Beware the Foul, Home-Trashing Alliance of Roomba and Pet Poop

Beware, beware! If you leave your Roomba bustling about your home unattended, and it encounters pet leavings, the results could be nothing short of a shit-smeared catastrophe. Even a spokesperson for the company that makes them admitted of the terrible poop + Roomba combination that,“we see this a lot.”


Inspired by a recent Facebook post that went viral, describing the foul consequences when a Roomba encounters dog poop—“It will be on your floorboards. It will be on your furniture legs. It will be on your carpets. It will be on your rugs. It will be in your kids’ toy boxes. If it’s near the floor, it will have poop on it. Those awesome wheels, which have a checkered surface for better traction, left 25ft poop trails all over the house”—the Guardian rounds up a couple of similar stories.

For instance, a woman with four cats said the Roomba does “an amazing job,” except when it occasionally catches a stray turd, though the damage is generally concentrated to a small area. A man with a pug named Alice reports they’ve had three recent incidents, including one that was particularly severe: “It’s almost like [Alice the pug] deliberately left it right in front of its path at the start of the cycle.” Maybe Alice just doesn’t appreciate the Roomba invading her space.

The Guardian also talked to a spokesperson from Roomba manufacturer iRobot, who admitted that, “Quite honestly, we see this a lot.” Oh?

“We generally tell people to try not to schedule your vacuum if you know you have dogs that may create such a mess. With animals anything can happen.”

Are there any plans to introduce any poop detection technology to the product? “Our engineers are always trying to figure out ways to help people with their problems, and we’ve known this is an issue people deal with.”

The spokesperson apparently speculated that perhaps they could add some specialized sensors or image recognition in future models. “I can’t say we have the solution yet but it’s certainly something our engineers are aware of.”

Remember this the next time somebody tries to sell you on the concept of the imminent Singularity.

Senior Editor at Jezebel, specializing in books, royals, romance novels, houses, history, and the stories we tell about domesticity and femininity. Resident Windsor expert.