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Signs of a Dead Animal in the House

It’s hard to describe the smell of a dead animal decomposing. But, that foul smell is immediately recognizable and usually a homeowner or business owner’s first clue that something has died in the walls, attic, or somewhere else on the property. How bad and how long the smell lasts depends on multiple conditions: 

  • The larger the animal, the more of it there is to decay, which means a stronger odor. A dead raccoon will have a stronger smell that lasts longer than a mouse. 
  • Different animal species have different odors. 
  • An animal that dies in a wall that is centrally located in the house will stink up the home more than one that has died in a corner of the attic close to a vent. 
  • The hotter the temperature is, the smellier the carcass will be. So basically, a dead rat in the wall will smell worse in summer than one that has died in winter. In addition, the smell can fluctuate depending on the time of day. In the evening, when cooler temperatures prevail, the smell might subside but then increase midday when the temperature heats up. 
  • High humidity will also increase the odor. 

Unfortunately, the carcass will continue to smell until its body has completely dried out. But for health reasons, it is imperative to seek professional help to remove the dead animal. 

Signs of an Animal Carcass in the House

  • Wet Spots – As disgusting as it sounds, the decomposing body will begin to liquify. Over time, this wetness will begin to seep into the walls or ceiling, depending on where the body is located. This can obviously cause damage to the structure of the home.
  • Flies – You’ve probably seen how flies flock to rotting things out in nature, whether it’s an old orange on the ground or roadkill. They get easy nutrients from stuff that is decomposing, and actually like to lay their eggs in rotting animals as well, since it provides plenty of food for maggots when they hatch. If you notice a sharp uptick in flies inside, there might be a dead animal somewhere.
  • Smell – This is an undeniable, unavoidable consequence of a dead animal in your house. The odor will be so pungent and putrid that it’ll be impossible not to detect after a certain amount of time. As the body first begins to decompose, the smell may be localized and not as strong, but after a couple of days, it will become overpowering.

Dead Animal Odor Removal

It does not take long (especially in warm weather) for an animal carcass to start the decomposition process. Bacteria consuming soft tissues excrete foul-smelling, sulfuric gasses that cause the dead animal to swell to sometimes three times its size. Bloating further forces fluids out of the animal’s orifices, which only increases the intensity of the smell and fluid seepage.

The quickest and easiest way to get rid of the dead animal smell is to dispose of the dead animal carcass. When you find dead animals outside, the smell dissipates as soon as the carcass is removed. However, getting rid of a strong odor of a dead animal that is decomposing inside your home is not so easy.

  • Enzyme Cleaners--solutions containing enzymes can break down and dissolve molecules responsible for harboring dead animal smells and producing stains. Enzymes are non-toxic proteins that expedite chemical reactions necessary to break down odorous substances released by an animal’s decomposing body.
  • Baking Soda--mix baking soda with water to make a paste that can be applied to areas where dead animals are decomposing. Allow the paste to dry before removing the residue.
  • Bleach–using full-strength bleach to get rid of a dead animal smell will only work on certain solid surfaces that bleach won’t damage. Bleach does kill many kinds of microorganisms but it may only cover up an odor temporarily

The Downside of DIY to Eliminate Dead Animals Smells

If a dead animal decomposes inside walls, on insulation, drywall, fabric, or porous wood, you will probably need to remove and replace the items to completely remove the smell.

Without proper personal protective equipment, an animal carcass poses health risks to homeowners attempting a DIY solution. Dead animals may leave behind infectious bacteria capable of spreading diseases to you and your family.

Enzymatic cleaners, baking soda, and even bleach may not completely eradicate disease-causing bacteria.

Critter Control Canada Dead Animal Removal Services

Critter Control has been providing expert wildlife removal services for 40 years and prides itself on its commitment to sanitary, humane, and safe methods for dead animal removal. As one of the first companies in this field, we created the best practices that are admired in the industry. We train our technicians from day one and continue their learning throughout their employment with us. Through field training, virtual classrooms, and online studies, each month our employees learn new skills in safety, removal, and customer service. 

There are important benefits to calling in a professional dead animal removal service: 

  • As dead animals decompose, bacteria normally contained within the animal’s body are released, exposing people to potential disease-causing pathogens. Whether you find a dead animal in your yard, under your porch, in your attic, or floating in your pool, you should never handle it on your own for health reasons. 
  • Neither your local animal control officer nor the local authorities will come onto your property to take care of it. Wildlife control company Critter Control is a wildlife agent and has the expertise to rid your property of a dead animal, neutralize the smell, and shield you from the parasites and diseases that result from a rotting carcass. 
  • A dead animal in your yard can bring other unwanted guests to your yard, such as vultures or coyotes. 
  • A carcass in your yard can contaminate soil or water sources with harmful diseases like cryptosporidium and baylisascaris. 
  • Flies and other insects will arrive that can cause a secondary infestation. A professional company will be able to guarantee that any secondary infestations are eliminated. 

When you need expert dead animal removal, you can count on Critter Control to get rid of the carcass, sanitize, and exclude animals from getting into your home in the future. Call us at 833-965-2881 or visit our Office Finder to find a Critter Control office near you.