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Have you been using poison to kill rats? One of the biggest problems that you'll face if you do is that you won't ever really know where the rats you have poisoned end up. (That's if the stuff works at all; rats have shown an incredibly immunity to conventional rodenticides.)
If you have been using poison in your home and think you may have a dead rat to find and dispose of, or you believe that rats may have died of other causes in the building, you will need to get protected and start investigating.
You can't leave it where it is. It will smell after a while, and the rotting flesh will attract other rats, flies, maggots, beetles and other insects, and also other scavengers. There are a number of natural predators of rats, and there are also a wide variety of wild/pest animals that will make a great meal out of a dead rat, too.
You will smell a dead rat if you don't get rid of it, but this can work in your favor. In some households, the smell of the dead animal is actually what brings the infestation to a homeowner's attention. It gets worse the longer it is left. The stronger the smell, the closer you are to the animal. You can use your noise to try and pinpoint the room or general location in which you think the carcass might be hiding.
(For the record; if you had used snap traps rather than poison, you wouldn't have this problem at all.)
Where will rats die in my home?
If we were to list every single hiding place that a rat could curl up and die in your home, we really would be here all day. All week, probably. They can fit into a space that is barely larger than half an inch wide and that opens up all sorts of places within your humble abode. Wall cavities, crawl spaces, basements, attics, underneath roof tiles- You name it; you'll probably find rats there if they have a chance of getting in.
If you were to call in a wildlife removal expert or rat trapper, they would use the smell to find out where the rat is, and then they would try to reach the dead animal. There are times when wall spaces and cavities can be reached from the attic above, and crawl spaces can occasionally be reached by moving a floorboard or two. In the worst of scenarios, however, the only logical way to remove a dead animal from a tight space is to cut them out. If you have a dead rat in the wall, this would mean removing an actual piece of the wall to get to the space behind.
Go back to the Rat Removal page, or learn tips to do it yourself with my How to Get Rid of Rats guide.