For as long as we've been in business, Rid-A-Critter has focused in non-chemical animal control that relies on trapping and removal rather than the use of poisons.
Among our many reasons for doing animal this way is that there are few things that can stink up a house quite so badly as a dead animal or bird decomposing somewhere inside the home. Another one is that finding and removing the rotting carcasses of dead animals isn't exactly the most pleasant and enjoyable work that we do. Truth be told, it's actually pretty gross.
Nonetheless, we get a lot of calls from people whose homes are filled with the stench of death, and who need our help in finding and removing the source of the smell, and cleaning up and disinfecting the area where the animal died. Sometimes the animals died of natural causes, illness, or injuries. Most of the time, however, the animals were killed by poisons left by exterminators.
Which brings us to a bit of advice: Don't believe exterminators who tell you that animals will "go outside to look for water" after consuming their baits. Some of them may actually believe that because it's an old exterminator's tale. But it's nonsense. Here's why.
When animals start feeling a little sick, they don't go out partying. They usually stay in or near their nests. They feel safer and less vulnerable to predators when they're at home. As the effect of the poison gets stronger (typically in a couple of days), the animals become too weak to leave; and in the majority of cases, they die in or close to their nests.
Long story short, the odds are that an animal that lives in your home will die in your home. If you're lucky, the animal will be polite enough to die somewhere in the open (like in the middle of the attic) rather than inside a wall or ceiling, where we have to start breaking sheetrock to remove it. But one way or the other, the odds are that if you poison an animal that lives in your home, the animal will die in your home; and when it does, it will stink.
In addition to the odor problems, dead animals in your home can also cause health problems. The biggest problems have to do with flies and parasites, because rodenticides don't kill an animal's arthropod parasites like flies, other insects, and mites.
Animal carcasses are breeding grounds for flies and other disease-carrying insects, which spread germs everywhere they land. The fly feeding or laying eggs in the carcass of a dead animal in your attic may eventually wind up landing on the fruit on your kitchen table (after making a few more unpleasant stops in between, which we'll spare you the details of).
In fact, most fly problems in homes have something to do with some sort of decaying animal matter somewhere inside or near the home; and in many cases, that organic matter happens to be a dead animal. Sometimes it's the flies, rather than the stink, that first get the home owner's attention, especially if the animal is a small one like a mouse that doesn't produce as much odor as a larger one.
Displaced parasites are another health risk associated with dead animals. All animals have ectoparasites like fleas, ticks, lice, and mites on their bodies, and when the host animals die, the parasites need to find new homes. Because most parasites aren't real picky about their preferred hosts (and even the picky ones will usually feed on a non-preferred host rather than die of starvation), disease-carrying parasites that are displaced when their hosts die will immediately start looking for new hosts -- which may well be the people or pets living in the home.
The best (and most pleasant) way to deal with dead animals and the odors they cause is to try to avoid the problem in the first place. There are several simple steps that you can take to help prevent animals from getting into your home and being rude enough to die there. Here are the two most important steps to take to avoid dead animal problems:
1. Avoid toxic rodenticides. Most dead animals that we're called upon to remove were killed by poisons. Even poisons placed outside your home can cause animals to die inside your home because most animals that live in houses go outside to feed. Because most rodenticides are slow-acting, even if they eat the poison outside, they'll live long enough to get back inside -- and die there.
Non-chemical animal control is safer, more effective, more permanent, and avoids the problem of animals dying in your home. In the case of most animal species, it's also the only legal way to control them.
2. Animal-proof your home, especially if it's a new home or one you just purchased. You'd be amazed how many gaps there are, even in brand-new homes, that are like open invitations for animals to come in. Preventive animal exclusion is one of our most popular services, so please feel free to contact us for an inspection.
Unfortunately, if you're reading this page, that probably means that you live somewhere in the greater Birmingham, Alabama area, that you already have a dead animal in your home, that it's already started stinking up your home, and that you just want it gone.
No worries. We perform dead animal removal and cleanup services throughout our Alabama service area.
Our dead animal removal services begin with finding the dead animal or animals (if you haven't already made that unpleasant discovery yourself). We then remove the animal or animals, sanitize the area where it was found, and apply products designed to break down the compounds that are causing the odors.
Finally, we also inspect your home to find how the animal got in, and make recommendations for things you can do to prevent the problem from happening again. These recommendations may include things like sealing holes to keep animals out, replacing contaminated insulation, and so forth.
So if you're having a problem with dead animal odors, please call us for more information about dead animal removal, or any of our fine services.