how to get rid of dead rat smell: photo

Getting Rid of Dead Rat Smell Easily: 5 Proven Measures

Updated : 26 April 2019

What is the best solution to get rid of a dead rat smell? Consider the product’s coverage area, convenience, and the price as you will use a lot of it. An effective solution is designed to remove organic odors and stains. It should also be safe for people and pets, without posing any risks of burning the skin. We believe that Rocco & Roxie Odor Eliminator fit these criteria best.

Table of Content

Suppose it stinks in your house…. You know for sure or you just think that there’s a dead rat or a mouse somewhere. Perhaps you have already used the poisonous rat baits, which slowly kill those rodents… and now you have disgusting odor of a rotting body.

We’ve got two pieces of news for you.

The first piece is bad news. If there’s at least a single mouse at your place, that means that somewhere there is its nest and more mice are to come. It’s too naïve to believe that a lonely mouse has got lost at your house by accident, because mice and rats are not individual animals – they come in colonies.

Being group animals like most rodents, they are able to flood your house just in a few months. Rats give birth 8-10 times per year and each time a female rat is able to bear 8-10 rat pups. This means that you’ll have to get rid of all the other rats as well.

The solution to your problem has two stages, which are interconnected:

  1. You have to neutralize the smell of a corpse.
  2. You have to get rid of other colony members so that the question about how to find a dead rat in the house doesn’t come up again.

THE GOOD NEWS: It is possible to get rid of dead rat smell. 

But you must be ready it can be difficult to do, especially if you don’t know for sure where the smelly corpse is located (in the wall or between the floors) and you can only feel the odor. So, we find 5 best products to eliminate dead rat smell: Absorbents, professional disinfectants and odor eliminators.

What does a dead rat smell like?

It smells like propane gas or something rotten. Did you know that the smell given off by the rodent’s body when it swells and exudes fluid can spread up to 300 meters away from the corpse?

That’s why it is quite difficult to locate the rotting body. Moreover, the odor won’t go away entirely until the corpse is mummified or decomposed to the skeleton. This is why we shall take different measures which complement each other to do this job.

5 Best Measures to Help Get Rid Of Dead Rat Smell

Let’s start with the most primitive way, which uses things that are always at your disposal. Use ground coffee (fresh or used but dry) until you have bought a special rodenticide. Ground coffee is a quality odor absorber and can be placed in different parts of your house in order to get rid of the unpleasant mouse smell.

This is an emergency method and thus, ground coffee may be put in various locations, such as in the air conditioning vents, in the basement, inside the racks or cabinets. This is not the most effective means of fighting the smell, but it will be useful for the time being until you buy some more powerful remedies.

Absorbents: Using the Odor Removing Bags

Absorbents are helpful when you know exactly where the rodent’s corpse is but for some reason you can’t actually remove the body from there. For example, when it is situated in the pipes, inside the walls or in the chimney. According to the customer reviews, these are the places where mice and rats (and sometimes even squirrels and birds) die quite often.

Earth Care Odor Removing Bags

Customers have tried many methods of solving the problem of dead rat odor, but most of them are far from being effective. One of the ways which received lots of positive feedback is using Earth Care Odor Removing Bags. These bags are simple to use - there’s no need to place them directly at the source of the odor, instead you can hang it above the crawl space and lock the room.

The odor will begin to decrease in the first few hours and will be gone completely within the following few days or within a week at most. The manufacturers recommend using one bag for for smaller rooms and 2 bags for larger rooms, since one bag covers only 100 square feet.

Earth Care Odor Removing Bag
Earth Care Odor Removing Bag

Use the Earth Care Odor Remover Bag to remove dead rodent odors, urine and feces odors, skunk odors, musty mildew odors, trash room odors, and cigarette smoke. Earth Care Bags do not have to come into contact with the odor causing agent.

Natural Bamboo Charcoal Deodorizer Bag

Recommendations to use charcoal as an absorbent are found on many web sites, as apparently it will liquidate the nasty smell of a dead rat in wall. However, we’ve examined charcoal and discovered that this is not exactly the case. One of the users even commented that being inspired by such advice he first bought a small pack of coal and then even a whole sack of it, but even this measure didn’t help him get rid of the terrible rat odor in his house.

Natural Bamboo Charcoal Deodorizer Bag: photoNevertheless, other than having a positive effect on human body (this is true for the activated carbon), charcoal may truly help eliminate certain smells, such as cigarette, shoes, gym bags, cars and fridges odors, etc. That’s why many charcoal deodorizer bags have appeared on the market like Natural Bamboo Charcoal Deodorizer Bag. But these bags can’t remove dead rat odor though. 

