How to eliminate dead mouse odor

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Old 01-11-21, 11:06 AM
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How to eliminate dead mouse odor

I have a basement rambler and a few months back when I was in the basement, I heard some little footsteps in the ceiling between the basement and first floor. The basement is finished and the only exposure to the joists is under the stairs. There is a small storage area under the stairs and part of the walls under there have drywall and part don't and the joists are exposed right at the top of the stairs, if that makes sense. Anyways, I started putting some mouse traps under the stairs and also a couple outside near where the noise was, as that is the only place I could think of where they might be getting in. I ended up catching 5 mice inside under the stairs and 3 or 4 outside over a period of about a week or so and then nothing after that. I also put some bait outside and that has been eaten. Anyways, for the last couple of months, there has been an odor under the stairs. I took everything out from underneath the stairs and didn't see anything so there must be something dead in the wall or in the joist space that is making it's way to the under the stairs since the joists are exposed. It is not that bad, so I am pretty certain it is a mouse smell rather than a rat, but it is still there. There is a door to the under-stair storage area and that is kept closed so when I open it I can smell it pretty strong but it mostly stays there and doesn't go through the house. I had it open for a few hours to put decorations away and it is not as bad, probably since it is not contained. Should I leave that door open for a few days or week or so to let it air out? And is there some type of odor absorber or something I should put in there?
 
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Old 01-11-21, 11:21 AM
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If you cant find the dead mouse to remove the only thing that will work is time!
 
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Old 01-11-21, 11:22 AM
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Yeah I am sure it is somewhere in the joists that I can't get to. So would you recommend just leaving that door open under the stairs for while? I would imagine that would speed up the process since it will at least get some air flow, right? Is there any spray or absorbers that will help though?
 
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Old 01-11-21, 01:37 PM
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Short of physical removal which won't happen in this case, time will solve the problem, but you can speed it up by drying out the area of the odor as best you can. Air changes, dehumidification, are two ways to do that. Wet decomposing bodies smell worse than dry decomposing bodies and take longer to subside, if that makes sense.
https://www.domyown.com/bacazap-odor...tml?sub_id=549

There are enzyme sprays that I believe can help, but they need to be sprayed on the spot where the source of odor is/was. Might not be worth it, but spraying in between the joists, if possible and with a bit of luck it might get carried to the source but that's a lot of work and uncertainty for something that is probably moderating as we speak. I keep mouse traps set in my basement, attic and outbuildings just so that they don't get ahead of me. That way I'm hoping that only one or two will die as opposed to a larger amount which would make the odor so much worse. I do keep rodenticide in place too, now that I know I don't have a larger population. I want it quick and easy for the rodents to die. I'm willing to take the chance of an odor problem, but I try to minimize the extent of it this way.

Can you move a dehumidifier to the immediate area of the closet to facilitate drying?
 
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Old 01-11-21, 01:45 PM
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If you can't find and remove the carcass then Mother Nature will eventually take care of it for you. It takes longer in winter as cooler temperatures slow the biological activity. You can ventilate to get the evil vapors outside but in winter that might not be a viable option. There are activated charcoal filters that will work but there is nothing commonly available (that you can buy at a home center or Walmart) with enough charcoal to make a difference. In most cases you're just living with the smell until it's gone on it's own.
 
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Old 01-11-21, 02:25 PM
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Ok I guess I will leave the door open under the stairs so at least it isn't stuck in there. That will have to help some since it has been almost 2 months! Thank you.
 
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Old 01-11-21, 04:05 PM
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If it's already been two months I might give an ozone machine a try. If you don't want to buy one some rental stores have them for rent.
 
 

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