How to Identify Dead Rodent Smell and Get Rid of It

Do you smell a whiff of something rotten even after you’ve taken the trash out and cleared out your pet’s litter? You might be connecting two and two and figuring out that the furry pests who have been sneaking into your pantry might have a paw in this. But how can you identify a dead rodent? 

A dead rat’s body will naturally decay, producing a mix of gases-methane, sulfur dioxide, hydrocarbons. To get rid of the rodent smell is to locate the carcass and remove it. Allow your house to ventilate for a few hours after sanitizing the affected area and use a room deodorizer.

If it’s your first time dealing with ‘Dead Rodents,’ you might be realizing that dead rodents usually enjoy a game of ‘Hide & Seek.’ How exactly do you win this game of locating the dead pests while dealing with unpleasant smells and disposing of them? 

I’ve got your training covered, all from playing detective to playing terminator of the smells.

How to Identify a Dead Rodent Smell?

A dead rodent often smells like rotten cabbage, a pungent smell that gets stronger and subtle with time. It smells like pure decay and starts randomly, getting more prominent and severe as the rodent decomposes further.

You might be puzzled and unable to identify whether the smell truly is of a dead rodent. After all, the pungent smell could just be of your days-old trash.

If you want to be assured- that the smell truly is of a deceased rodent, match it to any one of the following:

  • A rotten cabbage smell
  • A smell of decay or death
  • A foul scent that started abruptly and randomly from an aimless place in your house
  • A pungent smell that only gets stronger even after you have deep cleaned your house

If the atmosphere stinks similar to any of the above, it indeed is the scent of a dead rodent that you are sniffing.

Can the Smell of a Dead Rodent Be Harmful?

The smell of a dead rodent can be highly harmful to humans. When the dead rodent body decays, the germs residing on the rodent’s body intermix with the air of your house. These germs can trigger allergies — especially within children.

These small furry creatures (rodents) are dangerous — both dead and alive. 

It’s no surprise that the urine and feces of rodents contain germs too.

Moreover, the different gases that a dead rodent’s body emits- hydrogen sulfide, ammonia, thiols, and pyruvic acid- are known to be dangerous when contained within a small enclosed space as they harm human lungs.

How to Get Rid of Dead Rat Smell Quickly

The best way to get rid of a dead rat’s smell is by locating the carcass and removing it. Then ventilate your house and have your home’s air ducts cleaned. You will want to use an air purifier that comes with a good air filter, as well as a room deodorizer. Also, thoroughly sanitize your home.

1. Locating the Dead Rodent

If you are sure that what you are smelling is a dead rodent, you might want to get started n tracking it down.

Sniff around and follow the ‘sense of your nose.’ You are bound to come across a section of your house that seems to be penetrating with the odor. Once you are in that section of the house- have a look around.

You will also want to keep a check on your ‘sense of eyes.’ Since cadavers are a feast for insects, you might want to track the presence of all types of insects, be it ants, flies, bugs, beetles, or maggots. If you see a train of ants spider-walking a wall or flies butting heads with a wall- rodent spotted!

2. Disposing of the Dead Rat

If the rodent corpse is found in an easy-to-reach place- perhaps your large pot plant- you are a lucky winner! All you need to do is arm yourselves with some gloves and other protective gear before disposing of its remains (after placing it in a plastic bag). Then thoroughly disinfect the area under inspection.

Ah, who knew cadavers could be so dangerous. They carry various viruses and diseases, which is why it is essential to protect yourself using proper gear before you deal with dead rodents. As a precaution, make sure to wash your hands and sanitize afterward! Also, don’t forget to throw away the used gloves and masks.

3. Clean Out Your Home’s Air Ducts

This is best to do if you have not located the dead rodent yet. More often than not, dead rodents can be found in your home’s air ducts.

And where a rodent is discovered — so are their droppings! Now imagine turning on your cooling or heating system and having the scent of excrements circulating your house. Indeed not very pleasant.

Make sure to have your air ducts cleaned out if your house has been smelling foul.

4. Ventilate Your House

Now that you have gotten rid of the dead furry beast, you may now dramatically throw open your doors and windows (we all deserve a spotlight moment, right?)

Moreover, you should switch on your fans so that the reeking air can be pushed out and the fresher air pulled in. This natural way to get rid of pungent smells will do wonders to deep-air cleanse your home.

5. Use an Air Purifier

You do not need any bacteria from the deceased rodents mingling in your personal space! This is why experts recommend using a good ‘Air Purifier’ to disinfect the air.