Air Ionizers Vs Dead Rat Smell

GermGuardian Air Cleaning System

Air ionizers may be used as supplementary measure when eliminating the horrible smell of dead rodents.

In most cases, the manufacturers assure that their ionizers are able to function properly in rooms up to 3,500 square feet. This is a huge space – and realistically speaking you have to understand that no single ionizer can cover such area, but it may be useful when trying to remove the dead rat smell. On average air ionizers cost $64 - $200.

GermGuardian Air Cleaning System: photoIn addition, they purify the air in the room – removing not only such allergens as pet dander, pollen, mold and dust, but also various unpleasant odor. These units also kill germs, viruses, bacteria and other microbes. Thus, if you use an air ionizers such as GermGuardian Air Cleaning System, a decomposing corpse of a mouse will cause much less harm that it could have potentially caused. 

The first three measures described may be called half-measures, and so we have discovered some more effective means of fighting the smell. 

But in order to collect some useful information for you, we have asked some specialists who deal with the putrid smells, chemistry and biology for advice. 

Professional Measures: Acetic Acid, Chlorine and Formalin

Acetic acid (and other products containing it), chlorine and formalin are considered to be professional disinfectants. These are the most effective products for getting rid of putrid smell, as our pathologist pal has confirmed. It is acetic acid or formaldehyde which neutralize putrid smell, be it a smell of a human or an animal decay. We do not advise you to use such chemicals at home due to their toxicity and high risk of burning hazard. But you can use 30% Vinegar Concentrate.

Acetic Acid Vinegar Weed Killer: photoIf you have decided to try it anyway, be warned that you have to be extremely careful – as acetic acid is a concentrated chemical which leads to serious burns when in contact with the skin or mucous membranes, and its vapors can have an irritating effect. That’s why you should be extra cautious, wear special rubber gloves and a respirator for working with chemical compounds.

This method is quite complicated, that is why we have found another proven product recommended by a biology professor.

Odor Eliminator: An Effective Bio-Method

Rocco & Roxie Professional Strength Stain & Odor Eliminator

We have asked our neighbor (who is a biology professor) what the most effective way of getting rid of a putrid smell is. She revealed that there are products which help fight against the smell of cat urine.

They remove not only the odor of cat, dog or mouse urine, but also any other organic smells. And dead rat smell is just one of such organic smells. (By the way, she even mentioned an interesting detail – that odor eliminators may even help against smelly feet.)

Try a non-toxic bio-enzymatic spray odor eliminator, such as Pet Stain & Odor Eliminator by Rocco&Roxie. It's a #1 Best Seller in Cat Odor & Stain Removers.

Rocco & Roxie Professional Strength Stain & Odor Eliminator
Rocco & Roxie Professional Strength Stain & Odor Eliminator

It's so safe on carpets its earned approval from the trusted carpet and rug institute (CRI). Many of our customers tell us this is the most effective stain and odor product they've ever used - in fact, we guarantee it!

First, it is child and pet safe. The manufacturer claims that this spray will help remove organic stains from urine, feces, vomit and others, as well as organic smells. Judging by the customer reviews, this products works well with dead birds and toads, and so it must be useful against rats. It will also come handy in case if you have a cat or a dog (especially a kitten or a puppy) which may pee or poop right on the carpet while you’re out at work.

This best seller has over 2000 reviews and high rating. Given its practical use and versatility, this product is offered at a moderate price.

Our verdict. So, we strongly recommend you to get rid of the putrid smell with the help of Pet Stain & Odor Eliminator and use an ultrasonic pest repeller at the same time.

How to get rid of dead rat smell: best odor control products comparison chart

Product Type

Earth Care Odor Removing Bag

Earth Care Odor Removing Bag Stinky Smells min: photo

odor removing bag

Natural Bamboo Charcoal Deodorizer Bag

odor removing bag

GermGuardian Air Cleaning System

air ionizer

Natural and Safe Concentrated Industrial Vinegar

concentrated chemical

 Pet Stain & Odor Eliminator

odor eliminator spray

Need to hire an exterminator? Find the best licensed professionals in your area.


Getting rid of the putrid smell though is not enough. After it your main task is to make sure that this situation never ever repeats again.

That’s why we’re going to move on to the second part of our guide and discuss how to not let any more rats in your house and what exact steps should be taken.

