Rodents are some of the most common pests to infiltrate homes throughout the United States. They are most common in homes during winter months, but in regions where the weather is more consistent, mice and rats can be problematic year-round.
When mice get into our homes, many of us turn to do it yourself pest control options to get rid of them. This can include poisons and traps, which sometimes result in dead rodents that go quite a while without being located.
If this occurs, the rancid smell of dead animals can linger in your home. This smell, and the corpse that accompanies it, is not only repulsive but can also attract other problematic pests.
This is one of the many reasons why it is so important to know how to get rid of dead mouse smell in your home and today, that’s just what we are going to discuss.
Let’s get started.
The Truth About How To Get Rid Of Dead Mouse Smell In Your House
Unfortunately, there is no full-proof way to get rid of a dead mouse smell, but there are ways to reduce the odor. Usually, the process happens naturally in about 10 days.
We know you’re here looking for how to get rid of dead mouse smell in your home, but it’s actually not that simple. Unfortunately, there is little you can do to eliminate the odor of a dead mouse completely, especially if it has been decomposing for a while.
That said, there are ways you can go about how to get rid of dead mouse smell that can at least help ease the odor and reduce the chances of dealing with subsequent pest issues.
These methods include chemical products you can buy over the counter, natural products you can purchase, and home remedies like essential oils and homemade sprays.
However, before you begin working on how to get rid of dead mouse smell in your home, we suggest attempting to locate where the odor is coming from.
First, Try Identify Where The Smell Is Coming From
Try and follow your nose to locate the source of the odor.
Sometimes, the first indication of a dead mouse is the smell. This smell is the result of different noxious gasses and fluids that combine together and seep into the air as the body of the rodent decomposes.
The smell is foul and unmistakable, and can be caused by a number of critters in the rodent family including mice, rats, squirrels, chipmunks, etc.
To find the smell, you’ll have to sniff it out. There is no other way. Follow your nose and your gut, and try to pinpoint where the odor is strongest. You can also look for signs of rodent activity from when the rodent was alive like droppings and nesting material, as well as stains from bodily fluids that seep through walls, ceilings, and flooring.
Once you locate the source of the smell, (the dead mouse, that is), the next step is to get rid of it.
Place the carcass of the rodent in two plastic, ziplock bags and dispose of it outside your home in an outside garbage bin. You may also bury the rodent if you don’t want it in your garbage bin. We should note that, even if you do find the source of the dead mouse smell, the odor could go on for at least 10 days before it dissipates.
The below video offers other tips you can use to identify a dead mouse or rodent in your home.
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What To Do If You Can’t Locate The Smell
Decaying rodents can lead to other pest infestations like flies and maggots.
If you have used poisons to get rid of mice and rodents in your home, it may be difficult to locate where the dead mouse smell is coming from. This is because poison usually won’t kill rodents immediately, and rodents often make it to their dens before they die. Rodent dens tend to be inside walls, attics, crawlspaces, and even behind cabinets or beneath appliances.
The good news is that the dead mouse smell will eventually go away on its own after the rodent completely . The bad news is that it can take up to three weeks for the body of the dead mouse to fully decompose and stop smelling.
During this time, if you can’t figure out how to get rid of dead mouse smell, you will want to take extra precautions to repel other pests that may be attracted by the odor.
Pests that might come along with a dead rodent smell include:
While the smell of dead rodents in your home is overwhelming and unpleasant, the good news is that it is rarely dangerous. The stench itself cannot make you seriously ill, outside of causing potential shortness of breath, nausea, and eye irritation.
However, live rodents like mice and rats can cause serious illnesses from their droppings and urine like hantavirus, lymphocytic choriomeningitis, and even the plague. That said, while the odor of a dead mouse or rat in your home cannot cause serious illnesses to you or your loved ones, the handling of a dead rodent can.
If you do locate a dead rodent in your home, don the appropriate gear before handling it including gloves and a medical mask. Then wash your hands thoroughly upon removing it.
Now, let’s talk about how to get rid of dead mouse smell in your home step-by-step.
