Locating a dead animal smell

Old 01-02-07, 09:35 AM
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Location: Florida
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Locating a dead animal smell

I have a rental property that I lease out. Occasionally I get calls to fix different things - plumbing, electric etc... and I normally just call someone to go out there to fix it and have them deduct the cost from the rent check. I live over an hour away to go there myself to check things out.

Now today I got a call from the tenant and this is a new one. She said I need to fix a "smell" problem. I said what? They said there is a very strong odor and they traced it to the attic. The odor smells like some dead animal up there. The husband said he tried to open the garage hatch and the odor was so bad he cannot enter the attic and they demand I go "fix it". I asked whether it could be sewer gas smell and they said no, it smells like a dead animal and they cannot live in that side of the house.

I am not sure how I can fix it. This is not a mechanical or electrical failure, the lease does not specifically cover things of this nature. Regardless whether it is my responsibility to fix it, I guess I need to address it since if I don't, the smell will get worse and worse and it may be more and more difficult to rid the smell later the longer I wait.

Is this a pest control issue? I guess not if said pest is already dead? I need someone to come identify the source and dispose of the dead body? I am not sure whether pest control is the right professional to call. I don't want to call a pest control company and have them laugh at me.

Old 01-02-07, 03:08 PM
Join Date: Aug 2000
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If it is a dead animal, odor will not dissipate until it has completely decomposed. Depending upon size of animal this could mean weeks.

If a property manager or landlord, it is a good idea to have property inspected to see if animals have entered the attic and are nesting there. If the dead animal is visible, it can be removed. If it died in an inconspicuous place, such as in wall voids or other, then it will not be able to be removed. The exterminator will also be able to advise you of areas that need to be sealed to exclude squirrels, rats, and other animal pests.

If you have another rental unit available, perhaps you can move the tenants until odor problem is resolved.
Old 01-09-07, 12:14 AM
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The only treatment for a dead animal is to remove it or wait it out.

Depending on the animal this can take days or weeks but the smell will not get worse and eventually it will fade away.

I was the go to guy for dead rodent removal because I have almost no sense of smell.
You walk into the room and it reeks, I have to be within a few feet of it to smell it and it doesn't induce that gag reflex in me.

Most pest control companies will not do carcass removal on their own accounts much less for a non customer.
They will remove what they can see, and you can do that.

Don't bother will deodorizers they don't work
Once you find it if the smell is to nauseating out a little vicks under your nose

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