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, 20112 found this helpful
Best Answer

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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April 2, 20178 found this helpful
Best Answer

I also had a dead mouse in the walls some where in between a bedroom and bathroom. Bought all this fresh airbags off Amazon. Waste of money. Have been dealing with this going on 18 days. So i read a article about peppermint oil. I am here to tell you this is some awsome stuff. Put on cotton balls droped in closets,vents,windows and even put some in the air humitifier. Awsome job the smell is gone.


And my place smells fresh. I even made candle warmers. Mice and other rodents hate the smell of peppermint so bought peppermint plants planted in all my flower beds. Made sachets with rice and pepermint oil to put under house to keep them out. You can also hang these in uour closets,garages and attics. Hope this is useful for all. All kinds of ideals on Pintrest. Good luck.

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October 19, 20170 found this helpful

Thank you so much for the peppermint solution to my rodent in the vent odor. It was driving me and not to mention my husband crazy.

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January 9, 20190 found this helpful

A dead squirrel was in my attic. I used fresh coffee Beans and placed them in a bowl in every room. The smell was terrible. In less than a few hrs Smell Was Gone. Works every time!

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October 11, 20111 found this helpful
Best Answer

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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April 3, 20172 found this helpful
Best Answer

I had been told to put coffee grounds in the vents, but need to add to my answer that I used coffee beans so there was not a chance of dust like particles coming back up from the vent. It works!

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December 3, 20180 found this helpful

Mice recently chewed the lid off my coffee and got into it, therefore I don't think it deters them for anyone thinking about trying this.

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January 6, 20190 found this helpful

The coffee beans in the vents I believe was just a tip for covering up the bad odor; not a deterrent.

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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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March 12, 20170 found this helpful

I dumped bleach in the heating vent. It has helped.

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May 15, 20171 found this helpful

In California only I deal with rodent odor, especially in cars, you will need a high tech enzyme product and a high powered ozone machine (28000 mg per hour minimum) and a steam cleaner.

Finding the rodent is important in the home or car. Once that is done, heavily spray the area effected with enzyme, let sit four an hour minimum then steam clean it out. If the odors spores have effected the car or home you will need to run the ozone for three to five days.

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July 23, 20170 found this helpful

We just had the same problem. We dropped ground coffee in the wall cavity via the roof, waited a day then sprayed vanilla essence for the smell. We use vanilla to clean out the fridge and eskies. It is still has a slight smell but nowhere near as horrific as before

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