Rodent Infestations

How to Get Rid of a Dead Animal

Imagine waking up in the morning on a weekend. The sun is shining and the day is all yours to do as you please. You walk out of your bedroom and there it is – a dead animal rat corrupting the wonderful free day. Finding a dead animal in your yard, or your house is not only an unsightly thing to see, but it can get very dangerous if you don’t do something about it as soon as possible.

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In this article, the Fantastic Services pest control team will explain the dangers of a dead animal in your house and will walk you through the steps of its removal. The most common examples are dead squirrels in the attic or basement, dead mice or rats after dealing with a rodent infestation, or a dead bird in the yard.

Damage by dead animal carcases

Having a dead animal on your property comes with a number of problems, some of which can put the health of your household at risk. Some of them are:

  • The smell. Decomposing organic bodies produce the kind of unpleasant smell you won’t be able to ignore. Your neighbours might detect it too.
  • Disease. A living animal carries diseases, but a dead one is a breeding ground for all kinds of bacteria and viruses. Among them are the plague, tapeworms, toxoplasmosis and many more. If you own a pet and they ingest the carcass, they will most likely fall sick, or even die. Same goes for humans who come in contact with it.
  • Infestation. Most furry animals are infested with fleas. Once the animal dies, the fleas will have to find another host. It could easily be your pet, your clothes or your carpet. Additionally, if given enough time, a fly or an ant infestation will befall your home.
  • Hygiene problems. When left alone long enough, animal carcasses get feasted on by worms and maggots. Not only are they unsanitary, but they leave very hard to handle stains on carpets and hardwood.

Now that we established that a dead animal is bad to have on your property, it’s time to explain what you should do to get rid of it. Or, if you don’t want to get rid of it yourself, there is always professional pest control and dead animal removal service. While the cost of pest control can be expensive, if you have a serious infestation on your hands, it’s the only way to remove it permanently.

How to find the dead animal

Unfortunately, you don’t always have a dead animal on an easy out in the open spot. Sometimes, a squirrel has made a nest inside the mountains of clutter in your attic. Sometimes, a rat has died between the walls of your property. In order to find the carcass, you might have to do some searching.

  • Follow the odour. You best trace would be the one that is the hardest to ignore. Sniff around and eventually, you’ll reach the room of the source.
  • Follow the flies. Dead organic matter attracts flies. As a result, you might also be dealing with a fly infestation. The flies feast and lay their eggs where the carcass has broken skin. After some time, the body will be covered in maggots, which in turn will produce more flies.
  • Declutter. If the dead animal is situated in a room with lots of clutter, you will have to move everything out of the way to get to it. You could also use it as an opportunity to put some of the items in order so you could avoid this from happening again.
  • Call a handyman. If the dead animal is between the walls, you have no choice but to call a professional handyman. It’s not advisable to attempt and open the wall yourself if you’re not a specialist.

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How to get rid of a dead animal

Time needed: 15 minutes.

Once you’ve found the dead animal, be very careful with the removal. Never touch the animal with your bare hands! It’s not advisable to even breathe close to it. It’s known that the hantavirus which rats carry, can infect a human even from the contaminated dust they inhale.

  1. Wear protective gear

    Rubber gloves and a face mask are a must when handling dead animal carcasses. Otherwise, you risk a disease transmission.

  2. Use a shovel

    You can scoop the decomposing animal with a shovel for extra security, so you don’t have to get too close to the disease-ridden carcass.

  3. Place into a plastic bag

    Prepare a plastic rubbish bag to put the animal in. Plastic bags are good at keeping any dangerous contents inside them. Tie up the bag into a knot and place it into a second plastic bag just in case. Tie that one in a knot as well.

  4. Dispose of the bag

    Once that’s done, throw away the bag in an outdoor rubbish bin. It’s advisable to do the same with the rubber gloves and face mask.

  5. Thoroughly wash your hands with soap

    Go back home and wash your hands thoroughly with soap to remove any possibility of infection.

If you spot a dead animal on public land you need to inform the local borough, and they will dispose of it. If the dead animal is a deceased pet, you have the right to bury it in your own property.

Prevention is the best medicine. If you don’t want to ever scoop dead animals from your house, you have to make sure not to let them inside in the first place. Check the following articles to find out how to keep rodents and birds away:

How to get rid of dead animal odour

Now that the source of the disease is gone, you’re ready to continue your life, right? Wrong! It’s time to deal with the leftover odour. To remove the unpleasant lingering smell, you should wear rubber gloves and a face mask again (new ones).

  • Sanitize. Wash thoroughly the spot where the animal was laying. There might be leftover fur, bodily fluids and maggots. Use an enzymatic cleaner that breaks down the organic matter and eliminates diseases and odours. After cleaning, dispose of the gloves and rags you used in a plastic bag.
  • Ventilation. Open all doors and windows and let the air move around the room. It’s the best way to get rid of the leftover smell.
  • Fabrics cleaning. If the carcass was laying on a carpet or any other fabric, then you should sanitize them as well. Dry cleaning is very effective for carpets. For other fabrics, you could put them in the washing machine, using hot water and a cup of bleach. Or you could dispose of the fabric altogether.
  • Freshen the air. Essential oils in a diffuser are a very good way to freshen the air after your job is done.

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  • Dead animals pose a health risk.
  • Dead animals bring fly, ant and flea infestations.
  • Always wear protective gear when removing dead animal carcasses!

Having a dead animal in your house can quickly turn into a health hazard if you don’t act quickly. If you’re squeamish or generally don’t want to be bothered with a job like that, you can always call professional pest control experts to do this job for you.

Image source: Elisa Putti/


Did you even have to remove a dead animal from your house? Tell us in the comments!

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