It is a frightening experience discovering that a dead mouse, rat, or other small animal has died in an air duct. The foul smell from the small corpse has spread throughout the home.
Fortunately, there are ways to clean the area and remove the odor. However, if you cannot stomach handling the situation yourself, do not hesitate to reach out to professional pest control.
The following are the proper steps to resolving the issue:
- Track the scent. In most cases, the foul odor is that first sign that tips off homeowners to the possible presence of a rotting animal. The smell can sometimes be so powerful that you might suspect it is in the ductwork, when it is actually located in the basement, attic, or crawlspace. If the smell leads you to a specific HVAC vent, carefully remove the vent cover and use a flashlight to take a look inside. If you see the animal, proceed to the next step. If you don’t call a professional.
- Get rid of it. Once you located the animal, carefully remove it. Have a garbage bag, rubber gloves, paper towels, and disinfectant spray at least. Use tools such as a vacuum cleaner or a coat hanger to retrieve the animal if it is out of reach. Once you dispose of the animal, clean all of the areas touched by the carcass.
- Seal the leak. As soon as the carcass is removed and the animal is cleaned, check to see how the animal was able to enter your ductwork initially. It might be a good idea to schedule an inspection with a licensed HVAC technician.