Getting Rid of Dead Rat & Mouse Smell Easily | Best Dead Animal Odor Eliminators Compared

Author: Michael Potter Reviewed by Updated: June 10, 2022

What is the best solution to get rid of a dead rat/mouse smell in the wall? 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. It should also be safe for people and pets, without posing any risks of burning the skin. We believe that Bad Air Sponge Air Odor Absorbent fits these criteria best.

What does a dead rat smell like? It smells like propane gas or something rotten. This is a very strong putrid smell of chemicals released by the rotting body. These chemicals include sulfur dioxide, methane, and some other compounds. Did you know that the smell given off by the dead rodent’s body when it swells and exudes fluid can spread up to almost 1000 ft (300 meters) away from the corpse? That’s why it is quite difficult to locate the rotting body.

How long does it take for a dead mouse/rat to stop smelling? With several rodents in the wall, your house will smell like a garbage dump for two and more weeks. Moreover, the odor won’t go away entirely until the corpse is mummified or decomposed to the skeleton. This is why we take different measures which complement each other to do this job.

How to Get Rid of Dead Animal Smell in House | Best Odor Eliminators Compared

1. Odor Absorbing Neutralant | Bad Air Sponge
Neutralizes all sorts of foul smell odors in the air on the molecular level. Bad Air Sponge® formula is comprised of natural ingredients that react to and neutralize odor causing molecules rather than mask odors with perfumes or scents. One jar (14 ounces) of bluish gel will remove odors for 30 to 150 days. Low toxic. Effectiveness: 10

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2. Earth Care Stinky Odor Removing Bags
The best way if you have a dead rat smell in a wall. Absorbs putrid smells. One bag covers 50-100 sq. ft. Hang it above the crawl space and lock the room. Effectiveness: 8

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3. Rocco & Roxie Odor Eliminator with bio-enzymes
Spot treatment. Eliminates a strong organic odor of animals and their urine. Bio-enzymes destroy molecules of stench. Removes all organic putrid smells. Economical 32-oz bottle. Effectiveness: 10

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4. GermGuardian Air Cleaning System
Purifies the air from pathogenic bacteria that produce obnoxious odors. Neutralizes anaerobic decomposition of dead flesh. UV-C Sanitizer. Kills germs, viruses and bacteria. Effectiveness: 10

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What to Do if You Have a Dead Mouse/Rat in the Wall

The smell of a dead rodent lasts approximately 10 days or longer. This is particularly disturbing when the rodent dies in the wall voids and cannot be easily reached. Well, drilling holes in the wall does not seem to be a wise solution, given that you hardly know where exactly the corpse is located. A room deodorizer will help but the keep in mind that the most effective way to get rid of rodents in the house is to hire licensed pest control professionals.

A Problem of Dead Rat Smell

A Problem of Dead Rat Smell

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 solitary 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.

So, 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 smell the odor. So, we find 7 best products to eliminate dead rat smell: Absorbents, professional disinfectants and odor eliminators.

What Are The Different Techniques of Odor Removing?

What Are The Different Techniques of Dead Animal Odor Removing?

Scientists highlight a number of scent-eliminating methods. Let’s have a look at them.

  1. Remove the source of the problem. However, if there is a corpse in the wall, you will not be able to do it.
  2. Masking the odor includes not just temporarily measures, but also essential oils, deodorizers, burning aroma candles. These measures will allow you to cover up the obnoxious odor with a pleasant smell.
  3. Absorbents like Earth Care bags and Bad Air Sponge remove the stench of the corpse. Just hang them above the crawling space and the smell will go away.
  4. According to researchers from North Carolina State University, adding enzymes (Rocco&Roxie bio-enzymatic spray) helps to alter the chemical pathways of the substance and thus eliminates the foul smell.
  5. Ventilation and purifying the air from pathogenic bacteria that produce obnoxious odors. Odors result from the anaerobic decomposition of dead flesh and are spread with dust and other particles throughout the house. That is why ionizers like GermGuardian help.

7 Best Measures to Get Rid Of Dead Rat Smell

Let’s start with the most primitive and cheap way. Use ground coffee (fresh or used but dry) until you have bought a special odor eliminators. Ground coffee can be placed in different parts of your house in order to get rid of the unpleasant mouse/rat smell.  This is an emergency and is not the most effective means of fighting the smell, but it will help until you buy some more powerful remedies.

1. Bad Air Sponge Air Odor Absorbent

This product designed neutralize all sorts of foul smell is very popular among customers. They use it to remove odors like urine, pets, sewer, and organic decay. The solution was designed for use in hospitals, funeral, and nursing homes, which is why it is powerful when it comes to absorbing the smell emitted by the decomposing bodies.

What is good about this sponge is that you do not have to come in contact with the source of the smell. It works at the molecular level, neutralizing odors in the air and fabrics. Feel free to use it around pets and kids because the sponge is not toxic.

The jar contains 14 ounces of bluish gel. Bad Air Sponge® will remove odors for 30 to 150 days. How does it work? The substance absorbs the smell while drying out and shrinking in the container. As the rule, the odor disappears within two days.

Bad Air Sponge: Check the current price

Last update on 2023-05-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

2. Earth Care Odor Removing Bag

Absorbents are helpful when you know exactly where the rodent’s corpse is but for some reason you can’t actually remove the body. 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.

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 two bags for larger rooms, since one bag covers only 100 square feet.

Earth Care: Check the current price

Last update on 2023-05-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

3. Rocco & Roxie Professional Strength Stain & Odor Eliminator Air Odor Absorbent | Odor Removing Spray

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.)

What is the best spray to get rid of a dead rat smell? 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.

