If you’ve ever had a critter die in a hard-to-reach place, you know how unpleasant it can get. There is this overwhelming smell spreading throughout your home, interrupting your daily activities. What do you do about it? Dealing with a dead critter is definitely something most people are not prepared for, yet most homeowners are likely to experience it at some point. Here are a few tips from our Howard County animal removal experts to help you decide how to best address this issue.

Open Up The Wall

If the dead critter is behind a wall, you could cut out a piece to reach and remove it. If you hire a Maryland dead animal removal professional like Mid-Atlantice Animal Control, this is one of the things we would recommend. Sometimes, we are able to reach and remove the critter without opening the walls by locating it though the attic and down the wall. It takes years of experience to know common spots where animals get stuck and be able to remove them in a non-invasive manner. However, it’s often hard to pin-point where exactly you need to cut. The smell alone may help identify the wall in question, but it won’t be useful in finding the exact location. Without professional help, you may end up making several holes before you find and remove the smelly animal. Or you may never find it despite numerous attempts—they don’t call it a hard-to-reach place for nothing!

Wait it Out

The reason an animal carcass smells so bad is because the cells and tissues start to break down, producing stinky gasses. This process goes faster in warmer temperatures, such as the 90-degree heat waves we get in summer. The smell can get unbearable during that time. It may take several weeks to several months for an animal carcass to decompose to the point where it stops smelling. If you are living in your house during this time, this is definitely not ideal. However, if the animal is behind a wall in a basement, a closet, or some other area you rarely use, it may make sense to wait it out. You could use dehumidifiers in that area to speed up the drying, as well as place strongly fragrant items, such as a cinnamon broom. This will help offset the bad smell in the meantime.

How to Prevent Animals From Getting Trapped Behind Walls

No one wants to have a decomposing carcass behind their wall. So how do you prevent this from happening again? The answer is in understanding the reasons why animals may end up in these hard-to-reach places.

Don’t Use Poison

If you have rats or mice, you may be tempted to use poison to get rid of them. Not only is this cruel, but it may also leave you with the problem we describe above. Rats and mice can often travel up and down the walls. If you kill them with poison, they don’t die immediately, which means they may end up dying in a place where you can’t get to them. And if you have a massive rodent infestation, you may end up with numerous stink bombs throughout the house.

Keep and Eye on Your Attic

In many cases, an animal, such as a baby squirrel or a baby raccoon, may fall between the walls as they wander away from their nest in your attic. They won’t be able to climb back up, so unless they are extracted in time, it’s certain death for them. Pay attention to any odd noises in your attic or holes in your roof line. This is a sure sign that some animal has moved into your home. It’s best to have your local Maryland animal removal professional to perform the eviction, because we know that many times an animal intruder is a mother with her well-hidden litter. Removing the mother alone will cause the babies (that may still be blind) to go out looking for her and fall down.

Don’t Ignore the Scratching

If an animal that is alive and well falls between the walls, it will surely try to scratch its way out. If you hear persistent scratching behind walls, it’s likely a critter stuck in there. Address this right away by either opening up the wall or calling a professional. Trust us, it’s better to extract this critter alive now than later deal with the awful smell.

Check the Chimney Before Starting a Fire

Another common place where animals tend to make nests is your chimney, especially if it is uncapped. A chimney is a safe and secure area, and because we don’t generally use our chimney in summer, raccoons and squirrels may get an impression that the chimney is up for the taking. Before you start your first fire this fall, be sure to have your chimney inspected. Never start a fire if you hear noises above the firebox and suspect there might be animals living there. This will surely lead to an unpleasant evening for everyone. Need help removing a dead or alive animal from hard-to-reach places? Let our experts at Mid-Atlantic Wildlife Control land you a hand!