What Does Bed Bug Poop Look Like?

Among the noticeable signs of bed bugs in your home are bed bug droppings. You may not see them because they don’t come out during the day, but you will notice their poop.

What does bed bug poop look like? Rusty-brown stains on your bed sheets. The image above shows it.

To be sure its bed bug dropping, here’s how you can tell:

  • By the color – They are usually rusty dark brown
  • Size – Most of the time, if not all, the bed bug poop will be the size of minor ink stains
  • The shape – Bed bug poop soaks into the fabric; they leave common and minor ink-like stains every time.

For most people, you could easily confuse it with dirt if you are new to this. That is why in this article, we go in-depth through the different ways you can identify bed bug feces, and what to do next after you find out that it is bed bug poop.

Oh joy what a fun subject to write about! Buckle up!

What Does Bed Bug Poop Look Like?

Bed Bug Poop Macro Photo

1. Rust-stain Colors

One of the sure signs that it is bed bug poop is the brownish-red color because bed bugs only ever feed on blood. Therefore, their poop consists mainly of digested blood which comes out in a rusty red-brown.

If the poop is not fresh, it will appear darker, whereas fresh will be close to bright red. 

One of the sure signs that it is bed bug poop is the reddish brown color. 

The poop has a similar consistency to that of soft mud.

You might also notice bright red stains on the bed, as well. This occurs when you crush a bed bug while you’re sleeping. After feeding, these stains common to find, and the fresh blood stain is generally from the one they’ve just sucked from you.   

You may also find the left-over husks of bed bugs that have molted.

If it is difficult to see the color of the feces, you could conduct a smear test. The smear tests consist of you using an alcohol swab and wiping the poop gently. If the result is red or reddish-brown, it is likely from a bed bug.

Try looking behind headboards, the mattress seams, or the box spring frames.

2. Pen-tip Sized Stains 

Bed bug poop is much smaller than the bed bugs themselves, so you must be keen when looking for them.

The sizes will be about as big as a pen’s tip. 

Also, since they live in groups, they are usually together when they digest their meals. Thus, you can locate their poops almost all the time. Although sometimes, the dropping might not be in groups, you might only see one or two stains, that doesn’t necessarily mean it is not bed bugs. 

The dots are usually so many in areas where they move around, such as the paths they take or where they reside.

Having a magnifying glass would help to identify the bed bug droppings.

3. Notice the Smears

When they are fresh, bed bug poop is usually soft and smears on anything it comes in contact with, such as a sheet or mattress. Although you might notice this on your sheets or your mattress, if the dropping is days or weeks old, they tend to soak in the mattress entirely and leave dark stains. 

Bed bug poop looks an awful lot like a leaky brown-red pen that dried and formed a stain. Also, the poop is challenging to pick up; they are more solid than liquid, so picking them up will likely smear them. In addition to this, they will probably soak through the fabric before you pick them up.     

Where Should I Look For Bed Bug Poop?  

Since bed bugs usually huddle together when digesting, this usually takes some time.

After they feed, bed bugs leave and gather elsewhere. Often in the cracks of floorboards, walls, crevices anywhere they can fit.  

They reside in several spots, mainly during the day when they are not feeding. These are the places you will likely find stains together and even the bed bugs themselves.

So what are some of these places?

1. The Mattress Tag and Seam

Carefully flip your mattress and look at the seams; bed bugs like dark places, so the corners or areas where no one will look are their specialties.

Be careful when looking; people sometimes mistake bed bug feces for mold on mattresses. 

2. The Headboard and Wooden Box Spring

In addition to your bed, bed bugs can also decide to hide on your bed frame. This is especially common if you got your bed from a second-hand store, or if your infestation has been going on for some time.

If left unchecked, they tend to find other places where they can reside because of their population. 

However, they mostly prefer areas where they can easily access blood, especially at night, just near the bed.

They are little vampires, after all.

