to black.

Fresh droppings will appear dark red.

Since bed bugs only consume blood, fresh poop will resemble the color of blood.

As droppings get older, they will become dark brown or black.


Like most other insects, bed bug droppings are not solid.

They may appear solid before they have been touched, but they are not.

Bed bug droppings are primarily liquid, and if you were to touch or try to pick up bed bug droppings, it would smear into the fabric or surface that it’s on.


Adult bed bugs only grow to 4-5 mm or 3/16 of an inch.

This means that their poop is very small.

Before adult bed bug poop is touch or smears into the fabric, it is usually around 1 -2mm.

This is about ⅕ the size of a grain of rice.

Bed bug droppings are often comparable to a ballpoint pen ink stains.

Image touching your bed or other fabric with a ballpoint pen for about 1-2 seconds.

This is typically the size and shape of bed bug droppings.


Bed bug poop leaves circular stains on fabric surfaces.

Since bed bugs hide in small crevices and folds, these droppings soak into the fabric and look like a circular black wet market.

When there are many bed bugs hiding in one location or the bedbugs have been living in the same location for a long time, these droppings stains can get large.

They often resemble mold, and in some cases, these stains can look like one large black stain.

What Does Bed Bug Feces Look Like On Bed Sheets?

Bed Bug feces on bedsheets typically look like specks of pepper.

They also tend to look like ink stains from a ballpoint pen.

When the bed bug poop accumulates, it can resemble mold.

Bed bugs are not as prevalent on bed sheets as they are on mattresses.

On bed sheets, you can find bed bug pop almost anywhere; they may poop as their as trying to reach you.

Their feces is most commonly found on the sides and corners of the bedsheets.

These areas often form creases and folds that bed bugs can hide inside.

Another common area is the crease where the mattress and box spring meet.

bed bug pop on sheets
bed bugs on bed sheets

What Does Bed Bug Feces Look Like On Bed Mattresses?

Bed bugs are commonly found on mattresses. 

The stains on a mattress will look very similar to the stains on the bedsheets. 

The most common place to find bed bugs is along the seams that go around the mattress. 

If you flip the seam upwards or downwards you should be able to spot bed bug feces stains. 

bed bug poop on mattress
bed bug poop on mattress seam

What Does Bed Bug Feces Look Like On Wood?​

Bed bugs enjoy harboring on wood near where you sleep. 

One of the most common areas to find bed bugs is on the box spring and headboard. 

On wood, these stains will look like black dots all over the wood. 

At a quick glance, they are sometimes confused with dust. 

They also tend to look like small nail gun holes when they have spread apart and not grouped together. 

When they are together they tend to look like mold or large black patches of stippling artwork. 

These stains tend to accumulate in small holes, crevices, and corners of wood. 

bed bug poop on wood minor
bed bug poop on wood

Where To Look For Bed Bug Poop?

Bed bug poop is found anywhere they are hiding or sleeping.

They prefer hiding in seams, fabric folds, and crevices.

Areas like these provide perfect hiding places for bed bugs.

Some of the most common places to find bed bug feces is:

  • Mattresses seams and folds
  • Under box spring
  • On wood crevices on box spring
  • Bed covers
  • Pillow covers
  • Drapery and curtains
  • Small crevices or gaps on the bed frame
  • Dressers
  • Lamps
  • Walls
  • Behind hanging pictures and other hanging items.
  • Holes or crevices on walls or floorboards.
  • Inside couches
  • On carpet
  • On chairs and other furniture
  • Window sills

Remember when looking in these areas for bed bug poop that they will not be easily visible.

You will need to check inside crevices, folds, seams, and other small gaps.

Does Finding Bed Bug Poop Mean You Have Bed Bugs?

Yes, bed bug poop is one of the most common signs of bed bugs inside a home.

Finding bed bugs poop inside your home is a sign that there are bed bugs hiding nearby.

If you find stains around your home, it is possible that it is from an old infestation.

If you have had bed bugs in the past, then bed bug poop stains could be from a previous infestation.

If you are unsure if the bed bug poop is from an old infestation or a new infestation, you want to look for other signs of bed bugs in your home.

Some of the most common signs of bed bug infestation are:

  • Live bed bugs – Bed bugs are about the size of a grain of rice, oval, flat, and light brown to reddish-brown.
  • Bed Bug Eggs – Bed bugs are smaller than a grain of rice, white and are oval.
  • Dried blood – Small specs of fresh blood will look like dark red dots around your couch.
  • Skin casings – Bed bugs shed their skin to grow. The presence of these skin cases is a good sign of bed bug infestation.
  • Bed bug bites – Bed bug bites look like welts and do not have a red spot at the center, unlike other insect bites such as spiders and fleas.

Can Bed Bug Droppings Spread Disease?

Bed bugs generally do not carry diseases.

The same goes for their feces.

There is research to show that bed bugs are capable of transmitting a parasite that causes Chagas disease.

While bed bug feces do not transmit or spread disease, it does have a chemical known as histamine inside.