You can banish the rats differently, but we’ll give you a couple of general pieces of advice:

1. Use electronic rat traps. They will take some time to work, since the rodents are often initially careful about new objects in sight – but such units are rather effective even if you have many rats. One set of batteries will last long enough to trap a few dozen rats or mice

2. Electronic repellents are more effective for those who want nothing to do with the dead animals. The ultrasound, which scares the mice and the rats utterly, will make these rodents flee your house and you won’t accidentally bump into a rat corpse and you cat won’t bring it to you and put it on your pillow as a gift.

Fortunately, we haven’t had any dead rats at our place, because we started using the Ultrasonic Pest Repeller by Pest Venator the moment we saw a first rat appear. In three days rats disappeared. That's why, as you understand, we haven’t encountered any dead rats.

Rodent Repeller by Pest Venator: photo

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Leave a Reply
Bnbn  •  Thursday, 03 May 2018 20:14
I use Natural Bamboo Charcoal Deodorizer Bag, very pleasant smells. We apply in the wardrobe, car, basement. I recommend to eliminate unpleasant odors!
MelRycroft  •  Wednesday, 27 December 2017 20:17
BUT, does the gases coming out of the dead rodents pose a danger to the family? We have caught a few and some must have died. The smell is indescribable. Cleaning the droppings is also something I wouldn't wish on anyone. Can anyone please tell me if the gases are unsafe? Please!! Thank you!!
Troy  •  Friday, 10 November 2017 23:14

I remove rodents from cars on a professional bases. First you have to find the rodent and remove it. Then the affected area needs to be be steam cleaned with a professional enzyme. The second step is using a high powered ozone machine with a hose connection going into the car. The small little machines with a computer fan are not strong enough. It will take up to 6 days depending on the severity of the odor.

Elizabeth Robidoux  •  Tuesday, 07 November 2017 23:35
How a hidden dead animal in floors or walls: Idea #1 notice where the flies or gnats gather on plastic perma-liner underneath your mobile home. Slice around where they gather. Let the dead rodent fall out. Idea #2: Home Depot sells a gas detector that detects methane gas - given off by dead animals. It works. Follow the instructions. Remove carcass, use bleach spray, wait weeks until smell leaves, buy Great Stuff spray foam & fill in. Then use thick plastic & mobile home tape or Gorilla tape.
Gikksoldn  •  Thursday, 26 October 2017 17:48
I wonder is the smell of a dead rat harmful.As far as I am concerned, any corpse exudes cadaveric poison, so I’m curious whether a dead rat smell will be hazardous for a healthy adult or a child.
Fillyser  •  Wednesday, 18 October 2017 23:07
Help, how to find a dead mouse? As a matter of fact, last week we bought poison bait for rats and mice as we have an infestation. It looks like one of the pests has eaten it and died in a secluded space. Now not only we cannot find the body, the dead rat smell has appeared. So far the odor is not very intense, but it will become much stronger in a day or two.
Lilian  •  Monday, 30 October 2017 23:48
Hi, I hired a Wildlife Control company that came out and found the dead rat just by using their noses! They made two cuts in the drywall and were within a foot of where they smelled it. They did this after three days since I first smelled the dead rat.
Millysa Gang  •  Friday, 13 October 2017 16:22
We also had a dead mouse smell, it has been about a decade and it still stinks. The worst part is that we cannot find the source of the smell. In general, how long does a dead mouse smell.
Recognizeeer  •  Monday, 16 October 2017 12:36
You should’ve asked, how long it takes for a rat to decompose because the smell won’t go away until the body fully decomposes, which can take quite a long time. Of course, you’d better use special treatments to remove the smell.
GoldenForel  •  Monday, 09 October 2017 13:46
Please advise what does a dead mouse smell like? Like any other dead decomposing animal? There is a terrible smell in our den, I suspect it’s a dead rodent or maybe something else (a cat, for instance). The den is large enough, so far we haven’t found anything.
Kisser  •  Thursday, 05 October 2017 23:17
I have a dead mouse in wall how long will it smell. I can’t take it out from there, because I will have to either tear down the floor or punch through the wall, which is too much trouble for a single rat. The smell is killing me though. I hope it will stop soon.
Hammond  •  Tuesday, 10 October 2017 10:08
I thought everyone knew what a dead mouse smells like. How to explain this... You will instantly smell the cadaveric odor of a decomposing animal body. Haven’t you ever smelled any other dead animal? Kind of like a sharp cadaveric smell.
Soress Jobby  •  Monday, 02 October 2017 19:27
My wife and I went on a vacation for about a decade. We came back very excited
because the trip was great. No signs of trouble. I open the door and I can feel that my
house stinks terribly. Upon an intense search, nothing was found, but I think it’s a
dead rodent. We set the rat poison baits before leaving but I can’t figure out where
the bodies are. Naturally I’m trying to figure out
how to get rid of dead animal smell.
James Hoyt  •  Monday, 22 May 2017 23:03
I read a blog were a guy claimed BUTTERMILK left in a tray in the enclosed area for a few days would neutralize the ODOR,it sounded crazy but Ihad tried everything else.The odor was in a old Airstream trailer and for months I had tried everything to get ride of the ODOR.
Keran Spicka  •  Tuesday, 27 December 2016 20:40
Awesome advice! Thank you.
Nicole  •  Saturday, 05 November 2016 19:39
I put coffee in various places all over the house and so far it is masking the smell! Pretty well in fact! We also bought the ionizer suggested above but we are due for a new air purifier anyways.
Lp  •  Monday, 02 October 2017 02:51
Wow coffee ground instant fix
Deb  •  Sunday, 15 May 2016 00:42