Why have we chosen it? The product eliminates a strong organic odor of animals, such as pet urine and feces. Based on a professional formula, the solution contains natural enzymatic bacteria. The latter is activated only on contact with odors. An economical 32-oz bottle can be applied to various surfaces ranging from carpets to tile and concrete. Pet Stain & Odor Eliminator by Rocco&Roxie is a #1 Best Seller in Cat Odor & Stain Removers.

The active ingredients of Rocco & Roxie Odor Eliminator are natural enzymatic bacteria. Tom L. Richard, Ph.D., a professor of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, Cornell Waste Management Institute explains the way these bacteria works. Each enzyme acts on several molecules of the smell source at a time until the odorous compound degrades. They should be applied either directly on the source of the smell or in the airspace above 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 is a best seller. Given its practical use and versatility, this product is offered at a moderate price.

Rocco & Roxie Supply Co: Check the current price

4. Germ Guardian True HEPA Filter Air Purifier

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 167 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 are not terribly expensive. Air Ionizers.

In 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.

GermGuardian: Check the current price

The first 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.

5. 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.

If 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.

6. Rat Sorb (1oz Odor Eliminator Dead Rodents)

If you are not allergic, try this option. This product with a strong lemon smell is based on a mix of citrus and menthol essential oils and will be definitely appreciated by advocates of natural solutions.

Keep in mind that the stuff is very concentrated so dilute it at a ratio of 2-3 drops per 10 ounces of water. This will be enough as the smell is really strong. Apply it to cotton balls, placing them in the crawl space or an area where the dead rodent odor is most intense. In order to get the desired results, do not forget to change the cotton balls regularly.

Still, some customers claim that the solution fails to eliminate the odor while others say that it works pretty well, reporting the dead squirrel smell disappearing with 48 hours.

Rat Sorb: Check the current price

Last update on 2023-05-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

7. Marsheepy 12 Pack Bamboo Charcoal Bags and Odor Remover

Recommendations to use charcoal as an absorbent are found on many web sites, as apparently it will remove the nasty smell of a dead rats in the 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 charcoal 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.

Nevertheless, other than having a positive effect on the 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 Marsheepy Bamboo Charcoal Deodorizer Bags. But these bags can’t remove dead rat odor though. 

Marsheepy: Check the current price

Our verdict. We  at SPI 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 removing products | Comparison chart

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


What Do Buyer’s Say?

We have analyzed customer feedback and found out that basically, they think highly of professional odor eliminators, such as Rocco & Roxie spray. Some customers report it to be effective in eliminating dead rat smell, while others recommend it for eliminating rat urine. Apart from its effectiveness, this solution does not damage or stain surfaces including wooden floors. Still, some buyers advise not to leave the solution on the fool for a long period of time. Others note that it does not work on old stains.

Odor removing bags are less popular, perhaps because of their mode of action is rather passive.

Still, many buyers highly appreciate Bad Air Sponge Air Odor Absorbent, calling it “a fabulous product”. They say that they are very durable and can last up to half a year.

Last update on 2023-05-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Air purifiers. Customers purchase this kind of device for a number of reasons, but primarily, this is a must-have thing for allergic people. Some of them say that they buy 3 items at once to place them in different rooms. Buyers note the high quality of HEPA-filter air purifiers that effectively capture allergens and dust.

7 Steps To Eliminate Dead Rat Smell

Step#1. Locate the source of the smell. As a rule, a rodent dies in its nest or close to it. Therefore, looking for signs of the live rat presence will help you find the dead ones as well. These signs include droppings and footprints. If there is no evidence of this kind, try to find the place in the house where the smell is the strongest.

Step#2. Remove the corpse. Sometimes, it is not easy to do. A body found under the furniture item or in the corner of the room can be removed without hassle. But when it comes to corpses in the walls or sewage system, they are more likely to remain there until the complete decomposition of the corpse.

Step#3. Take safety precautions. Since dead rodents can transfer dangerous diseases, handle them with caution. Put on gloves on your hands and a mask on the face. Avoid inhaling the smell. Place the body in a plastic bag to throw it away.

Step#4. Disinfection. The spot where the dead rat was located still harbors hazardous bacteria. Use bleach or special-purpose sprays to disinfect the area.

Step#5. Odor eliminators. If you cannot find or reach the source of the odor, use special-purpose solutions like Rocco & Roxie Odor Eliminator to neutralize the foul smell.

Step#6. Use air cleaning systems. While recommended as a supplementary measure for eliminating the obnoxious smell, these devices are very helpful for those who want to purify the air in the entire room.

Step#7. Air out the room regularly. This is still one of the most effective ways to eliminate the smell.


Can dead rat smell make you sick? Is it toxic?
Yes, it can make you sick, with the most common symptom being vomiting. Although you cannot get an infection from a rodent merely by inhaling its odor, you may come in contact with a flea that lived on the rat. This may lead to dire consequences as fleas are known plague carriers.

When will dead rat smell go away?
Generally, it takes 10-20 days for the smell to go away. It is important to understand that the smell is likely to become stronger with the passage of time as more body parts decompose.


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.

Ida Willson.
PhD from the University of the Free State.
The holder of 14 academic awards, Dr Ida Willson works in agriculture and has been conducting studies both in South Africa and the UK

View Comments

  • I use Natural Bamboo Charcoal Deodorizer Bag, very pleasant smells. We apply in the wardrobe, car, basement. I recommend to eliminate unpleasant odors!

  • 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!!

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

    • 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.

  • 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.

    • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

    • 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.

  • 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.

Author: Michael Potter Reviewed by Updated: June 10, 2022
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Michael Potter, Ph. D. In biology, is a consultant and author for He is a scientist obsessed with the idea to save the world from pests.

He does not belive hollow words and empty promises from the producers ads. It is only facts that matter to him. Mr. Potter questions any statement and analzes in detail all related information.


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