How To Get Rid of Dead Mouse Smell – Step By Step
Prepare to clean the location of the dead rodent by wearing protective gloves.
Before you work on how to get rid of dead mouse smell in your home, it’s important to first make sure you are wearing the right gear. This is especially vital if you have located the source of the odor and are going to remove the carcass and clean the area of decomposition.
Remember, while the smell alone cannot make you ill, handling the carcass and the fluids around it can.
The best gear to wear when cleaning up these types of messes include rubber gloves, a protective medical mask, and eye coverings like goggles or glasses. Remove the source of the smell, and then follow the below steps.
Step One – Ventilation
Open windows and doors to ventilate the area. You might even consider turning on extra fans. If the mouse is trapped inside your walls, ventilating can help air out the smell.
Step Two – Clean and Sanitize
Before you use any of the below products for how to get rid of dead mouse smell, it’s best to clean and sanitize. You can use natural cleaning solutions like a vinegar and rubbing alcohol combination or use purchased chemical cleaning products.
Remember to wear your protective gear and to dispose of any paper towels and other cleaning supplies or trash outside when you are finished.
Step Three – Absorb the Odor
You’ll be hard pressed to find a product for how to get rid of dead mouse smell that works completely, (If you do find that miracle substance, let us know), and it’s even less likely that you’ll find a spray that will take care of the odor.
Absorbing the odor is going to be your best bet. You can use products that you buy or even use household ingredients to absorb the smell, which we will talk about further down.
Products You Can Use For How To Get Rid Of Dead Mouse Smell
There are plenty of products you can use to get rid of the smell of a dead mouse that are both people and pet friendly.
While there are plenty of options available online and at local stores for how to get rid of dead mouse smell in the home, remember that there is likely not going to be a product available that works completely.
The noxious gasses that are produced when a living body dies, including sulfur dioxide and methane, are strong and tend to seep into porous surfaces like walls, wood flooring, ceilings, rafters, and the likes.
You can use chemical and natural products for how to get rid of dead mouse smell momentarily and to help mask it so it is not so pungent until it fades on its own.
We have listed some of our favorite products for how to get rid of dead mouse smell in your home as best as possible below.
Smelleze Reusable Dead Animal Odor Remover Pouch
The above pouches by Smelleze are reusable for up to one year and are made with all natural, non-toxic ingredients. These ingredients are safe for people, pets and the environment and work for how to get rid of dead mouse smell by absorbing odors from dead rodents in walls, vents, chimneys and attics.
Each pouch covers up to 150 square feet and doesn’t mask the dead mouse smell with other odors. You can order as many pouches as needed based on your needs for small rodents up to larger critters like dead raccoons or possums.
Airbin Bamboo Charcoal Air Purifying Bags
Charcoal has a natural absorption quality that works well for how to get rid of dead mouse smells in the home. The product is safe for people and pets, and is also environmentally friendly. You can place it anywhere you notice the smell of dead or decaying animals, or place it after you have cleaned up the mess.
This product also has other uses, as you can put these pouches in stinky shoes, in lockers, closets, laundry rooms and bathrooms.
Rat Sorb Odor Eliminator
The above product by Rat Sorb is specifically designed for how to get rid of dead mouse smells in the home, though keep in mind no product can get rid of the smell completely. Still, this product is an effective tool you can use and will help when applied correctly.
To apply Rat Sorb, do your best to locate the area where the smell is strongest. Then soak cotton balls in the substance and place them in and around the space. While this product is safe to use in homes with people and pets, it should be used only as directed and cotton balls should be placed out of reach of children as a precaution.
Smelleze Natural Dead Animal Odor Removal Granules
If you like the Smelleze pouches for how to get rid of dead mouse smells in your house, you might also want to invest in the above granules by the same company. This product again uses all natural, safe ingredients for how to get rid of dead mouse smell.
These granules are safe to use both inside and out and can be sprinkled around or directly over an area where dead mice or rodents were found. They are easy to vacuum up when the smell has dissipated and work without an overwhelming scent to mask the odor.
