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Dead Animal In the Wall

If the dead animal is in the wall, then I've got to cut it out, plain and simple. In rare cases, I'm able to go up in the attic and look down the wall and use a special snare tool or grasping tool to get the dead animal, but most of the time I've got to cut a hole.

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In order to find the exact spot where I need to cut a hole in the wall, I have to sniff and sniff. If I've narrowed down the area, and the animal is not in the attic or under the house and definitely inside the wall cavity, I stick my nose right on the wall and sniff every square inch until I hit the exact spot. Believe me, when I get to that spot, I know it. The smell is not only stronger, but it changes in nature. The wall is even sometimes slightly warm due to the slow combustion process of decomposition. So when I find that spot, I cut a hole open and remove the animal.

Sometimes an animal just falls down a wall, and can't get out. I've seen this happen with mice, rats, squirrels, opossums, and raccoons. The walls of drywall are very smooth, and hard to climb. If you hear scratching at the bottom of a wall, you'd better do something about it, or the animal will suffer and die, and then cause an odor that you don't want.

Once I remove the dead animal(s), I mop up any bodily fluids and maggots, I remove any soiled insulation, and I spray down the area with a special enzyme-based cleaner that destroys biohazard waste. The removal of the dead carcass is 90% of the problem, of course, and if you let the house air out after that, (opening windows helps) the odor will be gone very quickly. If you don't remove the dead animal, the horrible stink will remain in your house until the animal completely decomposes and gets eaten by maggots, and the whole process will take a little more than a week with a small animal like a mouse or rat, and over a month with a big animal like a raccoon or opossum. I do recommend that you have the animal removed. The bad smell will go away within an hour.

I also always patch up the hole that I cut open. I cut at an angle to save the piece of drywall, and I bolt it back in place and spackle the edges, or I just use a spackle drywall patch. For more information about dead animal removal from various areas, read the below articles.

Dead Animal Removal
Bad Smell in House
Dead Animal in Wall
Dead Animal in Chimney
Dead Animal in Duct or Vent

My name is David, and I am an expert on dead critter carcass extraction from homes and buildings. If you have a deceased animal in your house, I can remove it. If you don't live near me, click on my home page, and I have listed hundreds of wildlife removal companies who specialize in dead wildlife body removal, odor control, waste removal, and deodorization.

Dead Animal Email Sent to Me: Me and my husband noticed a bad smell in the bathroom. So he went up into the attic to see if it was a dead animal. It may be a dead rat. He found it in between the wall and today try to pick it out. He got fur, but that's about it. Well now we have maggots coming out from behind the fridge. Which is the same wall. I can't see where they are coming from but the smell is coming from the plug in the wall. He can't seem to reach it from the attic. I was wondering how much it would be for a removal out of a wall? Can you help with this? We live in Tampa not Orlando. Will that be a problem? Thanks, Jennifer

My response: I have a friend in Tampa who can definitely come and remove the dead animal in your wall.

Dead Animal Email Sent to Me: Hello: My super tried in vain to locate the carcass of a dead rat or mouse lodged within the walls or floor of my apartment. I've tolerated several days of stench while the super made his best effort and we've decided to disguise the odor and allow for full decomposition to occur "naturally," with hope of no personal health consequences. Is this advisable? Rsvp. Yours truly, Hugh Lynch,,, New York, New York.

My response: Sure! If you can stand the stink, just wait it out for a week or two, and the smell will be gone. There are no health risks that I know of.
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