Steps to Get Rid of Dead Animals
Having a dead animal in your home can be almost as big a problem as a live one. Whilst living animals can be deterred from entering your home with natural methods or traps, getting rid of dead animals is often an unpleasant and dangerous process.
Almost every unwanted household visitor will carry some harmful pathogens which can be easily transmitted by touch, bites, or via their feces and urine. Some diseases that can be contracted from wildlife can be especially dangerous to humans. For example, bat guano can lead to Histoplasmosis, a lung infection that can result in pneumonia-like symptoms and other complications.
Another common characteristic shared amongst wild animals is that they carry fleas, ticks, and other parasites. These can also transmit diseases harbored by the animal to people and other pets. Even if the host animal dies, these bugs can still pass on infectious and harmful diseases or contaminate water sources. Also, when an animal dies, its body will quickly attract a host of other insects, including flies, maggots, and cockroaches, which can also become problematic for homeowners.
But that is not all. Dead animals will also start to release a powerful and incredibly unpleasant odour if they are given sufficient time to decay. Whilst this can be eliminated with a thorough cleaning after it has been removed, the issue comes from the fact that most of the time, dead animals are very difficult to locate and access in houses.
For example, despite their size, rats can fit through remarkably small gaps and easily scale up rough surfaces. This makes it easy for them to reach any part of your home, especially by using the pathways inside your walls or crawl spaces. But this can be difficult and could result in injury, trapping the animal somewhere within your house completely hidden from sight.
If their bodies start to decay, you may smell the foul odor, but it might not be instantly obvious where the animal died. You may have to spend quite some time searching your home to narrow down where it might be. But, even if you manage to find it, you may find it difficult, if not impossible, to access the animal. This is why it is generally recommended to hire a professional service, as they will have the experience needed to locate and remove it safely and quickly.
Fortunately, there are some steps you can follow to get rid of any dead animal in your home by yourself:
Locate the animal
Your first challenge is trying to find where the animal died. If lucky, the animal died in the attic, basement, or some other part of your home that you can easily access. But if you cannot find it after searching these places, you will need to rely on your sense of smell to narrow down its location. This may, unfortunately, involve sniffing at the walls, floors, and ceilings of multiple rooms.
Assess the situation
If you can easily get to the dead animal, you should start to plan how you are going to remove it. But, if it has been trapped somewhere within the walls or under the floors, you will need to work out how you are going to get access to it, which is where a lot of the cost can start to come in. You may have to resort to cutting a hole in the wall, or ripping up insulation, to reach it. But be careful not to jump straight into it, as you do not want to inadvertently cause more damage, for example by cutting through electrical cables or water pipes.
Be warned, however, that you may simply not be able to do anything to get access to the animal’s body. A common example of this is chimneys, which can be very difficult for any creature to scale down. More often than not, animals will get injured in the process and get stuck in a position where you can use a brush or hook to get to them. But sometimes their bodies will get trapped somewhere impossible to reach by conventional means. In this case, you may have to wait for the body to naturally decompose and increase ventilation in your home enough to reduce the odor.
Either way, once you know where the animal is and can easily reach it, you need to assess what state it is in order to properly prepare the right tools for removal and post-removal cleaning.
Remove the dead animal’s body
Before removing, check your state’s local laws on carcass removal to plan the best place to dispose of the body. No matter how decayed the animal is, it is vital that you are wearing sufficient protective clothing on your hands, face, and eyes to minimize the risk of contracting any harmful bacteria or disease when handling the body throughout the process.
Clean the affected and surrounding areas
This is perhaps the most important part. After removing a dead animal, you must give the area you found it a thorough cleaning to disinfect it and remove any left-over fluids which will still pose harmful pathogens. You should also vacuum up as much as you can to remove every trace of the animal, including tiny bugs that might have been attracted to its corpse. Lastly, deodorants with enzymatic properties should then be sprayed to kill off the odor.