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Awful Smell Coming From Heater Ducting

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.


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.

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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.


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Anonymous Flag
March 12, 20170 found this helpful

I dumped bleach in the heating vent has helped

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