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Dead Opossum Below Attic Floorboards

11.25.2006 - "I have a dead rat in my ceiling", the call began. The calls usually do not begin correctly. "Okay, I will come to your house and remove the dead rat" I said. I don't bother to tell the caller that he is possibly wrong. A bad smell in the home can mean a number of possibilities - 99% of the time it is in fact a dead animal. However, which animal might it be? Oh, this is where the delightful sleuthing and treasure hunt begins.

In this case, I entered the attic, and smelled it right away. Thus, I knew that it probably wasn't a rat. Rats tend to die under the insulation, and the smell permeates the home through the drywall ceiling, but the smell does not disperse throughout the attic. I also knew that the odor was not a squirrel, for dead squirrels tend to have a more "spicy" stink, than the fouler animals. My nose led me left, my nose led me right, and soon I looked under the floorboards in the attic, and sure enough, there was the source - if it was a rat, it was a world's record. Of course, it was not a rat, but a large lookalike, an opossum.

Usually, once I spot the carcass, it's a simple matter of bagging it and spraying down the area. It's the finding that's the hard part. Not in this case. The animal was stuck far beneath the floorboards, and as always, bloated to the point that it was wedged in. Thus, I had to grab the trusty hammer (I had no crowbar) and pry up the floorboards. Once I did so, it was easy pickings. I sprayed the area, hammered the floorboard back down, and like magic, the "rat smell" disappeared.

So if you have a dead animal stink in your home, be aware that it might be any of a number of animals, and that it is usually very difficult to get to. And even once you get to it, removing it, along with maggots and juices and stuff like that might not be your cup of tea. But it is my cup of tea, my delicious soothing dead carcass cup of tea. I don't quite know why I like dead animal removals. I think they're just so low-down-dirty and degrading that I rationalize it all in my own head - how did a former child prodigy with unlimited artistic ability come to this? Of course, pulling dead animals out of homes certainly beats software development. Man, THAT was a stinky job.

Do it yourself: Visit my How To Find and Get Rid of Dead Animals page for tips and advice.
Get professional help: Visit my Nationwide Pro Directory of dead wildlife removal experts.

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