Dead Animal Smell in an Attic?

October 17, 2006

Empty Attic with two small windows.How can I get rid of the smell of a dead squirrel from my attic? I think a squirrel died in my attic about 3 day ago and I can't get rid of the smell. I have looked all over but can't find the dead animal. Please help.


Theresa from Bowie


By Lynda (Guest Post)
October 18, 20060 found this helpful
Best Answer

The smell will disappear in a short time, so why pay a "critter eliminator" to search for the carcass? When I worked part time as a Leasing Agent for 40 Apartment locations, I remember several times this happened and that's what they always said.

Sorry you have to endure it for a while, but it shouldn't be too long. It might have gotten into a chimney but usually the mother has a nest, then the baby(s) grow up and escape.

Sometimes the mother gets killed and the babies eventually
die without her help or they get lost or stuck somewhere and die. It could also be one or a family of rats, bats, racoons, or opossum... all are treated the same by the pest eliminator at great expense mainly for his time, not expertise.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
April 9, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

I had the same problem in my office next to the attic. I left the window open a few times. After about a week the smell just disappeared. It was bad while it lasted though.

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June 2, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

I just dealt with the same problem. I went up into the attic armed with gloves, a garbage bag, and flashlight and started searching. I initially looked towards the eaves, but I soon realized that my nose was the best way to zero in on where the dead squirrel lay. When I searched away in the wrong direction, the smell noticeably dropped off in strength. I eventually located the remains of the squirrel under the insulation in a partially melted pool on the drywall of the ceiling.


I picked up what I could taking some of the loose insulation with the pile. Although I pretty much got most of it, there were residual maggots crawling around which I sprayed with ant killer. I sprayed the drywall with Febreeze (sp?) and replaced the insulation. If the smell persists for more than a couple of days, I plan to go back up and try bleach or sprinkling baking soda.

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By (Guest Post)
October 18, 20060 found this helpful

Believe it or not, but the smell will go away within a few more days.....try burning nice candles to help in the mean time. We had the same problem once too.

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By Cathy (Guest Post)
October 18, 20060 found this helpful

IS there any chance of getting a dog up there? Their sense of smell may be able to pinpoint where it is. It may even be dead inside a wall cavity. Good luck!

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October 23, 20060 found this helpful

Sorry, but that smell is not just going to dissipate!! I've had this same problem for over a appears that an animal..probably mice, get inside the wall behind my coat closet during our house construction and died...the smell is very strong when it's damp and rainy outside..nothing I've tried helps so far, just hot, dry days.


The only solution I see is to find the carcass which, means ripping out the sheetrock, etc. Not looking forward to that. If anyone has another suggestion, I would certainly welcome it.

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By Guest (Guest Post)
August 1, 20070 found this helpful

We've been overrun with rats outside our house. There was an empty house beside ours that had fallen into disrrepair. then someone came out an started to clean....then the rats started bumping against our windows! ... then the exterminator put out the bait. NOw we're "blessed" with the smell of a dying rat community. GAG! We're going to try some commercial product like Odor Killer. Wish us luck!

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By Widow (Guest Post)
June 1, 20080 found this helpful

A family member put rat poison in my attic. I think more than one animal has died. The smell leaves one room and shows up in another. I know there are squirrels in the attic. Is the scent the dead animals put off unhealthy to me and children?


I was told that Air Sponge odor absorber will get rid of the smell. Has anyone successfully used these? I am having a new roof and air vents installed and my soffet repaired soon. Do I need to sanitize my attic. HELP PLEASE!

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By larry (Guest Post)
August 17, 20080 found this helpful

I am a critter man and yes it is unhealthy if you type and look in search type rat for instance or what ever wildlife, you have a lot of info will come up and there are many health issues with a dead carcasses in your home.
If you can't find any info let me know. I will help you out

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By pkpowell (Guest Post)
January 13, 20090 found this helpful

Coffee grounds can help get rid of the odor. We had a dead mouse in our office and couldn't locate it so I opened one of the coffee filter packs like you get in a motel and placed it out ... the odor was gone almost immediately.

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June 2, 20160 found this helpful

Try vinegar if you have to go back, or even used coffee grounds. I had a mouse die in the motor area of the refrigerator. It took a couple of weeks to find that the smell was coming from outside the cooling area-I thought some met or other juice had spilled and the inside smelled like something dies.


I used a dish of vinegar and a couple of filters with used grounds and the smell inside was gone in two days. the smell behind and under the refrigerator took longer.

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July 11, 20160 found this helpful

I was desperately searching for how to handle the smell that just started this evening. Tomorrow I have a houseful of company, staying overnight for the next few days. The smell is unbearable. I just went and,filled small bowls with fresh coffee grounds and I can actually stay in the room now. The coffee did the trick INSTANTLY! Thank you sooo,much! I will call pest exterminator in the morning.

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November 28, 20160 found this helpful

I don't get it; do you mix the vinegar with the coffee grounds?

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