Poor dead Hamster

Old 11-18-08, 06:00 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Ontario, Canada
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Unhappy Poor dead Hamster

It's a sad story I have to tell. My daughter noticed yesterday am that her hamster was let out of her cage by her younger siblings. We moved furniture, opened vents and searched all day. I even let her stay home from school. We found no Holly. We heard noises in the vents last night and set up numerous ways for her to get out if she wasn't hurt and could. We did not find her. As the day went on today I started noticing a foul smell of death. You know the one! I left the house for a few hours an upon returning have walked into a stifling smell. I have to have a shirt over my face to breathe. It's not that it's just the smell either, it's that it was our pet. The kids haven't noticed the smell yet or haven't said anything. I don't want to tell them it's Holly rotting in our vents. My questions are;
1. Are there any health hazards to breathing this in?
2. What can I do to get rid of the smell, other than calling an exterminator?
3. Do I need to call an exterminator?

Keep in mind, we live in Canada and the outside temp will reach -8c tonight. We need to have the heat on. Which doesn't help the situation.
Any help on this sad problem of mine would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you
Old 11-18-08, 06:32 PM
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Maryland zone 7
Posts: 1,716
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Hi Boonuttbudder,

So sorry for your loss. The first thing you will need to do is remove the hampster from the vent. Until that is done you have the smell through your entire house until decomposition is finished. The one possible 'good' thing is the hot air should help to dry it out so it won't smell as long or strong. If you can't locate it you will need a duct cleaning company, exterminator or plumber with a remote camera to search through the duct work. Then the duct can be cleaned with a bleach solution. You may have to cut into the duct to get at the spot where Holly is, and possibly even replace that section of duct, depending upon what it's made of. If it's fiberglass lined, it will need to be replaced.


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