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How to Get Rid of That (horrible) Dead Mouse Smell

Updated: Oct 31, 2019

Do you remember that episode of ‘Seinfeld’ where Jerry’s car is permeated with a foul odor, but no one can discover the cause? Jerry and his friends try everything to identify the source of the smell, but to no avail. It turns out that a mouse has died in in the air vent of Jerry’s car and what they smell is the odor of the poor, decaying creature!

Get rid of rats and mice

And yes, it was a funny episode. But if you’ve been in a similar situation then it’s not so funny. You just want to get rid of the rat - or mouse. Chances are that you haven’t had mice dying in your car, but more than a few of us have had mice and other rodents expire somewhere in the house.


And once it happens to you you’ll never forget it. Well, you’ll never forget the smell, anyway.


Quite apart from the fact that finding and getting rid of a dead mouse (or rat or squirrel) can be difficult ̶ especially if the poor creature has met its end in some hard-to-reach nook or cranny ̶ you also have to contend with the fact that dead mice carry diseases that can be hazardous and might harm you and your family. That becomes even more of a threat if insects, such as ants, find the corpse and begin feeding on it. Those ants can quickly spread whatever diseases the mouse might be carrying throughout the house ̶ into walls, ceilings, furnishings, even clothes!


Find and Remove ̶ Immediately

However difficult it might be, it’s essential that you find the corpse and get rid of the mouse right away. The worst thing you can do is leave it where it is and hope that nature will take its course and the deceased will just dry up and vanish. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way!

It actually takes about ten to twelve weeks for a mouse to entirely decompose and during that time you’ll still have to put up with that awful smell and, of course, the health hazards. So again, get rid of the mouse (if possible) so you can eliminate the smell.  


Once the mouse is gone, what do you do to get rid of the smell and prevent mice or rats from coming back? Here's a step-by-step guide.

(Plus, you can read more here in our blog about getting rid of rats and rodents.)


First Things First. Clean!

There are any number of steps you can take to prevent mice and other rodents from invading your house, but first things first. We’ll return to defensive measures later.