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  • USA Wildlife Removal Education Guide - How to get rid of Dead Animal Odors

How to get rid of Dead Animal Odors

Locating a dead animal and removing it from the house may be the easiest part of the problem. Depending on how long the animal has been dead, where it was located and its state of decay, an even bigger task might well be cleaning up the area and getting rid of the residual odor.

Decomposition and hence, the odor-generation process, commences immediately when the animal expires and it continues until the body dries out. The process can last weeks or months, depending on the size of the animal, or until the carcass is removed and the area cleaned up and deodorized.

Sometimes the odor elimination task is relatively simple and can be accomplished with home remedies, one of which is simply to air out the room as soon as possible. If weather permits, open the windows, turn on a ceiling fan if you have one, and set up one portable fan to draw fresh air in and another to blow the contaminated air out.

If the animal expired and began decomposing in an attic space, body fluids may have seeped through the ceiling onto furniture or carpeting. Household problems can often solve the problem. You can use an enzymatic cleaner or a solution of liquid dish soap and warm water to wash the affected areas, applying the solution with a soft cloth or sponge.

Wipe the area from the outside in to avoid spreading the problem. Similarly, you can both disinfect the area and eliminate odors by applying a solution of white vinegar and water, allowing it to stand for several minutes, and then patting it dry.

Various commercial odor neutralizing products are available, many of which employ bacteria or enzymes that break down the smells resulting from the animal’s decomposition. Some of these involve dispersal of the products in the area in which the animal’s body was located. Others are aerosol products that can be sprayed about the area or hung in small bags both to decontaminate the air and to eliminate the unpleasant residual odors.

Some commercial products feature automatic aerosol dispensers that not only clear the air, but also take into consideration the size and type of animal involved. Avoid products that simply mask the odors with fragrance and be sure that what you purchase actively addresses the basis of the problem.

Importantly, wear rubber gloves and protective clothing when cleaning up after dead animals. And once you’ve completed the task, dispose of the gloves and wash the clothes you were wearing separately from other items if they have come in contact with dead animal fluids.

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