Okay I have a house that was used for a rental, the Tenant moved out in September and the house was totally infested with roaches we removed all of the appliances, took all the cabinets, flooring out. We sealed the concrete floor. We painted all the walls. Doors & trim and there's a stench in the house and we cannot find it and we can't get rid of it we bought ozonator, we deep clean the house numerous times. We have used every product every chemical and everything that anybody has suggested to us down to the natural products and nothing is working. We had pest control people in there and no one can find where it is or what the smell is. I would appreciate any help please. There is no gas to the house. We are thinking a dead Rat or Bat in the walls... How do we find it?

Concerned Person  •  Wednesday, 06 July 2016 20:57
That's a long time for a small dead rodent. Could it be something larger? Were these people good people? I hope you do not have a dead person in the walls....
Evelyn Kinman  •  Thursday, 28 April 2016 15:28

The coffee grounds really did help a lot. We noticed the difference in one day. Thank you!

Susan C  •  Friday, 15 December 2017 05:42
What do you put the coffee grounds in and where did you put them?
S Warner  •  Sunday, 15 April 2018 20:19
put the coffee in the coffee filter, making a little sac and staple it, I put almost a whole can of coffee in my care, hoping it takes the smell away
EYoung  •  Monday, 18 April 2016 14:07
How do you locate the corpse if it is not in plain sight. Are there electronic "sniffers" like the gas company uses to locate gas leaks?
SBurke  •  Friday, 11 March 2016 16:20
Sorry, I'm dense, but is that FRESH Ground Coffee or USED coffee grounds?
taivin  •  Saturday, 29 July 2017 02:01
Either one as I understand from my reading...about to test with the instant I have :) Did it work for you?
Fred  •  Tuesday, 15 March 2016 13:29
SBurke, thanks for your useful question!
It makes no difference. But if you going to apply used coffee grounds you first need to dry it.
Anonym  •  Thursday, 16 April 2015 13:42

All this ways works. But I have no time to solve this problems, and I afraid dead rodents and I don't want looking for them. It may cause many problem. I asked for help of professional. They made all for 5 days. It cost 500$, and I lived in hotel for a week. As for me, it is the easiest way.

Ben  •  Wednesday, 15 April 2015 21:27

We live in era of Hi-Tech, and I think that the way to get rid of dead rats smell should be modern. I bought Air Ionizer. And it works great. Maybe, because I find corpse quickly, and stink wasn't in my walls. But now I use it sometimes for preventing illness and disease. Air in my room became better.

Rats Hater  •  Monday, 30 March 2015 14:57

I live in skyscraper, and found dead rat in ventilation 5 days ago. For me, it was hard to detect the problem. Firstly, I thought that it smells from sewerage, but it wasn't so easy. Stink was in flat even after I delete corpse from there. And I used Odor Eliminator. Its work. Also I use it to fight with smell of cats urine.

Chandler  •  Wednesday, 18 March 2015 18:46

I had problem with dead rats. In general, I never saw rats at my house, but after very strong organic stink at my room, I read a few forum and found out problem. After removing corpse I used Acetic Acid. It works great, but it's too dangerous. So, when I met the same problem in my barn I used Odor Eliminator. It's bio and safety, and, as for me - more effective.

Janie Pena  •  Tuesday, 02 January 2018 06:30
Where can I get it for elimator
Lady J  •  Monday, 02 February 2015 08:35

It's easier to prevent dead rats smell, then to find out ways how to get rid of it. It's awful. My friend asked me " How did you understood, that it is rats corpse smell?" People! If you sniff that stench, you'll immediately recognized problem. Use electric trap instead of poison, and all be fine.

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