What to do if a rodent dies in your ductwork

In the event a rodent dies in your home, you likely ask these questions – where the smell is coming from and how can you get rid of it? It’s common for homeowners to discover a small rodent like a rat, mouse or other creature has died in their ductwork. And it’s not pleasant.  It will most likely leave you with a horrible smell and some mess to clean up. If a rodent dies in your ductwork, the smell will most likely seep into your home, so you’ll need to plan on cleaning.

While it’s usually best to hire a professional, here are some DIY tips on what you can do in the event a rodent dies in your ductwork.

Track the Smellimage of a man inspecting an air vent

The smell of the dead animal will usually tip you off that there is a problem. But noticing a smell can mean the rodent died in one of various places in your home – the  basement, crawlspace, attic or ductwork. You’ll have to follow the scent.

If you suspect that it’s in your ductwork you should look into it using a flashlight. If you can see the animal, go ahead and remove it. However, if you don’t see it, you may need to hire a professional to search for and dispose of the animal.

Remove It

Once you have found it, you will need to remove it carefully. You’ll need supplies like a garbage bag, paper towels, gloves, and disinfectant spray. If you cannot reach the animal, you may need other tools to drag it closer to you. Once it has been located and the source of the smell has been removed disinfect the entire area. This will remove the smell and kill the germs left by the animal carcass.

Take Follow-up Steps

One thing you should do is thoroughly inspect your system and ductwork. It’s important to find any leaks to prevent another animal from getting into the ductwork. This will also increase the energy efficiency of your system.

You may also want to hire a professional to clean your ductwork. This will help get rid of any lingering odors and give you the peace of mind for your health that any bacteria or viruses have been cleaned away.

You may be able to rectify the issue of removing a dead rodent from your ductwork, but hiring a professional, like a pest control specialist is never a bad idea. To schedule a HVAC system inspection and make sure unwanted guests aren’t climbing through your ductwork, call Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing, & Electrical at 800.461.3010.