Dead Animal Odor – Factors and Solutions

When an animal dies in your house, the first thing you will notice is a foul odor. It is a powerful and terrible smell, one that may lead you to wonder how long it will last. Fortunately, the answer to that is simple – the stench will start to disappear once you deal with its source.

Factors Affecting the Spread of the Odor

There are several factors that will affect the strength and spread of the odor within your house. Some of these include:

  • The size of the animal
  • The place of the animal’s death
  • The presence of flies

Let’s take a look at how each of these factors contribute to the spread of the odor.

dead animal lying in cotton

The Animal’s Size

Small animals such as rats, mice, etc. will take a shorter time to decompose. The shorter the decomposition period, the shorter the duration of the odor in your home. Larger animals, such as raccoons, will take longer to decompose, lengthening the duration of the smell in your house.

The moment an animal dies, decomposition begins. As time passes, the cells of the animal’s dead body begin to break down, altering its pH balance. This breakdown results in the emission of a foul odor, only stopping when the body dries up at the end of the decomposition process.

dead skunk lying on top of a trash bag

The Place of Death

Where the animal dies will have a great influence on the spread of the odor in your house. If an animal dies in the attic or an air vent, the smell will spread relatively fast. However, if an animal dies in the basement, it will probably take longer for the smell to reach the main part of your house.

The Presence of Flies

Flies quicken the decomposition process. Where there are flies, the related carcass will decompose at a much faster rate, causing any foul odors to disappear faster than usual. If, however, there are no flies or agents of decomposition, the smell is likely to stay for a longer time before going away.

Getting Rid of the Odor

spraying bac a zap

In order to completely get rid of the smell, you need to find and dispose of the carcass itself. Look for the dead animal’s body and deal with it as soon as possible, preferably before the odor becomes unbearable. You do not want to wait until it is too late.

Once you have disposed of the carcass, use an enzymatic wash to clean the place where you found the dead animal. Areas covered with fluids from the animal must be thoroughly cleaned.

Remember to make sure your ventilation system is in good condition. Allowing fresh air in is the fastest way to free your house from the smell.

To help keep the remaining odor in check, try any of the following remedies below.

  • Scrub the smelly area with a mixture of baking soda and water.
  • Use an ozone generator. This is the same tool used in automobiles to make them smell brand-new.
  • Use ionic air cleaners. These work just like enzymatic candles.
  • Hire the services of a professional. They can help you remove the carcass of the dead animal, as well as thoroughly rid your house of any remaining odor.

To prevent such an occurrence from happening in the future, routinely check your basement, attic, air ducts, and other areas to ensure there are no animals living there.

1 thought on “Dead Animal Odor – Factors and Solutions”

  1. Hi there
    I have a major problem. I am located in Lewisburg TN. My boyfriend and I had a rat issue and a friend of ours mistakenly believed rat poison dehydrated the bodies after they died. It did not. And the entire house is unbearable. To the point I’m sleeping in the car at night. The issue is, this isn’t one rat. It’s multiples who’ve died in the walls and ceiling. I need help. How much does it cost to locate the animals and remove them or is it even possible? Help! Please!

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