With or without your knowledge, it is quite common for animals such as rodents to find their way into your home in search of food and shelter. Sometimes these animals end up dying, whether it is as a result of lack of food or getting trapped, and if they die within your home, you can expect to be subjected to a foul and generally nauseating smell of their decomposing body. Read on to find out how you can deal with this smell and deodorize your home from a dead animal.
How to deodorize your house from a dead animal?
- First, need to locate it, once you find the offending animal, get rid of the carcass.
- Second, clean the spot where you found the dead animal thoroughly and disinfect it.
- Third, ventilate the area by opening up windows. You can then use deodorizing products to eliminate the foul odor.
Some effective techniques of eliminating odor include air filters, charcoal briquettes, baking soda, bleach-soaked rags, coffee ground, and vinegar, to mention a few. In addition to deodorizing your home, you can also freshen the air using air-freshening products such as scented candles, aerosol sprays, and essential oils, among others.
As the body of an animal decomposes, the process releases a scent that easy to recognize especially since it has hints of sulfur. This stench is intolerable especially if the animal dies within your home, and could negatively impact the wellbeing of your family. Read on to find out how you can deodorize your home in such a situation.
Table of Contents
Getting rid of the odor
- Locate the animal – When it comes to pinpointing the location of the dead animal, trust your nose to guide. Narrow down the possibilities to a distinct area in your home (such as the attic or basement). In case the animal did not die in place sight, you will want to look for its carcass in the following places:
- Under floorboards
- Within the walls
- Under a pile of debris
- Close to plumbing
- Behind the insulation
- Near heat sources
- Behind or under insulation
- Eliminate the source of the smell – If you plan to handle the dead animal yourself, ensure that you take safety precautions to reduce the risk of contracting diseases from the carcass. Wear protective gloves, clothing, and a mask at all times, taking care not to come into direct contact with the dead body. How you deal with the body of the rodent will depend on the rules and regulations of the area you live in, but some of the options you may have include disposing of the carcass in the trash, burying, and burying.
If you can dispose of the carcass in the trash, start by placing it in a plastic bag, then put it into a separate plastic bag and tie it tightly. This ensures that fluids that may be released from the carcass don’t end up leaking and inevitably contaminating your home.
If the rules in your city allow for burning, opt to burn the body of the animal on a bonfire. If you can bury the animal, start by placing it in a biodegradable bag, and then put the bag into a box for extra precaution. Bury the box in a hole that is around 3-4 feet deep.
- Clean the area and sanitize it – Removing the body of the dead animal is not sufficient to get rid of its foul smell. Therefore, you will want to follow the removal of the carcass with thorough cleaning and sanitization of the affected area. Before getting started, ensure that you have gloves on as well as a face mask and protective clothing.
Start by preparing a bleach solution that is made up of 10% bleach and 90% water. Alternatively, you can use an enzymatic cleaner which will take effect by breaking down the organic materials left behind. Allow the enzymatic cleaner/bleach solution to sit for about 30 minutes, and then use a clean rag to wipe the area. Dispose of the rag in a garbage bag. Repeat the cleaning process accordingly.
- Clean any contaminated materials – If there are any fabrics in the affected area that came into contact with the dead animal, whether it is curtains, linens, clothes, or any other materials, it is important that you clean and sanitize them properly to eliminate the risk of contamination. You can do this using either bleach or hydrogen peroxide.
- Get rid of what you can’t clean – Sometimes fluids may have already started leaking from the body of the dead animal, consequently staining the area and materials around it. If the stains are particularly hard to remove, then the best solution may be to discard the material.
Freshening the air
- Ventilate the affected area – Even after cleaning, there might still be a hint of the putrid stench of decay. To combat this, increase the circulation of air in the room by opening windows. Set one fan at an open window on one end of the room to ensure that it blows out the odor, and place another fan at the opposite end of the room to circulate fresh air from outside into the room. A costlier yet effective alternative is to rent or purchase an air filtration system to trap the odor in the room.
- Deodorize the air – There are a wide variety of products that you can use to get rid of lingering odors. They include:
- Deodorizing with vinegar – Vinegar is known for its ability to absorb smells, making it a great product to use to eliminate odors. To deodorize your house from an animal carcass, fill several cups with vinegar and let them sit in the smelly area. The vinegar will absorb the odor and leave it with a more tolerable vinegar scent.
- Baking soda to eliminate odor – Baking soda is the commercial name for sodium bicarbonate, a base agent that, like vinegar, can absorb odors. Simply make a solution in a spray bottle and spray the affected area consistently for 2-3 days. To increase effectiveness, sprinkle some sodium bicarbonate powder as well.
- Charcoal briquettes – Charcoal briquettes can also be used to absorb foul smells from the air in your home. Simply lay out a couple of them on a metal tray and leave them in the affected area for a day or two. Ensure to go for natural briquettes that don’t contain easy-light additives or mesquite.
- Bleach-soaked rags – Another technique proven to eliminate the stench of a dead animal involves using bleach-soaked rags. Start by soaking a few rags in a bucket of bleach solution, then squeeze out the excess before hanging the rags in the pinpointed area. You will need to keep an eye on the rags so that you can replace them when they dry out. Ensure that the area is well-invented, and keep pets and children away.
- Use coffee ground or coffee filter pack – If you own a coffee machine, you can use the coffee ground or coffee filter to combat the foul smell instead of wasting it. All you have to do is place it near the source of the odor to allow for absorption.
- Use a deodorizer or odor neutralizer – If DIY solutions aren’t your cup of tea, simply spray an odor neutralizer or deodorizer in the affected area to eliminate the smell.
- Freshen the air – After neutralizing the odor of the dead animal using deodorizers, opt to freshen the air in your home using aerosol sprays, essential oils, scented candles, incense, or potent fresh herbs (such as lavender and rosemary), depending on your preferences.
Ensuring that the animals stay out
To ensure that you don’t have to deal with eliminating foul smells from a dead animal in the future, take preventive measures that will keep animals out of your home. They include:
- Covering entry points – Animals find their way into homes through cracks, crevices, holes, and vents present in your home. To keep them from gaining access, cover all these potential entry points using materials such as caulk, wire mesh, and metal wire.
- Clean up sources of food and water – Food and water are some of the main attractants of animals to homes. Therefore, to reduce the risk of attracting animals, take precautions such as cleaning uneaten pet food and birdseed, storing garbage in sealed containers, and getting rid of standing water that may be around your home.
- Get rid of debris in the vicinity of your home – If there are overgrown bushes, piles of wood, or overhanging branches near your home, consider getting rid of them as they can all be potentially used by animals as shelter or as a way to access your home. Clean up the debris that may be around your home and ensure that grasses and trees are well-maintained.
Deodorizing your home from a dead animal should be doable as long as you can determine exactly where the odor is coming from and can get rid of the carcass in the first place. After deep cleaning the affected area, you can then apply any of the mentioned deodorized techniques to eliminate the odor.