Experts recommend the ‘HEPA Air Filter’ to flush out any unwanted scents from your home and filter out the odors. However, do note that many different air purifiers do wonders for different locations. 

6. Use a Room Deodorizer

Some say using a ‘Room Deodorizer’ is a desperate measure to make your living space a little more livable by trying to overpower the foul scents through the addition of some refreshing scents.

This is not a long-term solution — you will still need to find that dead creature and see it off.

7. Sanitize All Fabrics and Surfaces

Lastly, make sure to wipe down everything with bacteria-killing agents!

Rodents love fabrics, and thus it is a guarantee that they have run across your rugs and furniture if not nibbled on them multiple times. Therefore, it is in your best interest to eliminate all chances of bacteria spreading.

Moreover, fabrics absorb scents and give off a disturbing smell even after the rest of your house has started smelling fresh again. Give everything a good wash and scrub- and say goodbye to the odors!

What is a Dead Mouse Odor Neutralizer, and How to Use it?

‘Dead mouse Odor Neutralizers’ is specially designed to get rid of a dead mouse’s stink. All odor neutralizer products work slightly differently. Therefore make sure to check the instructions that they come with. Two common variations of the odor neutralizers are the ‘Liquid Versions’ and ‘Sponge Versions.’

The liquid variation such as ‘Rat Sorb’ is highly effective and easy to use. All you must do is fill a sprayer with the dilute neutralizer and spray wherever the reek is strongest. 

Another way to make use of this product is by soaking it in some cotton balls. Rub and place these cotton balls in the areas that require refreshing. Repeat until you succeed!

The next variation is the sponge/bag version, such as ‘GrandLifeBrands Odor Absorbing Bag.’ The sponge versions are recommended for stronger smelling scents. As previously discussed, fabrics can absorb scents and, similarly, the sponge will soak up the odor. Place the sponge in the space that needs to be refreshed! 

What to Do When You Can’t Find Dead Mouse?

If you still haven’t found your dead mouse- let’s try a few more tricks. 

Let’s play a game of ‘Eye Spy.’ If you spot the following features, you have earned yourself a point, and your prize is the rodent.

  • Markings along walls or kitchen counters.
  • Tiny paw prints, especially along with the wall trimmings.
  • Small clustered droppings- the size of sunflower seeds.
  • Try checking attics, air ducts, wall cavities, crawlspaces, and undersides of kitchen counters.

Still no luck? Well, this is when the game of ‘Hide & Seek’ gets competitive. You will have to resort to some violent means to catch the intruder finally. 

In some cases, this will mean cutting through walls and floorings. Because this quest can get dangerous, reaching out to ‘Professional Pest Controlling Companies’ is recommended.

In other cases, the rodent will simply never be found. This is when you should drill holes in the walls and apply ‘Heavy-Duty Deodrants’ or ‘Odor Neutralizing Chemicals.’

What to Do When a Rat Died in Your Wall?

If you feel a dead rat in your wall, pick up a handyman tool such as “borescope” and “drilling machine.” Drill just above the base molding and use your borescope to inspect the area behind the wall. Continue drilling tiny holes and inspecting until you find the rodent’s carcass. 

Now, all that is needed is a 6 to 9-inch hole in the drywall to extract the dead pest. Once this is done, make sure to reseal the drywall properly. 

You know the rodents are working against you when they pass away in wall cavities. 

How Long Does it Take For the Smell of a Dead Mouse to Go Away?

The time for which the smell of a dead pest remains depends on numerous factors; the size of the pest, humidity of the area, and the temperature of the space. If a large pest is contained in a humid and colder area, the odor will last for a longer time span. 

They will usually smell until they are completely decomposed and dried out. The smell’s longevity can be from around a few days to several weeks, depending on the factors mentioned.

Do Dead Rodents Smell Like Fish?

All the warriors who have dealt with dead rodents can attest that dead pests do not smell like fish. The chemicals that the corpse gives off lead to a very rotten death-like aroma filling the air. Not a fishy smell, definitely a more vegetable-like one (rotten cabbages, to be specific).

Of course, the best way to avoid getting a dead rodent smell in your house is to prevent mice from entering the house. Read more about how you get rid of rodent burrows near your home.

Faizan Khan

Hey! This is Faizan. I love to explore different ways to control pests. PestCircle is where I share my knowledge by writing articles on different pest control techniques. I always enjoy giving out my knowledge and experience with people to help people deal with pests effectively.

Recent Posts