When it comes to the issue of domestic rodent control, the elimination of actual rodents is not the only critical factor. Whether living or dead, the body of a rat or a mouse can carry numerous germs and diseases. Once a rodent has crossed a given path or nested in a particular area, any number of allergens could fester in the marks or defecation left behind by the creature.Most lasting of all, however, is the stench that rodents leave behind once they start to decompose, the likes of which can saturate a house permanently if the problem isn’t rectified in a timely manner.
What Does a Dead Mouse Smell Like?
Remember that episode of “Seinfeld” when Jerry’s car is permeated with an unbearable stench after an evening parked by a valet? The smell was so bad that he couldn’t even thief-bait the vehicle for an insurance cash-in. What no one managed to figure out is that a mouse had crawled into the car’s ventilation system and died inside the air vent, where its corpse infested the vehicle with a stench that no vacuuming or air-freshening could remedy.
The dead mouse smell that Jerry and the gang failed to identify is caused by a mix of methane, sulfur dioxide, hydrocarbons and other chemicals that emit from the decomposed body of a rat or a mouse. Even though the smell attracts vultures and other creatures that gravitate toward corpses, it’s repulsive to humans. If not properly rectified, it will permeate your house the same way it did Jerry’s car.
How to Locate a Dead Mouse in Your House
If a horrible stench has emerged in an area of your house, check for the following evidence of a mouse invasion:
Tiny paw prints, typically found along the trimmings of wall edges
Sunflower kernel-sized droppings, typically found in small clusters – likely dry and dull brown if the rodent has died
Streaks along wall edges and kitchen countertops
If there’s no evidence to point you in the direction of an impromptu mouse graveyard, follow your nose to the most concentrated area of the stench. If there’s still no sign of the corpse, it could possibly be in an air duct, a wall cavity, the attic, the crawlspace or in the sealed underside of a kitchen counter.
How to Remove a Dead Mouse Smell from Your House
The most effective way to eradicate the smell of a dead rodent is to remove its corpse, disinfect the areas where it nested, and air out your house with fans and deodorizers. Once you’ve located the corpse and anything the mouse may have left behind, such as droppings and streaks, perform the following actions:
Put on rubber gloves, expendable clothing and nose mask
Prepare a solution of 10 percent bleach/90 percent water
Place the corpse inside two Ziploc bags
Spray solution over the infected area
Wipe the area with paper towels, removing all marks, prints and defecations
Place paper towels in tightly-sealed garbage bag
Repeat steps 4-6
Throw away gloves and work clothes, wash hands for five minutes with lava soap and take a shower
With the source of the problem now out of the picture, remove all traces of dead mouse smell by opening windows, blasting fans and placing strong deodorizers throughout the affected areas of your house. For more tips on cleaning up, check out our other rodent articles to learn more about control, trapping, and more!