Dead Animal Smell – Prevention & Removal


dead animal removalIt starts slowly, a trace of something not quite right as you walk down a hall or past a specific area. Later, the odor gets stronger, but remains a mystery. Progressively, the smell becomes ever more foul until you finally realize what it is: a dead animal.

Vermin, such as rats, roaches, and mice, have found humanity to be a great source of food and shelter, which attracts them into homes and businesses. When these vermin die, the natural decomposition that takes place can be a source of horrible smells and even diseases for family members and pets. Compounding the problem, ants and cockroaches then feed on the carcass, spreading disease as they travel.

Common Causes Of Dead Animals In The Home

While natural deaths certainly happen, dead animals in the home most often occur when poisoning has been doneis used as vermin control. Pests, such as rats and mice, will consume the poison, sicken, and find an isolated location to die. Unfortunately, that location is often inside walls, chimneys, attics, and basements. As these bodies decompose, other pests are attracted and compound the problem.

Preventing Dead Animal Smells

Prevention is the easiest way to deal with this health threat:

  • Seal off potential points of entry with caulk to stop many pests from entering the home.
  • Keep the area clean and free of available foodstuffs.
  • Avoid using poisons to eliminate pests. There are many nontoxic pest control methods that avoid the problem of dead animal smells.
  • Learn to identify signs of pest invasion, such as gnawed cords, droppings, and the sound of squeaks and pattering feet during the night.

Identifying The Location Of Dead Animal Smells

Finding the source of a dead animal smell can be difficult. Odor levels can fluctuate with temperature, humidity and air flow changes, as well as the stage of decomposition. Understanding an animal’s natural desire to be alone as it sickens can help locate the body. Basements, attics, chimneys, and crawl spaces are common places to search. If it appears the animal has died within a wall, professional extraction can minimize the damage by isolating the location more specifically and removing the dead animal without tearing down extensive sections of wall.

Disposing Of Dead Animals

Since dead animals can carry diseases, it is very important to dispose of them properly.

  • Rubber, vinyl or latex gloves should be worn.
  • Soak the animal and the surrounding area in disinfectant or a bleach solution for several minutes before picking anything up.
  • Place the animal and any debris in a plastic bag for disposal.
  • Look for droppings, urine trails, and bedding and dispose of them in the same way.
  • Finally, disinfect the area thoroughly.

Odor Control

Neutralizing the odor of dead animals is always paramount in this situation. Just as smoke damage lingers after a fire, the pungent aroma of dead animals can linger long after the animal itself has been removed. Activated charcoal packets, odor absorbing paint, and a thorough cleaning can rid your home or office of dead animal smells. If these efforts are not enough, professional odor removal services may be necessary.

Preventing the problem is always a good idea, but when a dead animal smell occurs, it is important to locate the source of the smell, disinfect and dispose of the problem, and take steps to regain the sweet smell of success in the battle against pests.