How To Get Rid Of Dead Rat Smell Forever
You might just have started congratulating yourself at having got rid of the pesky little rat(s) bothering you for quite some time now. After all, rats are clever opponents who adapt really fast and are accurate at spotting threats, including traps. But that is when you discover your home or your office has started stinking, because that animal has decided to hound you even in death.
Running around in your closet or shelves wasn’t enough, because it has chosen to die at the most inaccessible of places. So, the million-dollar question is, what do you do to get rid of the smell? Read on to find out.
Where do rats go to die?
Killing a rat is the easiest bit, if you are actually choosing the termination process. It gets tricky once the poison starts acting and the animals zero in on a place to die. And animals choose places which are often beyond the easy reach of other animals, meaning they will be dying in the vents and the cracks located deep in the walls or some other similar place. More rats are found to die inside the house than outside of it.
The primary step to get rid of the dead rat smell is locating the body. Dead rodent removal, particularly when you don’t know where the body is, is difficult. Rats have an amazing sense of direction, and according to research they probably do not forget a particular route they have once traveled. So, even after they consume a poison, they’d probably go back to their regular haunts, to die. And that’s where the dead body is likely to be.
What does a dead rat smell like?
Dead rats start smelling within 3-5 days of dying, and it gets worse if there are multiple rats dying all at once. The smell emanating from dead rats is worse than that of the average meat going bad in your refrigerator because rats usually choose warm and unventilated places to die. The smell that emanates is a mixture of chemicals like methane, sulfur dioxide, benzene derivatives, and long chain hydrocarbons.
As the carcass decomposes more in a span of 6-10 weeks, the odor increases and might as well reach unbearable levels, especially if the residence is not that spacious. Also, because rats are larger than mice, they smell more and for longer periods of time than the latter.
How to Combat Dead Rat Smell?
Here’s all you can do:
Odor Absorbing Bags
These can be used in case you can’t reach the rotting carcass. Locate the source of the smell, and hang the bag near it. Use one bag for a small room and 2 bags for larger rooms, and then leave the area locked.
Designed specially to absorb odor, the effect starts showing within a few hours and the smell will be gone within a few days, a week at the most. They are very easy to use and are reasonably priced.
However, it is a wise idea to get professionals to actually remove the corpse(s) in the end for very obvious reasons.
Pet Stain And Odor Eliminator
Even when the carcasses are removed, the smell can be lasting simply because it is the organic emissions from the carcass that cause most of the smell. Pet stain and odor eliminators are mostly used to get rid of odors caused by pet vomit or urine.
However, they are equally effective in removing the harsh, organic dead animal smell by absorbing and breaking down the chemical constituents of the odor.
While this won’t do away with the smell altogether as long as the source of the odor remains, this will go a long way in reducing the effect of the odor. Keep the doors and windows of the affected area open, and a lot of sunlight to dry the areas where there might have been stains, especially curtains and sheets. Remember, air conditioners won’t work for this. In fact, they would just make matters worse because they work by re-using air.
Diffusers And Humidifiers
These should be used not as a permanent solution, but rather to mask the smell and keep the surroundings healthy till the carcass can actually be accessed and removed. Because at the end of the day, you will also be breathing in dead animal fumes.
To make them more effective, add essential oils like orange, peppermint, lavender, etc. to make the surroundings fragrant. You can also get your place fumigated, and leave the area for some time in case you are adding some rat poison to it in order to kill the remaining rodents and pests.
Onion Slices And Coffee
Onion slices are good at removing odors because they are good absorbents. Take a large onion and slice it up into medium sized pieces. Placing them in bowls or disposable plates, put them in the area where the smell is the strongest. They should be kept overnight, by which time the smell should be totally gone. You can also add vinegar to the slices to make it more effective and act faster.
Similarly, coffee grounds are excellent absorbents. While you can scatter coffee beans around the area, ground coffee is more preferable because there won’t be children and animals swallowing them, and because the increased surface area would result in increased absorption.
Leaving them near the most affected areas helps in getting rid of the smell within a few hours. However, they need to be changed daily to make them the most effective. The added bonus of using coffee grounds is that you get the strong and refreshing smell of coffee in place of the odor of the decomposing corpse.
These may be used as a supplementary measure to remove the odor in spaces which measure up to 3,500 square feet. Air ionizers are usually used to remove allergens like pollen, pet dander, dust and mold, but they can also be used to get rid of the unpleasant odor.
Because decomposed rats also have the potential to spread diseases, air ionizers are a good measure to combat that as they also kill germs, bacteria, viruses, and other microbes.
Chlorine, formalin and acetic acid are the most commonly used chemicals for professional purposes. They work by neutralizing the putrid smell. These are not the best solutions, especially if you have pets and kids at your place, because they call for careful handling.
For example, acetic acid is concentrated in form and can cause severe burns not only on the skin, but also on the mucous membrane through its fumes. In case you absolutely need to use it, you should use gloves and respirators. For home settings, 30% of Vinegar Concentrate is a much more preferable method.
Don’t Let It Be; Do Something
At the end of the day, you must remember that prevention is always better than cure. Because it is just one rat that can cause a lot of trouble by rotting away, but one rat usually means more rats because these animals build colonies. They are also among the fastest reproducers. A dead animal decomposing away inside your walls, vents and foundations is not good for the structure either in the long run. So, once you are done with the smell, make sure to do away with the source of the smell as well.