Look for them in the crevice of your bed frame and behind the headboard. Use a flashlight as it will be easier to see them in the dark corners. Remove your mattress entirely if necessary.

3. Curtain Rods and Electrical Outlets

Corners and crevices are their favorite hiding places. look behind your electrical outlets and in the corners of your curtain rods. Get a pair of tweezers or a thin screwdriver, and try driving them out.

If you notice them inside an electrical outlet, do not stick anything inside! Call an electrician and see what is needed to change out the outlet and seal it up.

Bed bugs can hide, but you can notice poop around their area.

Corners and crevices are their favorite hiding places.

4. Wall Junctions and Ceilings

Depending on how long they have been in your home, bed bugs can quickly start living on your walls too. Check the ceilings, especially if they can soon get to your bed from the ceiling.

They could easily hide if you have a bunk bed close to the roof. The furniture you keep close to your bed can also be a home for bed bugs. 

The key here is that they don’t just infest upholstered furniture. They will set up shop in solid wood furniture if they can find some hidden nooks to nest in.

They don’t just infest upholstered furniture. They will set up shop in solid wood furniture if they can find some hidden nooks to nest in.

What Do You Do If You See Bed Bug Poop?

You’ve found what may be bed bug feces.

First off, put on some gloves. It might be gross, but you must distinguish them from roach poop. The way to do this is by checking if they are smooth or slightly wet; since bed bug poop is digested blood, they will be soft and somewhat moist if they are fresh.

Cockroach poop is usually hard.  

Finding bed bugs or bed bug husks close to their droppings is also common. The good news is that bed bugs don’t spread disease.

What about Eggs?

You may also find eggs near the poo stains. It can be hard to see bed bug eggs because they are so small. They look like grains of rice, but they’re the size of a grain of salt.

Bed Bug Eggs

They usually have oval and flat bodies and are reddish brown. For the eggs, you might say they are pin-head sized. 

What about the Smell of Bed Bug Poop?

You can try to check the poop by smell, but there has to be a lot of it to leave a scent. 

Bed bug poop doesn’t smell like other poop smells. The smell is distinct and somewhat of a rusty smell.

For example, they use smells to move around the world; thus, the smell might be different in areas where they reside. For instance, if they are under your mattress, you won’t notice the rusty bloody smell; instead, it will be a musty odor with hints of coriander. 

Do Bed Bugs Attack Pets?

Many people notice black droppings on their pets and presume them to be bed bug droppings. Most of the time, this is usually not the case, and they turn out to be fleas.

After all, fleas also feed on blood, so their poop consists primarily of blood, similar to bed bugs. 

Bed bugs, however, are rarely found near animals. In addition to this, their poops are relatively more significant compared to fleas.

If you are unsure and unable to distinguish whether it is fleas or bed bugs, call in an expert to check it out. If it is fleas, you can get your pet treatment through various flea medications and thoroughly clean their beddings in the dryer, if possible, to kill the eggs and fleas that might reside there.

Then, turn up the heat to ensure eradication.  

How Can I Kill Bed Bugs?

Bed bugs are a real nightmare infestation, and your best bet is to call a professional. It can take months to clear an infestation, and it takes over your life. You don’t know where to sleep. You are afraid you’ll spread the infestation wherever you go.

It’s awful.

However, if you can’t afford an expert, here are some tips.

First, clean all your bedding with hot water. if they are in your walls or any other areas challenging to clean, use a hair dryer.

Steam cleaners and carpet cleaners can also help get into crevices or cracks you can’t access, but be sure the steamer is hot enough to kill bed bugs! If it’s not, you risk spreading the infestation to the next person!

Diatomaceous earth will be your friend. Spread it around all your furniture.

Be prepared for a slog.


Bed bug poop is often the first sign of infesetation, and it looks like small reddish brown stains, usually on sheets. If you see these stains and have bite marks on your skin, there’s a good chance you’ve got a bunch of little Draculas living with you.