How to Handle Dead Rodent Smell in HVAC

At some point, most homeowners experience a horrible smell in their home and realize a rodent has died in their HVAC ducting or under their house. Here are some tips on how to handle the dead rodent smell in your HVAC.

Locate the smellHow to Handle Dead Rodent Smell in HVAC

Because the vents are all connected, you may smell the dead rodent throughout the house, but it will be important to locate the area where it can be smelled the strongest.

Remove vent covers and look with a flashlight to see if there is an obvious source inside. It is possible the smell is coming from under the house, inside a wall, or another location besides the HVAC ductwork but the ducts are a necessary place to search if it’s coming through the vents.

Remove the rodent

Be prepared with gloves and a garbage bag so you can safely remove the decaying body and promptly dispose of it. Use disinfectant wipes or some spray cleaner and paper towels to wipe out the surface area once the animal has been removed.

Inspect duct work

If an animal is located in the duct work, there is a gap or separation where the animal entered that needs to be closed off and sealed. Inspect the exterior of the duct work to make sure joints are taped and sealed properly. If there are any separations, use foil tape to reseal it.

Duct work can run in the crawl space, attic, basement and into the garage. Take the time to check all these areas for proper seals in the duct work to prevent rodents from future entry.

Avoid poisons

You may be tempted to use a rodent poison to kill future pests, but this will likely add to the problem of dead rodent smells in the home. Instead, use traps and place them in easy to access locations so you can check the traps regularly and dispose of rodents before they decompose.

When to hire a professional

If you have thoroughly searched the duct work you can reach, but still cannot find the source of the smell, it is time to call a professional. An HVAC technician can search the ducts more thoroughly while sealing openings and performing a system inspection.

It may be necessary to employ a pest control specialist to ensure there aren’t additional rodents in the home, which can chew and damage wiring, insulation and cause other damage in your home.

For additional questions about rodent smells coming from your ducts or to schedule HVAC service, contact us at Pilchuck Heating.

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