The order comes in a two-pound jar and works not only for mice but also chipmunks, raccoons, bats, rats and squirrels.
Gonzo Natural Magic Odor Absorption Gel
Because absorbing the odor is one of the best ways to go about how to get rid of dead mouse smell in your home, you don’t necessarily need to purchase a product specifically for dead rodents. The above odor eliminator by Gonzo Natural Magic is an odor eliminator that works not only for dead animal smell, but also for other unpleasant odors in the home.
The gel absorbs bad odors and is pleasant smelling. The ingredients are all natural and safe to use indoors and in areas where people and pets frequent.
Fresh Wave Odor Removing Gel
Another gel product you can use that is not necessarily designed for how to get rid of dead mouse smell in the house but should still work is Fresh Wave. This product is a gel product that comes in a pack of two.
It absorbs odors around the home and can help reduce the smell of dead rodents in the walls or home. You can place them around the house and closest to where you smell the foul smell. The product uses natural ingredients like cedarwood, clove, pine needle and lime. This product is also safe for people and pets.
Bad Air Sponge Odor Neutralant
The last product on our list for how to get rid of dead mouse smell in the home is an odor neutralant sponge. It can eliminate cigarette smell, pet odors, and even help reduce the smell of dead animals like mice and rodents.
You can order this product in packs of two, four, five and twelve depending on your needs. Like the other products on this list, the Bad Air Sponge will work best when used as directed and placed as closely as possible to where the source of the odor is.
How To Get Rid Of Dead Mouse Smell Using Home Remedies
Charcoal has natural absorbing qualities to help reduce odors in the home from dead mice.
Since the odor of a dead mouse alone can’t cause any serious illnesses or diseases, you may choose to use less expensive and more readily available methods for how to get rid of dead mouse smell at home.
Luckily, there are several household ingredients you can use or even put together to help alleviate this putrid stench.
Some of these household staples include:
Essential oils work to not only deodorize your home, but also to help repel certain home-invading pests. Some of the best essential oils for pest control and for how to get rid of dead mouse smell include:
- Peppermint Oil
- Citrus Oil
- Clove Oil
- Eucalyptus Oil
- Tea Tree Oil
- And Lavender Oil
You can make an air freshener spray to spray around your home and on fabrics using 10 to 25 drops of essential oil in a spray bottle filled with water. You may need to spray this solution multiple times in order to mask the smell of a dead rodent in your home until the smell dissipates on its own after a few weeks.
Baking Soda and Water Deodorizer Spray
- 1 Tbsp Baking Soda
- 2-3 Drops of Essential Oil
- 1 Small Bowl
- 1 Spray Bottle
Pour the baking soda into a small bowl and combine 2 to 3 drops of your favorite essential oil. Mix the baking soda and oil together before adding the baking soda solution to the spray bottle. Then fill the spray bottle with water and shake the bottle to mix.
Once mixed, you can spray this solution around your home and near the area where you smell the odor. This will work not only for how to get rid of dead mouse smell in your home, but it will also repel pests like rodents, ants, spiders, mites and beetles.
Many of us already know that vinegar can be used as a natural cleaning solution around your home, but did you know you can also use vinegar for how to get rid of dead mouse smell? Simply pour white vinegar in plastic cups and leave these cups near the area where the dead mouse smell is strongest.
The vinegar can help to absorb and mask the odor until the mouse is either decomposed completely or the smell goes away on its own.
Coffee grounds have a strong, pleasant odor and can work well for how to get rid of dead mouse smell, (or at least cover it until the decomposition is complete). As with vinegar, take already-used ground coffee bits and place them in cups near the area where the dead mouse smell is strongest.
This too will help absorb and mask the odor. However, be careful of using this method if you have pets. Caffeine is toxic to dogs and cats, so we suggest not using this method if you have curious fur kids in the home.
Charcoal briquettes, like those found in charcoal bags available for a charcoal grill, can naturally absorb odors and noxious gasses in the air. Place them in areas where the smell is strongest. This may not work perfectly for how to get rid of dead mouse smell in your home, but it can help cover the odor until the smell is gone.
