Thursday, October 27, 2016

I Smell a Rat

No, this is not a political post. :-)

And I'm starting out with a pretty picture because that's what will show up on my Facebook link, and this is not a pretty topic.

When we travel, as we did at the first of this month, we have our kids come and check on our cat from time to time, usually about every two days. Josy is an indoor/outdoor cat and comes and goes as she pleases through two cat doors into the garage and then into the house. But Josy gets lonely and misses us when we are gone, so she tends to hunt more and bring us gifts.  

After we returned from this latest trip, we were sitting in the family room and we saw a rat run across the floor. Oh no, Josy brought in a gift that wasn't dead! 

It has happened before. When we tried to see where the rat was going, it disappeared. We watched for it, and signs of it, and saw it again the next evening, but when we tried to corner it, it disappeared somewhere along the base of the kitchen island. 

I got down and crawled around and found this small opening where the molding left a gap with the kick board in the corner cabinet. 

 I found a few cobwebs too.

Well, we set a trap and watched for the rat to emerge, hoping we could plug the hole, corner it and chase it out the patio slider the cupboard was right next to. 
But we never saw it again, or any trace of it. We couldn't very well tear up the kitchen to look for it, and we worried about a mess accumulating under there. But then the odor emerging became much more one of something rotten and decaying. 

Well, now what. I went on line to see what I could find about a dead rat odor in the house. You know, if it happens to you, it seems it has happened to someone else, and there was all kinds of advice. Aside from tearing up the house the answer seemed to be managing the odor until the dead rat dried up.  These products, available from Amazon Prime, were recommended. 

 We got them on a two day delivery and began spraying the adjacent cupboards and propped the odor absorbent next to the hole. 

We've used the spray several times, and leave the slider door open for an hour of so when we have the heat turned down. 

It hasn't been terrible, but it is still a bit stinky. You can still smell a rat. 

So here are more pretty pictures. The dogwood and the maple in the back yard have gone crimson. 

We'll try not to think about the rat. 


  1. I worked in a clinic one time that backed up to a field. Occasionally a mouse would die between the walls. Not nice. We put out eucalyptus.

  2. Ugh, it's a dreadful odor. I know it well. I've had dealings with dead critter smell my whole life in various places. Not fun.

  3. Well, you know that Josy almost killed it because it died. Unfortunately for you, right under the house. Ick! I hope it won't be long now before it's completely decomposed. Sigh. :-(

  4. We've also had the smelly problem of rats dying in walls. In the heat of summer it was awful but went quite fast because of the heat. Not that it seemed fast enough. Ugh!

  5. I know how bad it smells because of the mouse that died in our car air filter. I hope your solution works, I would seal off any places that the odor can escape. Have you removed all your cabinets to check behind them? Just in case he found another way up? Time for a vacation I think, it might be better when you get back...take Josie with you! :)

  6. Yikes! Can you get an exterminator in to see if they can remove it? It isn't going to get better, the smell, you know... :(

  7. We had the same problem a few years ago under the floorboards, it took an age for the smell to disappear despite our efforts. It went eventually and we never did find the remains. Hope it doesn't last too long.

  8. A few months ago, I saw a dead rat in my back yard. It had a bloody gash on its neck, so I assume a feral cat must have killed it.

  9. Oh, no. I am glad you decorated this post with lovely trees.

  10. When we moved into this house I saw no way for our cats to go in and out without leaving the bottom slider a little open. We closed it at night as the cats were always in for the night. Several days later I noticed their dry food messier than usual. Then the morning of the 4th of July (we moved in on June 14) my husband woke - looked down the bed and there was a mouse on his feet! It ran and went under the bedroom door. We finally found it under the piano downstairs. My husband tried to chase it out and let the cats get it but they just wanted to play with it so he eventually bonked it on the head and disposed of it. No more open door policy!

  11. I have used a bowl of unbrewed coffee grounds in a room where I had broken a bottle of perfume. It totally took care of it. Also letting a candle burn nearby will help as the odor of decay is actually a gas that will dissipate in the flame. Good luck.

  12. Oh dear...
    Thank goodness we haven't had that problem... yet.

  13. I feel (smell?) your pain as this has happened to us as well. Not fun at all. Hope the fragrance goes away soon!


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