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Rodent Odor in Walls and Vents

Once mice have been in residence in a house they can die in the walls and heating system, making them difficult to find. This guide is about rodent odor in walls and vents.
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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

0 found this helpful
October 8, 2011

I think a rodent has died in my heating vents! The smell is horrible, and it is starting to get much worse. I first noticed it toward the kitchen, and then it started getting much worse, and now the smell is also spreading. It is awful. I am pretty sure it is in the heating vents. I've pretty much narrowed it down. I have tried to use the shop vac, with a long tube on it, and I was praying that by chance I would suck it up but no luck! I do not have the resources to go under the house, rip out the insulation, take all the vents off, and clean it out.

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What can I do to get rid of the smell? The worst part of this is my poor daughter's rooms are right in the path of the stink. I use candles, sprays, and Plug Ins, but it is just not cutting it. It has been about 2 weeks, so I thought it would be getting better by now, not worse. I am guessing it is much bigger than a mouse, but I don't know. Please help.

By Audrey H.

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
October 10, 20110 found this helpful

I am a retired cleaning lady and have run across this more than once. I have seen rats die in walls, ducts, and in my own home, the attic. The smell is really awful, but it is temporary. It takes about two weeks to go away on its own.

In my own case I had a gap next to a vent fixed on my roof and apparently trapped some rats in my attic. I was able to tape off my range fan with plastic and duct tape and the smell went away. When I took the plastic down (two weeks later) it was gone. I assume there is a dried out rat corpse in my attic somewhere. One of my customers had a rat die in her wall with no way to get to it. It smelled wretched, but two weeks later there was no smell. The are businesses that will come in and clean your heating duct work (vacuum it all out).

I am not sure how much that would cost. I would give it a bit more time, and then call the duct cleaners. You could try plastic over the heating vents for a few more days. Good luck.

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October 10, 20110 found this helpful

I have a solution for your problem. Have pest control come into the house and just blow everything away. Why not take a trip to Maine? I could be your hostess and you would have 2 rooms and a bathroom upstairs at your beck and call. :Laughing: I can put any size bed in for you from a twin to a king. No waterbeds though, even though my house doesn't lean or sag or anything, but my boyfriend's nephew had one up there and the water spilled out and smelled something horrible for whatever it is that is bothering me. Anyway, the house is open for you if you want to take a vacation to Maine during the peak leaf peeping time!

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October 11, 20110 found this helpful

This happened to me also, but my son took a "Wire Coat Hanger", bent a small hook on it, took a flashlight to see which vent was closes to the rodent. He then took the wire coat hanger and fed it into the vent until it reached the rodent. He then inserted the hook around or into its body and drug it to the vent he was working from. I hope this works for you,as it did for us. I didn't spend a cent on getting it out.

PS: We had to unscrew the screws that held the vent down.

roadrouser

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March 12, 20170 found this helpful

I dumped bleach in the heating vent has helped

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March 4, 20090 found this helpful

How do I get rid of mice urine odor in the ventilation?

Betty

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
March 4, 20090 found this helpful

I would buy some stuff called Odoban it can be bought at Walmart or online they have a website. Then I would spray it where I could and I don't know what kind of ventilation you have you might need to get creative to get it all in there.

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March 4, 20090 found this helpful

Try placing some charcoal briquettes in the vent. Use the kind for the bbq(kingsford). The charcoal will absorb the odor.

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March 5, 20090 found this helpful

I would consider getting a company to go through and clean out all the habitat in there, dust mountains for example, with their cameras. Then they will put deodorizer in it.

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March 8, 20090 found this helpful

I'd try very hard to get to the core of the problem first, otherwise you'll be spraying forever. It could be that just one got in there as a baby and grew up? How'd it get into the ventilation system anyway? It could also be that there is a hole in the ducting or from the outside? Time to hunt for holes the size of a small quarter from the outside or a crack that wide. I have a lot of those to repair, but no mice, thank god. : ) Good luck and god bless and help you. : )

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July 1, 20090 found this helpful

I'm not sure how to get rid of the odor, but I did see this on TV the other day. Mice cannot control their bladders. The are dribbling constantly as they go about their business. Which shocked me because I had a mouse problem a few months ago when My husband took off the wall panel behind the washer and didn't put it back when he finished working back there.

I found droppings in my kitchen drawers and cabinets. We got rid of the mice, I cleaned everything, then saw that on TV. I had to go back and clean again. Best thing to do would be to make sure everything is good and tight where the little buggers can't get in.

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May 30, 20140 found this helpful

I have to get rid of squirrel urine in my ceiling.

By Carmen

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September 27, 20050 found this helpful

I am moving in to a new house and it has a major animal urine odor. It has new floor and new carpet. The smell is most likely coming from walls or vents. Is their a way I can get rid of it if I can't find it? Or get to it?

Sheila

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September 27, 20050 found this helpful

Get help NOW before any home warranty or other assurance of structural soundness guarantee expires. Find a flooring specialist or home inspector whom you trust.

Your problem may be carpet installed over subfloor that had been urine saturated. Unless the plywood is replaced and/or cleaned and sealed, the urine odor continues to rise into the carpet especially when the humidity is high.

The other problem can be carpet installed over concrete that has not been properly sealed.

I bought a foreclosed house (cheap) that had been occupied by five brothers, their guy friends, their girlfriends, some babies, six dogs and MANY cats. (The neighbors were terrorized) The carpet had not been replaced but when my general contracctor removed it he and his helper ended up puking on the lawn. It was that bad. The sub floor had HUGE urine spots. I found a flooring contractor who scrubbed it with bleach and vinegar, allowed it to dry, then appled a heavy duty sealer. I had hardwood installed. No problem with that section of the house.

Unfortunately I had had carpet replaced in my office IMMEDIATELY after closing. The office is over concrete. The carpet installer pulled the old carpet, did not clean or seal then glued down the new carpet. He asssure me it wasn't necessary to do any prep work. The first time I complained they told me the glue would cure. Then they told me to vaccum more often. I am sitting here sniffing cat pee four years later--I finally figured out that this is the room where they penned the cats. I know I need to go back to square one but with file cabinets and a computer armoire to move, I shudder to think what a mess it would be.

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October 15, 20050 found this helpful

Those underlying surfaces will always require cleaning and disinfecting. So flooring has to come up in order to get the job done. If it is the walls, it may require the bottom 12 inches of drywall be replaced, and the wall framing behind being cleaned and disinfected. Good luck.

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March 7, 20060 found this helpful

can cats smell mice that are living in your walls? Mine have been doing that for about a week- (the same time we found the mouse) can they smell the through the plaster? I live in an old house and found a mouse running across my keyboard! Please help- i don't know what to do.

PS I have tin foiled my whole house in order to keep more from getting in - does it really work?

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0 found this helpful
February 16, 2006

I recently had an animal nesting on top of my furnace and now everytime I turn on the heat the house smells of urine! Aside from getting rid of the furnace, what can I do?

Jessica from Atlanta, GA

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February 16, 20060 found this helpful

I once bought a stove/oven that had been stored in a shed. The mice moved into the oven and when I turned it on to use it, the smell was horrendous! Since mice/rodents actually nest in the insulation that meant that all of it had to be replaced. I would imagine that your furnace has the same material as well as the filters. If you have someone who can do it for you, that's great. Otherwise you will have to pay someone to come out and remove and replace all of the insulation.

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February 17, 20060 found this helpful

Thoroughly clean top and any accessible parts of the furnace, and replace the filter

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