How To Get Rid of Dead Mouse Smell – When To Call A Professional
Remember, it can take quite a while to eliminate the odor of a dead animal in your home, especially if you can’t find the source of the smell or if the animal has perished in your walls, attic or chimney.
However, if the smell has not dissipated within two weeks, we suggest contacting a professional. You might also consider contacting a professional before then if the odor is overwhelmingly strong, or if you notice seepage coming through walls or the ceiling.
This could be a sign that a larger animal has died in your walls and it would be best to hire a pest control professional to remove the pest and help clean the area.
On average, these professionals can cost around $150 to $250 to remove the dead critter and clean the surrounding area. However, this price could vary depending on your region, the location of the dead animal in your home, and whether or not holes need to be cut and/or repaired in your walls.
Tips On Preventing Mice and Rodents In The Future
Keeping mice and other rodents out of your home is one of the best ways to prevent dealing with future odors.
Once you have successfully figured out how to get rid of dead mouse smell in your home, your next focus should be on preventing these pests from coming around again. Follow the below tips and tricks to avoid dealing with a dead rodent smell in the future.
Refrain From Using Poisons For Rodent Control In Your Home
Rodents are a common pest problem, leading many homeowners to turn to poisons in order to control the issue. While rodent poisons are effective, they can also lead to dead rodents in the walls, which can lead to that horrible dead mouse smell.
Instead of using rodent poisons to control mice and rats in your home, try using repellents and traps like those listed below.
Bocianelli Ultrasonic Pest Repeller
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The above ultrasonic pest repeller plug-ins will not help for how to get rid of dead mouse smell in the home, but they can help prevent you from having to deal with the smell at all. These products work by emitting ultrasonic sound waves and vibrations that are highly irritating to pests but harmless to people and pets.
Along with mice, ultrasonic pest repeller plug-ins can help reduce your chances of dealing with spiders, roaches, bed bugs, mosquitoes, rats, squirrels, snakes and more.
CaptSure Humane Mouse Trap
A catch and release trap like the CaptSure Humane Mouse Trap listed above is a great way to ensure you are catching and eliminating the mice in your home without the chance of dealing with dead or dying rodents in your walls.
You have the option of placing poison bait inside these mouse traps, or you can release the mice you catch. If you do plan to release the rodents, make sure you take them at least five miles away to ensure they cannot find their way back to your home.
Victor Indoor electronic Mouse Trap
Last, we have a lethal mouse trap by Victor. This is a no-see electronic mouse trap that catches the mice and has a 100% lethal kill rate. It is safer for people and pets as it only allows for small rodents to get inside.
This trap is easy to clean and place, and is ideal for avoiding that pungent dead rodent smell you are more likely to encounter when you bait mice with poisons.
Keep Up On Routine Home Maintenance
Routine home maintenance will not only protect your home from other pests, but also from rodents like mice and rats. This will in turn keep you from having to deal with that pungent dead mouse smell in the future.
Remember, rodents can slip into small cracks and crevices. They can also climb and reach areas that may surprise you. Caulk and seal cracks and crevices around your foundation, and make sure doors and windows shut securely.
Repair any gaps in windows and doors, and repair any tears in window screens.
Use A Year-Round Pest Control Option To Keep Rodents At Bay
Finally, it’s always a good idea to use a year-round pest control regiment to protect your home and property. Using a quality pest control spray or deterrent is not only going to help protect your home from rodents, but also other pests like snakes, lizards, spiders and insects.
We hope this has been a helpful guide on how to get rid of dead mouse smell in your home. We know this is a very unpleasant experience, but by following the above tips, tricks and remedies, you should be able to mask the smell until it fades.
Best of luck and thanks for reading!
Jack founded our blog after two decades of working in the pest control industry. His vast experience dealing with a wide array of pests allows him to diagnose issues quickly and get to the heart of pest problems quickly and effectively. He has serviced more than 2,000 homes over his career and there is hardly any pest situation that he has not seen before.