What to do when rodents die in your ductwork
It’s not a pleasant thought, but homeowners could face the death of a mouse, rat, or other small animal in their ductwork. This type of HVAC issue is unpleasant—and smelly—but, you’ll be relieved to know that the problem that can be completely cleaned and the odour removed.
It’s usually the unmistakable smell that will tip you off about the presence of a decomposing animal. The smell will be strong and the animal could be in the ductwork, or attic, the basement, or the crawlspace. Unfortunately, to pinpoint the location you’re going to have to follow your nose.
The smell may lead you directly to a specific vent in your home. If so, remove the vent cover and use a flashlight to take a look inside. If you can see the animal, you can go ahead and proceed with extraction. But, if you can’t see the source of the smell, you’re likely going to need to call in help from professionals to locate and remove the animal.
If you were (un)lucky to locate the animal yourself, it takes a few steps to remove it. First, you’ll need to gather a garbage bag, a pair of rubber gloves, a roll of paper towel, and disinfectant spray. If the animal is out of reach, you will need something to help you reach it, like a bent coat hanger, a broom handle, or a stick.
Once the animal is within reach, use a gloved hand to place the animal in a plastic bag and get it out of the house. The Comox Valley Service follows North American standards for the disposal of animal carcasses at its waste management centres. Contact your local waste management facility for more information and instructions.
After removal, thoroughly clean all areas touched by the carcass with disinfectant spray. This could be a little difficult if the animal was out of reach, but it’s a necessary step. Next, a thorough inspection of your system and ductwork could reveal how the animal got there.
If your HVAC system isn’t scheduled for any upcoming seasonal maintenance, it’s a good idea to make the call now. You may also want to schedule professional duct cleaning to ensure that your ductwork is thoroughly scrubbed and disinfected to prevent any lingering odours and the spread of bacteria or viruses from the dead animal.
The removal of a dead animal in ductwork is definitely not a pleasant thing to tackle. But, if you can stomach it, it’s not a tough task. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with calling for a little help.
Give us a call at 250-465-2490. We’d be more than happy to point you in the right direction—plus we offer duct cleaning services.