How Do You Know If There is a Dead Animal in Your Home?

New InsulationI hope that smell isn't what I think it is...

Call Attic Solutions to have a professional determine the cause, and plan for removal.

A combination of sulfur dioxide, methane, benzene derivatives and long chain hydrocarbons produced as various body parts of a decomposing body could be the source.. But to those familiar with the stench of dead bodies, it’s simply the smell of death. Like all smells, it is hard to describe. But unless you’re a real vulture, you’ll find the smell disgusting and sickening.

The smell of death can be a major customer relations problem in pest control. You’ve gotten rid of the pests, say a group of rats, but the resultant smell may make you think that the solution is worse than the problem!

Dead animals will smell until they are completely decomposed or until they are dried out. The damper the site, the longer the odor will last. If a rat dies near a steam pipe, the smell can be horrible for weeks. The odor from a dead mouse may last only a day. In fact, there may be no noticeable odor from a single dead mouse, but several dead mice in the same area could be a problem. A dead rat may smell really bad for a week, but there can be some lingering odor for as long as a month.

The obvious solution is to call us to find and remove the dead animal or animals, then ventilate the site.

But a better solution is prevention. In residences, offices or other sites where odors from dead animals are a concern, we use pest-proofing and other IPM tactics to prevent pests from entering the structure. If there are rodents inside, using a control method that holds the animal rather than one that allows it to wander off and die in inaccessible areas is a better option. Traps, rather than baits can be used, so that disposal of the carcass is easier. Check traps and glue boards often to remove dead animals.

Accumulations of dead insects can also cause an odor problem. For example,

  • Dead insects can rot in an insect light trap (ILT) catch tray. Be sure to empty and clean them frequently.
  • An insecticide-treated bee nest in a wall void can become quite stinky as the dead bees and the brood rot and as the the honey deteriorates.

Eliminating Odor

There are several ways to get rid of odor problems in a building.

  • Taking the odor out of the air by using an air cleaner with an absorbent filter.
  • Adding something to the air that neutralizes the odor.
  • Or, adding a new, more desirable odor that temporarily masks or covers up the bad odor.

Air cleaners usually use a replaceable absorbent filter such as activated charcoal or silica gel. When room air circulates through the filter, it absorbs and removes particles.

Odor neutralizers often contain bacteria or enzymes that break down the organic compounds that are causing the odor. Others use ionic minerals to neutralize odors. Some odor neutralizers also contain an artificial fragrance, but many do not. Odor neutralizers are available as powders, granules, sprays, or as rods.

Masking deodorants are highly concentrated fragrances that simply cover up the bad smell. They don’t neutralize it. They can be applied as granules, aerosols, mist sprays, or released through a cotton wick. Since they have a very strong fragrance, using them carefully to be sure they aren’t more offensive than the original odor.

Finding the Source of the Smell

To locate a dead animal in a wall void, use your nose. Flies in the room may lead you right to the spot (some technicians have been known to release flies to find a carcass). You may see maggots migrating away from the carcass. Or, with a larger animal, you might find a damp spot or a stain on the wall or ceiling.

The best solution is to contact , at (847) 464-1861 to remove the carcass.

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