Dead Rat Smell, How to Get Rid of It

Do you think finding a dead rat in the house is disgusting? Even more disgusting is not being able to find it but to smell it!

Dead rat in the house

Smelling the acrid odor of a decaying animal is one of the things you never want to experience in your home, but unfortunately it happens.

Editor's note: If you have already found and removed the corpse of the dead animal you can go directly to the tips on how to eliminate its smell, if not, I suggest you continue reading below.

Rodents sneak into the house because they have found a safe place to nest but also in search of food.

I don't think it even needs to be said, but the cleaner the house, the less risk of running into the presence of mice.

But even in hygienically maintained homes it can happen to find a mouse: if the mouse is alive you can hunt it down and then dispose of it, but if the mouse is dead you have to deal with the stench it can give off, the intensity of which can vary depending on many factors that we will see later.

If there is a strong stench of something decomposing in the house, the first thing one thinks of is a dead mouse but other animals, mainly rodents, could also be the cause, primarily dormice.

In order to get rid of mice, rodenticides are often used.

Rat poisoners have the characteristic of poisoning rodents by causing them to become intensely thirsty, which causes them to reach outside where they seek a way to quench their thirst.

This is in most cases: sometimes they die before they can reach outside and thus, the resulting stench we later smell may have been indirectly caused by ourselves.

What to do in case you find a dead rat in the house

Mice bring disease when alive, but even when dead they are not exactly a panacea.

The presence of a dead mouse in a home is not only a deadly stench problem but also a health problem.

It can no longer transmit a bunch of dangerous diseases, directly or indirectly, through any of its daily activities, but the decomposition process of the corpse is still a health threat.

Rodent putrefaction activates all kinds of harmful airborne agents and pathogenic bacteria, which can easily enter the lungs and digestive system or skin.

In addition, the waste of the dead parasite can harbor some viruses with a long life span, which can survive for weeks outdoors. In addition, larger creatures, such as worms hiding in the guts of the dead rat, pose a significant risk of a secondary health-threatening infestation.

How to detect a dead rat in your house?

The first thing to do is to locate the mouse carcass and remove it, and this may not always be easy.

When you leave your house unattended for some time, it is best to close the doors to rooms to prevent any intruder from scampering freely in the building.

That said, when we return, the smell may have spread everywhere and impregnated furniture and furnishings.

Our noses, therefore, are unlikely to guide us safely to the place where in rodent died.

The first thing to do is to open all windows and ventilate the house very well.

This is for a health reason, in the first place, as I had a chance to write above.

Having done this it will be easier to recognize the source of the stench.

Let's start by doing a survey of the house to see if we can find the carcass.

Rats, whether alive or dead, rarely get into plain sight, so it is almost always necessary to go looking under furniture.

My advice is to inspect every potential hiding place with easy access, such as:

  1. In cavities;
  2. Behind the fridge;
  3. Around pipes;
  4. In cabinets where we store food;
  5. In the attic;
  6. Under furniture;etc.

Remove the carcass of the dead animal

Okay, having done the above, two conditions can occur:

you found the dead mouse and removed it;
the mouse is dead in an inaccessible area and therefore you cannot remove it.
In the first case be careful not to simply throw the mouse corpse out of the dwelling, for two main reasons:

If the mouse died from the rodenticide, other animals (including pets) may feed on the mouse and in turn become poisoned;
The exposed mouse will still attract insects that will stay around the house.
What to do then? The best solution is to bury the mouse at a fair depth in the ground. A kind of funeral for good.

In the second case, that is, in case we cannot remove the carcass because it is in some inaccessible crevice, the only thing is to fight the smell and try to make it disappear as quickly as possible.

Remember, however, that time will have to take its course and the decomposition of the animal will take place over a period that can vary from weeks to months.

What variables affect this?

Mainly the weight of the animal: the bigger it is, the longer it will take to decompose. Then environmental factors such as humidity, heat, presence of insects, etc.

It is not the case here to write a treatise on meat decomposition, but the basic advice that can always be given is to ventilate as much as possible.

The more airy the house, the sooner the mouse's soft tissues are accelerated to dry out and the rotting smell is ended.

mummified mouse

But there are also other actions we can put in place to eliminate the smell.

Which ones? We see now.

How to get rid of the stench of a dead mouse

Even if you have removed the dead animal, the stench may continue to permeate the house for some time.

If the carcass is then untraceable, it is certain that the stench will continue to spread until the decomposition process is totally finished.

The advice I can give is this.

1. Air the house thoroughly

I have already anticipated this above: open doors and windows so that air can get in and out.

Ventilation lowers the humidity level and also accelerates the drying of the animal carcass, in case you have not been able to remove it

2. Deodorize fabrics

Use an odor-removing spray. Mind you, not a scent remover that covers them up, but removes them!

Wash fabrics that you can wash, especially in the bedroom, and try to take those outside (sofa legs, curtains...) so that the air can naturally remove the odor.

Ozium odor-absorbing deodorant


3. Sanitize surfaces

The unpleasant surprise of a dead mouse in the house can give us an opportunity for a good cleaning of the furniture, using where possible a sanitizing product that not only removes germs but is also mildly scented.

For floors you can also use bleach dissolved in the water bucket, as long as the floor surface permits and is not damaged by it, of course.

4. Buy an air purifier with a HEPA filter

These air filtration devices are excellent and capture and remove allergens, pollen, smoke, pet dander, mold spores and germs.

It is an investment that, beyond the dead mouse, may prove to be very worthwhile over time.

HEPA filter purifiers are basically vacuum cleaners that absorb "infected" air and release it purified.

air purifier with HEPA filter


5. Use Deodorizer Pouch

Smelleze's odor-absorbing bags attract and absorb odors almost like a black hole.

Made of natural materials and reusable many times, it is one of the best products on the market for eliminating odors released by dead animals.

The bags can be "recharged" by exposing them to the sun or placing them in the microwave

smelleze dead aniamals


6. Use ground coffee

The "grandmother's" remedy can in turn prove effective, at least in case of emergency and while waiting to find more efficient ones.

It consists of placing bowls of ground coffee in strategic places in the house so as to absorb the stench.

It would have been better used for a good espresso but even so it will have come in handy.