Mystery dead critter!


Old 08-26-15, 10:48 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 44
Mystery dead critter!

I'm a transplant New Yorker but a dead possum under my house introduced me to the worst smell I had ever experienced! A critter wrangler pointed out the
bent vent screen that had allowed the possum to get in and find a quiet place
to die. He pulled the huge rigid beast out, took my check and drove off.

This week, 5 months after the possum incident, the smell returned. Remembering what I had learned I searched for the access point before calling the critter guy. Poking and pulling on every screened access I discovered THERE IS NO ENTRY POINT! I gave up and called the critter guy. He came, sniffed, listened to my details of the missing entry point then donned his coveralls and went under the house. NOTHING! His nose says there's a dead something under there but after and hour and a half, he found nothing. But the smell remains! Any guesses? Or do I call an exorcist?
Sponsored Links
Old 08-26-15, 11:54 PM
Temporarily Suspended
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: NY
Posts: 10,986
I have a guess. The current smell is the son, of the first possum. He has been living there all that time & now he's dead. I would call another trapper.
Old 08-27-15, 04:08 AM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA - N.E.Tn
Posts: 45,203
Likes Received: 11
.... or it could be a dead mouse that is in some inaccessible spot If you do nothing, the smell will dissipate once the critter has completely decomposed.
Old 08-27-15, 05:01 AM
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: New England
Posts: 10,293
Likes Received: 8
Configure a fan to pull air out of that space. One, hopefully it will reduce the spread of the smell into the house. Two, it will remove the "smells everywhere" problem in the crawl. Next time someone ventures down there (if required) it might be easier to locate the source.

Never heard of anyone doing this, but a puppy dog on a leash would likely zero in on the source in no time.

Old 08-27-15, 05:05 AM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: pennsylvania, USA
Posts: 1,545
Likes Received: 2
I too suspect a dead rodent in an inaccessible area. Possibly a dead bird too. Do you have fireplace(s)? If so, I’d consider that something died above the damper.

I like the fan idea. It wouldn’t have to be a powerful fan but it does need to be sealed up well against the vent where you place it. Creating a little negative pressure in the crawl could help a lot.

Keep us posted.
Old 08-27-15, 05:43 AM
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Wet side of Washington state.
Posts: 18,402
Likes Received: 1
I've been running a pair of 4-11/16 inch computer-type box fans in my crawlspace for at least a couple of years and it definitely limits the air exchange into the main part of the house. I looked in the catalogs for the highest airflow and lowest power consumption as well as a fairly low capital cost. As i recall the fans I have are rated at near 100 CFM and they cost somewhere around $20 each. At first I had them on a time clock that allowed them to run for four hours and then off for four hours but within a few months I switched the timer to manual on and they have been running 24/7 for at least a year, maybe more.

I have them stuck in one of the foundation vents and pieces of 2-inch rigid foam insulation closing off the rest of the vent. It would definitely be better if I closed the other two vents on that side of the house as well as some (most) of the vents in the adjacent wall so as to cause the air entering the vents on the far side to better "sweep" the entirety of the crawlspace area. The primary reason why I don't is that I just plain don't want to go down there.
Old 08-27-15, 11:10 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 44
Thanks for an elegant and highly likely answer.

With sincere gratitude.

Old 08-27-15, 11:24 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 44
Many thanks for a common sense and experienced voice!

Old 08-27-15, 11:27 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 44
LOVE the puppy idea but my wife resists pet ideas...but the FAN is brilliant!!! Raced to my garage and
dug out the old box fan, hooked it up and VOILA! Stench fading quickly! Thanks so much for this simple and elegant idea! I'll be toasting you at dinner tonight!


Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes