Dead or alive, having a mouse in your house is a nuisance. If you smell the strong and unique smell of a decomposing mouse in your home, it will haunt you until you find it. Even pinpointing the source can be an exasperating task. Keep reading to learn how to get rid of dead mouse smell and prevent the mice from coming back.
What Does a Dead Mouse Smell Like?
The smell is like something rotten with a sulfurous undercurrent of natural gas.
So, why does a decomposing body release a pungent smell? The smell comes from the mixture of methane, sulfur dioxide, and hydrocarbons that release from the body as it breaks down. The longer the body decomposes in one place, especially an enclosed area, the stronger the smell gets.
The extremity and endurance of the smell depend on several circumstances:
- Mouse size: The larger the mouse, the more pronounced the smell.
- Scavenger access: Scavengers that eat dead mice include birds of prey, lizards, snakes, and small mammals.
- Humidity and temperature: A hot, humid location leads to faster decomposition. As a result, the smell is much more potent.
How to Locate a Dead Mouse
If you want to locate a dead mouse, you need to use your nose and eyes and think like a mouse.
Some visual clues to tell you where a mouse has been, including:
- Mouse droppings
- Mouse paw prints
- Streaks on surfaces or walls
- Chewed items and entryways
If you still can’t find it, ask yourself where a mouse might spend time in your house. Common hiding places include:
- In cupboards
- Under sofas
- In closets
- In attics
- In walls
- Under floorboards
- In air ducts
- In crawl spaces
Use your nose to triangulate the precise location of the smell. You will most likely end up on your hands and knees to do so, but the source could also be in overhead vents.
Unfortunately, it’s more difficult if they’ve found a space to live in the walls and under the floorboards. There’s likely to be little access available for you to retrieve the dead mouse even if you locate the smell.
How to Remove Dead Mouse Smell from Your House
The best way to remove a dead mouse smell from your house is to find the dead mouse, dispose of it, and clean the area.
Even if you can’t locate the dead mouse, the smell will eventually dissipate with time. Still, it’s important to find the animal for sanitary reasons. In the meantime, you’ll want to do something about the smell.
Masking the Smell
Once you’ve located the dead mouse, you’ll need to place the deodorizer as close as possible.
If the smell is coming from your walls, try stuffing deodorizers or cotton balls covered in deodorizer into holes in the wall or under cracks between the baseboard and floor.
Deodorizing options include:
- Air fresheners and neutralizers: Air freshening sprays, candles, or essential oils can mask the smell temporarily. For some, though, the combination of smells is even more sickening.
- Charcoal deodorizer bags: Charcoal traps odors instead of covering them.
- Dry coffee grounds: Coffee both covers and removes scents. The caffeine in coffee grounds contains nitrogen. It helps clean sulfur from the air through adsorption.
- Dead animal deodorizers: Several companies make products that absorb dead animal odors or cover up the scent. They come in both pouches or as liquids.
- Air-purifying machines: Try an air-purifying machine with carbon-based deodorizing filters.
Preventing the Smell
The best way to prevent the smell of dead mice in your home is to prevent them from entering your home in the first place.
Ensure that they never have the temptation to enter your home with these mouse prevention tips:
- Seal entryways: Seal any potential access points in your home with caulk, foam, or metal mesh. Install door sweeps and metal strips. Repair leaking pipes or damaged gutters, too.
- Keep your kitchen clean: Remove crumbs, spills, and leftovers immediately.
- Secure trash: Use tight-fitting lids on indoor trash cans.
- Secure food: Place boxes and bags of food out of reach, such as on top of the refrigerator or inside mouse-proof glass or metal containers with lids.
Getting Rid of the Mouse
If you are lucky enough to find the dead mouse, dispose of it right away. Deodorize and sanitize the area, then allow air to circulate to get rid of the smell.
Removing the dead mouse will remove the majority of the foul odor. Use the following steps to dispose of the mouse once you’ve found it:
- Put on rubber gloves and a mask: Rodents carry a variety of diseases and can affect asthma and allergies. If you don’t have gloves, you can use the plastic bag from the next step.
- Place the mouse in a plastic bag: Seal the bag with its zipper, tie it off, or use a twist tie.
- Place the bagged mouse in the trash: Please do not flush a dead mouse down the toilet.
Because of the diseases that rodents can carry, you will want to not only deodorize the area but sanitize it during the cleaning process. Try deodorizing with baking soda, charcoal, or pet odor enzymatic sprays. You may also use a combination of deodorizing and sanitizing solutions. Create a 10/90 bleach/water mixture. Vinegar or commercial disinfectants are also good choices.
After you’ve removed the mouse and cleaned the area, circulating the air will help the smell dissipate. You can do this by opening doors and windows, using a fan, or installing an air ventilation system.
The Best Way: Call the Experts!
If you’re having difficulty finding the source of the pungent smell of a dead mouse in your home, the best way to find it is to call a pest control expert.
Pest-control experts have the experience and knowledge of mouse behavior. They also come equipped with the right tools to find and extract your dead mouse.
A pest control expert will also guarantee to find the source and dispose of the mouse safely.
Getting Rid of Mice with Romney Pest Control
Finding and disposing of a dead mouse is a somewhat simple task if you can find the carcass. However, if they’re in a hard-to-reach area, the stench will only increase while the mouse location remains a mystery.
The most desirable scenario is to prevent mice from entering your property, damaging it, and dying there in the first place.
The highly-trained and experienced pest experts at Romney Pest Control use top-of-the-line treatments. We help prevent, exterminate, and remove mice from your home. We also can help to clean up the mess they made while alive or dead. Get in touch with us today to get started!