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How to Get Rid of Dead Rodent Smell? 5 Methods That Actually Work

How to Get Rid of Dead Rodent Smell
Rodents, yuck. Dead rodents? An emphatic yuck! If you're suffering from the overwhelming stench of dead rodents in your house, we feel for you, and that's why we're offering a few ideas on how to get rid of it.
Vrinda Varnekar
Last Updated: Feb 26, 2018
Quite the explorers!
Rats, apparently, are very smart and have a great sense of direction, and research suggests that they never forget a particular route. There's no point in hoping rats don't turn up at our houses, so it's best to seal any possible entrances!
Rodents are such annoying little pests―darting here and there, playing in our clean laundry, gorging on bits of our food, and leaving little pieces of poop in some corner of the house. Ir-ri-ta-ting! But the truth is, I think I'd take a live, moving, jumpy rat over a smelly dead one any day. Why, you ask? Maybe because of the overpowering scent that these creatures emit once they're dead! To be fair, I guess it's not unique to just rodents, most dead bodies start stinking in a similar manner, it's just that we come across dead rodents more. (In some way, I'm glad, and in some ways I don't really know what to feel.)
Anyway, getting back to the point. Often it so happens that rodents decide to pay you an uninformed and hidden visit. There's nothing much to it, really, maybe just a little frolicking in your basement or attic. Is that a rat party you can hear in your walls? I'm guessing you do let them have a free rein once in a while, (not that there's much you can do about it, but it's nice to think that it's us who lets them have a free rein!) However, what happens when a rat dies in your house? Firstly, it's not very easy to identify where it's dead, and the smell spreads like wildfire all over the house. Secondly, even if you are vaguely able to tell what room the stench is coming from, it is highly likely that finding out where the carcass is exactly is even harder.

However, you must get rid of the smell, pronto, and hiring professionals for this job might seem a little expensive for getting rid of such a little fella. We're offering you a few suggestions for the same, and we sincerely hope you find them useful!
Hunt down the carcass
You need to take on the role of a sniffer dog here, and let your trusty nose guide you to the location of the dead rodent. If it's in the basement or in the attic, good for you, but if it's in a seemingly inaccessible place, like say the ceiling or inside a wall, you may need to get professional help or burrow in yourself. The thing is, leaving a rodent carcass unattended is not safe, because firstly, it's going to keep stinking, and secondly, it's going to be an open invitation to flies, maggots, and other insects who'd love to feast on it. Hunt down the carcass and get rid of it, which will ultimately get rid of the smell too.
Bring on the air!
Nothing like a whiff of fresh air after being in a smelly room, eh? Only here, you're going to require a little more than just a whiff. Keep all your windows open, and let generous amounts of air flow inside the house. Also, if you have electric fans, don't hesitate to keep them on full swing, especially when you're cleaning. No air conditioners here though, they won't help. Fresh air is totally the way to go.
God bless sprays
Spraying disinfectants is extremely essential in order to reduce and do away with the smell of the dead rodent. Get a spray that is not only a certified disinfectant, but also has a distinct odor that will cover up the initial smell of rotting flesh. (Ugh!) Spray the material in the area where you found the dead rodent, the carcass itself, on any droppings you may find, as also the nesting area, if you come across it. In case of droppings, spray them with copious amounts of disinfectant, put them in a bag and bury them. Period.
Mopping helps too
In case of your floors and hard furniture, mopping goes a long way. It is possible that the rodent has interacted with your floors and furniture, and if you found a dead one on the floor or on your furniture, who knows what the level of interaction might have been? Mop your floors and furniture with a good, trusted cleaner, detergent, and water. This will not only help reduce the smell, but will also keep the area free of any germs your rat buddy may have left behind. Perhaps you'd prefer enzymatic cleaners, as they are bio-degradable, effective, and safe to use around pets and children.
Make use of the sunlight
To get rid of the smell of a dead rodent from your carpets or sheets or any other kind of textile, make full use of the sunlight. Wash the textiles with a disinfectant and gentle detergent, and allow them to dry in the sun. Not only will the outside air get rid of the smell on them, but the sunlight will also act as a natural disinfectant.

Note: Many people prefer drying textiles outdoors to get rid of the smell of urine too.
'Vent' it out
What happens if a rodent dies inside your heating or cooling vent? Once you've switched off the device and gotten rid of the carcass, get to work with this simple cleaning technique: it will dissuade flies, gnats and maggots, and also get rid of the dead rodent smell. Mix about â…› of a cup of bleach in half a gallon of water with a sponge for a few seconds. Use the sponge to wipe the vent clean, inside out. Let it dry on its own before you begin using your appliance again. Don't forget to wear gloves during all this!
Candles, anyone?
If you're not a big fan of air fresheners or air sprays, how about a few scented candles to seal the deal, so to speak? Light these candles in the areas where the smell is the strongest. However, please, please be careful with candles and where you light them, or it might have dangerous consequences. Also, don't expect the candles to do a quick job, they might tend to take a little more time than the air fresheners and sprays that are specially designed for this job.
Protect your car
Yes, it is possible to find a dead rodent in a car too. If you're like most people, you must be very possessive about your car, and let's face it, even if you're not, who likes such an odor while driving? First and foremost (after you have gotten rid of the dead hairy beast), clean the inside of your car with a disinfectant and water. Vacuum the seats, gear box, and steering wheel thoroughly, and follow up with wiping them with a disinfectant, water, and a soft cloth. However, make sure the liquid won't hurt your seats. For quick results, spray vinegar in your car and wipe it off after a few minutes. Vinegar has a strong odor itself and will effectively get rid of the previous smells. Similarly, you can keep odor-eliminating agents, such as sliced onions and ground coffee, in your car overnight.
Place your bets on vinegar
Vinegar is a natural disinfectant and odor-eliminating agent. If the smell of a dead rodent is getting too unbearable for you, you can try pouring vinegar into plastic cups and placing them in various corners of the house. Vinegar will soak up the bad odor and eliminate it, not just mask it. However, you need to be sure of two things here: One, that you don't have any children or pets who might go near the vinegar, and two, you're ready to keep the stuff overnight and don't mind the vinegar smell.
Prevention is always better than the smell
Yes, I do know that's not how the saying goes, but in this case I'd want you to make an exception! Nobody wants rodents, especially dead rodents inside the house, and so it's just better to do all that you can to not let them in. First and foremost, check your entire house for any openings that may invite rodents or small animals to hang out in your house, and close them immediately. Similarly, you can try keeping humane traps in prospective corners of the house so that you can release the rodents outside if you do catch them. (Don't forget to check the traps regularly, or you might have a dead rodent inside your trap) Keeping the house clean will more or less ensure that there's nothing interesting for the rodents to do, and might keep them away altogether.

We hope you find these measures to get rid of dead rodent smells effective! Remember to wear gloves at all times when you're handling the dead rodent, and/or cleaning after it. Don't leave a dead rodent inside your house, it'll take a long time to decay and the smell will keep on worsening. Don't let children or pets near the dead rodents and the unclean areas. Good luck!
Dead Rat Killed By Rat Trap
Dead rat