Getting Rid of Dead Rodent Odors in a Wall?

A woman holding her nose.
When a rodent dies inside your wall there are only a few solutions. One is to open the wall and remove it. Otherwise, you will be waiting for the odor to dissipate and using products to help absorb or mask it in the meantime. This is a page about getting rid of dead rodent odor in a wall.

4 Questions

Here are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community.

February 16, 2015

It recently started smelling like dead rat in my living room. We moved and cleaned everything. I think the smell is coming from inside the wall.

By Adela


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February 17, 20150 found this helpful
Best Answer

Unfortunately, the smell from a dead animal can take weeks and sometimes months to disappear. The problem with dead animals in a wall or somewhere in your house is that the dead tissue breaks down and the decaying tissue produces liquids that can seep into the wood in your walls and floor. Then the problem can be more difficult to remove as the smell can continue for a long time.


Sometimes the odor is so strong that the wood sections of the house may need to be replaced altogether.

You can request a visit from a local pest control company for an estimate about removing the dead animal. If you wait, you may then need to replace the wood in the dead animal's location.

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October 28, 2009

I think a mouse has died in the wall. How long does it take for the smell to go away or is there something I can use to make smell go away?

By Ramona from Tigard, OR


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October 28, 20090 found this helpful
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I had an old mobile vacation home on 20 acres in the country that I only went to occasionally and boy did the mice ever love that place! The little varmints would crawl in the walls and die. It seems that no matter what I did, it always smelled like dead mice in that trailer!


Here's what I've learned:

The dryer the air is and the less humid makes the mouse mummify quicker and smell less. The only thing you can do is wait and keep the room dry. It could take weeks, but the smell will eventually dissipate.

If you're in a hurry (who isn't!), you can only do 2 things. Either open the wall, or rent an ozone machine and run the ozone machine in the room where the mouse is for 1 day. Don't be in the same room while the ozone machine is running, as ozone takes oxygen from the air and could be dangerous. Shut the door to the room or better yet, leave home while the ozone machine is on.

Ozone machine's can do miracles when it comes to removing bad odors! Also, it can't hurt to use an odor eliminate air freshener or incense, but "plug-in's" work best. If it's dry outside, you can leave a window open a crack, but if it's humid, keep the window shut so they're less moisture in the air.


One last thing, Everything in that room (including the carpeting) will start to smell like dead mice, so you'll need to spray Febreze everywhere! In the summer, open the windows as much as possible.

Sorry to say, the only really good fix is to cut the wall open and find the nasty critter. What I did to solve the problem? We got a CAT!

Stuff tin-foil in any holes to keep mice out, because they can't eat through tin-foil.


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October 29, 20090 found this helpful
Best Answer

Hang (or place in bowls) activated charcoal close to the source of the odor. Activated charcoal, found at some hardware stores and home improvement stores, is a very good deodorizer. If you can't find it at these stores, check the cat section of the pet supply stores.


Activated charcoal is sold for use near litter boxes. For strong smells such as decomposition, activated charcoal works much faster than baking soda. Good luck.

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December 18, 2014

I have a three story home and about three weeks ago I felt something running in the main floor ceiling and now the whole house smells really bad. I can 't stand the smell.

By Sukhdeep from Burnaby BC Canada


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December 18, 20140 found this helpful

You can request the service of a pest control company to check for a possible dead animal removal. If there is a dead animal in your house, the smell will continue for months or even years depending upon the type and size of the animal.


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December 20, 20140 found this helpful

An addition to my first response; if the smell is from an animal trapped in your walls or ceilings, the longer you wait, the more difficult the removal and costly the repair may be.


As an animal decays, liquids released from the decay process will seep into the wood and other materials of your house. This is why the smell may take a long time to dissipate. As the decaying body material seeps into the house materials, you may need to remove the wall or ceiling area and replace it to completely fix the original problem.

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