Histamine is a chemical that bed bugs produce can cause allergies, rashes, and asthmatic reactions.

Can Bed Bug Droppings Be Picked Up?

Bed bug dropping is primarily liquid; thus, they typically soak into any service they are on.

In some cases, the poop might be dry or might not immediately absorb into the surface.

For example, if poop is allowed to dry on a surface such as painted wood, the poop can harden up.

In a situation like this, it’s possible to sweep up or vacuum bed bug poop.

Unfortunately, this is not common.

It’s more common that bed bugs feces is on absorbent surfaces such as fabrics or exposed wood.

In most cases, bed bug poop can not be easily picked up.

Any attempts to pick up bed bug feces will likely smear them into the surface.

But, bed bug feces will typically absorb into surfaces before you have time to try and pick it up or clean it.

Do Bed Bugs Leave Stains?

Bed bug poop typically does cause a stain. 

Since bed bug poop is a liquid it absorbs into the surface and causes a dark red to black stain. 

Other than poop bed bugs also leave other stains.

The other stains that bed bugs commonly leave are bloodstains.

There are typically two types of bloodstains that bed bugs leave.

  • Small Drops of Blood

After feeding on you while you sleep, small blood drops can fall off the bed bugs mouth.

You will typically find these on your bed, pillow, or bed covers, or other areas that bed bugs might be feeding.

These bloodstains will look like small dots on the surface, similar to using a needle dipped in red paint.

  • Large Circular Blood Stains

The seconds type of bloodstain you will encounter is a large circular bloodstain.

Thes typically occur when bed bugs are accidentally smashed after feeding.

This can happen if you roll over while sleeping or shift the area where they are hiding and smashed.

These stains look like red to dark red stains that highly resemble blood stains from a bloody nose.

  • Bleeding Bed Bug Bites

The final reason is that you are scratching your bed bugs bites, causing them to bleed.

This will cause smaller, red dots similar to the bloodstains caused when blood drips off the mouth of a bed bug.

Can You Wipe-off Bed Bug Feces?

No bed bug feces does not wipe off. Bed bug poop is a liquid.

Any attempt to wipe bed bug poop will smear it into the surface it’s on.

This is the primary reason that bed bug poop causes stains and is not easy to remove or clean up.

The best approach is using cold water and either an enzyme-based spot treatment or an equal mixture of ammonia and hydrogen peroxide.

Dab the area gently, and this should remove most if not all of the stain.

Does Bed Bug Feces Always Smear?

Bed bug feces do not always smear. If they are left on surfaces that don’t absorb the feces, they will dry.

Unfortunately, bed bugs usually leave feces on absorbent surfaces such as exposed wood of box springs or fabrics.

If there is poop on a nonabsorbent surface after some time, it will dry, and you should clean up with a vacuum.

Does Bed Bug Poop Smell?

In most cases, the feces absorbs into the surface, and they don’t leave any smell.

Since bed bug poop is digested blood and not traditional fecal matter, they lave very little smell behind.

Bed bugs and their poop can leave a smell behind when droppings become excessive.

This can small, like dry blood or rust. Another common comparison is that it will begin to smell like mold.

Can You Clean Up Bed Bug Feces?

How you clean up bed bug feces will depend on the surface that it’s on.

Certain surfaces will require different chemicals or methods of cleaning due to what is available.

How To Remove Bed Bug Stains on Sheets?

The best way to remove stains from sheets is to be as proactive as possible.

The faster you begin treating the stains, the easier they will come out.

  1. Treat all bed bug stains with cold water. Cold waters help loosen organic matter so that it doesn’t set in the fabric.
  2. Spot treat any stains with an enzyme-based fabric detergent. Let the spot treatment sit so that it can begin attacking the stain.
  3. Let stain remover sit for around 30 minutes or follow label instructions. Then using a brush, scrub the stain areas to start removing the stains.
  4. Wash your sheets on cold as you normally would. While it is recommended to use hot water when washing sheets to kill bed bugs, hot water will only embed stains deeper.
  5. Either air dry your sheets or place them in the dryer on a low heat setting.

How To Remove Bed Bug Feces Stains From Walls?

Bed bug stains are typically much easier to remove from walls because the paint acts as a protective coating preventing the feces from absorbing into the wall.

  1. First, spray water on the stain and gently scrub to remove the stain.
  2. Use a wall cleaner and spray it on the wall. These solutions are designed for maximum efficiency without discoloring your wall.
  3. Follow cleaning instructions on the label for best results.
  4. Other natural ways to clean walls include using a solution of dishwasher detergent.

How To Clean Up Bed Bug Stains From Items You Can’t Wash?

Items that can not be washed in a traditional washer will require elbow grease to clean.

  1. Spray cold water on any stains.
  2. Apply a mixture of equal parts hydrogen peroxide and ammonia to the stains
  3. Let the solution sit for about 5 minutes but no longer than 15.
  4. Dab the area until the stains start to come out.
  5. After dabbing follow up by spraying cold water on stains.
  6. Use a dry microfiber cloth to pat dry; you can also use a vacuum when you reach this stage.

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