You walk in the door to your home and an awful smell hits you. Over the next couple days, you check all the usual suspects: trash cans, kitchen disposal, laundry baskets, pets. But none of those are the cause of the odor, and none of your cleaning efforts make it better. When you find yourself in this situation, it could mean a dead animal near – or even within – your home is the cause of the stench.
Like other smells this one can get trapped in the walls and fabrics of your home. It can seem impossible to remove! But if you’re wondering how to remove dead animal smell for good, there are a few things you can do to speed up the process.
First, What Does a Dead Animal Smell Like in a House?
Even though it can vary, a dead animal smell in the house is often described as musty, rancid, or like rotting flesh. It is an overwhelming smell, and the longer the dead animal is present in your home, the stronger and more distinct the smell becomes. For the first couple days, you may have a hard time distinguishing it from other smells. But as time goes on, it will be very clear that this smell is not a typical odor.
Before Deodorizing, Call a Professional to Remove the Dead Animal
Once you realize that a dead animal is in or near your home, you want to call a professional to find and remove it. It may seem overwhelming at first, but if you can identify the source of the smell it can make it easier to remove it.
While the pest control company is there removing the dead animal, you should also ask them to inspect the home for signs of an infestation. While some animals like raccoons or stray cats may be alone, smaller animals like mice or rats are more likely to be present in groups. Removing any animals, living or deceased, from the home is the best way to prevent future occurrences.
In rare cases, the animal stench may be coming from outside, from a deer or larger animal that died in the vicinity of your home. A pest control company will be able to check your home first. Then, it can help you find the animal that is the source of the smell and provide advice about the next steps necessary to make your home pest-free.
Begin to Attack the Odor at the Source: Clean and Sterilize the Environment
Now that the animal is gone, there are two things you need to focus on that will improve the smell of your home. Those are your home’s cleanliness and its moisture levels. We’ll cover cleanliness first.
Cleaning the home has to start at the source of the smell: the site of the dead animal. Some pest control companies will provide a basic cleaning and disinfecting of the area. Make sure this important step is complete before you do anything else. If you notice a strong odor or bugs remaining in the area, have a professional cleaning company sterilize it and the surrounding environment. Animals can carry many diseases, even when they’re alive. You do not want to risk your own health or your family’s by trying to clean the area yourself. So, make sure it is properly sterilized before continuing with your odor-busting efforts.
After you finish that important step, give the rest of the house a good, deep cleaning. This will encourage any trapped smells to dissipate faster. Vinegar is a great and cheap option for cleaning the home that is safe but also effective at neutralizing strong odors.
Moisture is Not Your Friend: The Trick to a Clean Home is a Dry Home
Moisture and humidity can trap odors in your home, making them harder to remove. When you live in a humid climate like central North Carolina, humidity is hard to avoid. Even if your home is well-ventilated, you can still encounter problems if there was high moisture in the area where the dead animal was. This can make it take longer to eliminate the smell.
Using a dehumidifier can reduce moisture levels in your home, or in a specific area with trapped moisture. This will also help prevent mold growth, another issue that can cause strong odors. If you have a basement or crawlspace, make sure these areas are well-ventilated and dry.
Other things you can do to encourage extra air flow through the space are opening the windows if weather allows, keeping your ceiling fans running, and renting or purchasing a few box fans to pull fresh air into the home and move foul air out of it. Keeping air moving through your home more quickly than normal can move those odors out faster and dry up any sneaky areas where moisture is keeping them trapped.
Smells Still Lingering? Contact First Call, the Company Your NC Neighbors Trust!
After following these tips on how to remove dead animal smell from your home, give your space a few days to return to normal. But if a week goes by and a strong stench is still present, you will want to call our team at First Call!
For over 30 years, we have earned our reputation as a trusted cleaning and restoration company by providing professional services at competitive prices. As a family-owned business based in Alamance County, we have a unique awareness of central North Carolina’s climate and weather patterns. We know the struggles that come with these and how to maintain clean and safe homes and businesses in our area.
If you are still struggling with your home’s air quality, request a free consultation through our website here: https://firstcallnc.com/contact-us/. You can also read the testimonials from others in your community and learn why we are North Carolina’s First Call for cleaning and restoration services.