How to Get Rid of Rat Smell

Close-up young rats (Rattus norvegicus) sniffs leftovers on a plate on sink at the kitchen. Fight with rodents in the apartment. Extermination.

Whether you keep rats as pets or have experienced rats as pests, you are aware that rats have a particular smell. Here are some pointers on how to get rid of rat smell.

How to get rid of rat smell from dead rats

Rats can die from natural causes or from control efforts. Since a rat’s body is larger than a mouse, it is going to have much more tissue to decompose. This translates to stronger smells lasting longer. The smell from a rotting rat is related to the sulfur dioxide and methane released during decomposition. The strength and duration of the smell will depend on how moist or humid the area is as well as how large the animal was. Generally speaking, the body will take about 3 weeks to completely decompose.

If possible, remove the rat corpse and dispose of it. The smell can linger for another 2 weeks after removed, so clean and sanitize the area to minimize this. In addition to these steps, place odor absorption bags near the source of the smell to help minimize the odor.

How to get rid of rat smell from rat feces & urine

Rat droppings are an unavoidable part of having rats in an area. Unfortunately, their droppings carry diseases such as:

  • Rat-bite fever
  • Salmonellosis
  • Hemorrhagic Fever
  • Leptospirosis
  • Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis
  • The Plague
  • Toxoplasmosis
  • Tularemia
  • Roundworm

The first step is to locate the source of the feces and/or urine keeping in mind they may be in different and multiple locations. When removing feces, be careful to not contaminate other areas. Using a heap filter vacuum can minimize the airborne pathogens.

Once you have found and removed what you can, expose the area to sunlight if possible. Sunlight will help kill much of the odor-causing bacteria. In addition to the sunlight, pouring some rubbing alcohol on the area will help further the sanitation process. Since rubbing alcohol evaporates readily, you don’t have to rinse it out. If a smell remains, sprinkle baking soda on the area and allow it to absorb the odor before vacuuming. Repeat this process as necessary depending on the type of materials involved.

Get Rid of & Prevent Rats

Rats generally have an ammonia-like smell associated with them. Getting rid of the rats and a thorough cleaning throughout that process is the best plan of attack. In fact, having your home regularly inspected for entry points and treating for rodents as needed will help avoid having to deal with rat issues including their smell. Staying on top of the rodent situation will minimize the impact of rats that do make it in and accelerate the process of reaching rat-free status again.

Rat Food Stores

Even after rats have been eliminated from an area, a different smell could arise. Since rats hoard caches of food, that food left behind could become a source of an unpleasant smell. In these situations, ideally, find the food and remove during an inspection. If not, once the smell starts to waft about, following it to its source will indicate where the food was left behind. The food would then need to be removed and the area sanitized.

If you need help finding and blocking rat entry points, eliminating rats from your home, or are unsure where things stand, reach out to an expert at Rove Pest Control today. Our rodent experts will put the pieces of the puzzle together for you and get a solution in place.