Addressing a rodent infestation in a residence or business can prove to be more complicated than a person might realize at first blush. Not only does dealing with a rodent infestation require the physical elimination of rats or mice from the premises, but it also necessitates the cleanup of dangerous droppings or feces and the eradication of what can be powerfully noxious odors. For example, extermination is the most common method utilized to get rid of rodents in a residence or business. Extermination can be done by a home or business owner or by a professional. In either case, some extermination methods can leave behind rodent bodies in locations that are not easily accessible. Rodent remains can be left behind between walls, under floorboards, and in other isolated and generally inaccessible locations. The decomposition process proceeds apace when a rodent dies, resulting in the release of foul-smelling gasses that can permeate through a residence.
Faced with the prospect of dead mouse or rat odors, you may wonder what you can do to eliminate dead rodent smells in your home or business. There are in fact a number of strategies you need to bear in mind when it comes to eliminating dead rodent odors from a residence or business.
Factors That Contribute to the Natural Rate of Decomposition
The stench associated with a dead rodent will begin to appear within a day or two of the animal’s death. Foul odors associated with rodent decomposition will not begin to dissipate until a carcass completely dries out. Indeed, the odors will persist for up to a couple of weeks after that juncture because of the manner in which they can permeate throughout the premises. As is discussed later in this presentation, the odor elimination process can be sped up by employing different strategies, including through professional assistance.
A number of factors play into how long the decomposition process itself will take. These include:
- Size of the deceased rodent
- Temperature at the location of the body
- Humidity at the location of the body
- Accessibility of remains to decomposing agents (like flies)
Depending on the location of a rodent’s remains, some people may elect to employ a strategy of “dealing” with the odor of decomposition by allowing the process to run its course, masking the odor as best as can be done in the process. The manner in which odors can be masked is discussed in more detail shortly.
Keeping the Premises Well Ventilated
Natural ventilation is a key component of lessening dead rodent smells in a home or business. Weather permitting, opening windows and doors to generate ongoing cross ventilation can prove at least somewhat helpful in lessening the foul odor associated with a dead rodent. Weather permitting means that the temperature outside should be chilly to warm. Opening doors and windows when the weather is cold negatively impacts the livability of a residence. Opening up a residence or business when the weather is particularly hot can actually enhance a dead rodent stench if cross ventilation proves minimal a hot air ends up unmoving within the premises.
Removal of the Dead Rodents
At the heart of more quickly eliminating odors associated with decomposing rodents is the removal of the bodies of these dead animals from the premises. As has been mentioned previously, because rodents can end up dead in difficult or virtually impossible to reach locations, removal can prove highly challenging and in some cases (absent professional intervention) impossible.
In the absence of removing a dead rodent or rodents from the premises, the best course you will be able to take is to attempt to mask the associated odor until the decomposition process runs its course and the stench gradually dissipates on its own accord over the course of a couple of weeks after decomposition concludes.
Cleaning and Sanitization
Removing a rodent carcass (or carcasses) will not immediately completely eliminate the stench associated with the decomposition of the animal. In order to speed up that process, when the carcass is removed from the premisses, thorough cleaning and sanitization need to be undertaken. A thorough cleaning removes any residual biomatter and chemicals associated with the decomposition of the rodent remains. Sanitization eradicates bacteria that can contribute to the generation of foul odors when rodents die on the premises.
The necessity of masking odors of rodent remains that prove to be completely inaccessible has been discussed to some degree previously. Commercial-grade deodorization agents are best suited to addressing odors during the decomposition process if a rodent carcass or carcasses are inaccessible and cannot be removed.
In addition, deodorization agents can play a role in more rapidly eliminating a foul stench from a home or business after the removal of a rodent carcass or carcasses. In such a situation, a deodorizing agent can be used in conjunction with thorough cleaning and sanitization to restore a home or business to an odor free condition.
A rodent carcass, as well as rodent droppings which exist at the site of a rat or mouse infestation, can be the source of dangerous pathogens, including viruses and bacteria capable of causing illness and even serious disease in human beings. Thus, if a home or business owner elects to undertake ridding the premises of dead rodent smells, the use of appropriate personal protective equipment becomes imperative. The personal protective equipment, or PPE, that is worn by a biohazard remediation professional includes:
- Respirator or facemask
- Uniform or smock
- Protective eyewear
This PPE needs to be specifically designed for use in contact with biohazardous material. Not all gear of this nature is rated for use in addressing or cleaning up a biohazard.
Professional Odor Eradication Assistance
Although information has been presented about how a home or business owner can attempt to eradicate a dead rodent smell on his or her own, the recommended course of action oftentimes is hiring a reputable, experienced odor elimination specialist or biohazard remediation professional. This type of professional has the skillset, tools, equipment, and resources necessary to more thoroughly eradicate a stench associated with dead rodents that is the case with a layperson. This includes have a keener ability to remove rodent carcasses that are located in difficult and otherwise prohibitive locations.