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How to Remove a Dead Mouse in the Wall

How to Remove a Dead Mouse in the Wall

Dead mouse smell is probably one of the worst smells a person can think of. If you’re dealing with a dead mouse in a wall right now, you’re probably wondering what you can do about it.

To make matters worse, you may not be sure how to find the dead mouse in your wall.

This can be an overwhelming ordeal. It’s easy to ignore the problem at first, but reality can hit pretty hard as the foul odor gets worse.

I know this frustration from personal experience. Read the full article, and you’ll find out how to get rid of the dead mouse smell in your wall.

I’ll provide you with some manageable and straightforward steps to help you get out of this terrible situation.

What in the World (Wall) Is That Smell!?

A bad smell can linger in your house for a while. You could become desensitized to it from constant exposure.

Once you detect a stench coming from an air vent or a wall cavity, you may try some common fixes. 

An attempt to ventilate your house might seem like an easy cure. It won’t work if the source of the awful smell is inside your home, however. Trying to mask the scent with an air freshener is another quick fix.

This can potentially make things worse though. The chemicals in the product you use can interact unpredictably with the rancid smell.

What Happens if There’s a Dead Mouse in Your Home’s Wall?

mouse coming out the wall

You aren’t a lousy homeowner if there is a mouse carcass in your wall. Rats and mice want to be close to humans to access food. These creatures are incredibly motivated to eat your groceries.

They can eat through the wood to get access to some of your treats.

If rodents have selected your house, they’ll be attracted to dark places. Air vents and wall voids make good hiding spots. A wall cavity can also be an attractive habitat.

Basement walls can host whole nests of mice.

Once these creatures settle in your home, they don’t live very long. In a few months, they’ll be dead within your walls. Dead rodents or dead mice may have eaten rat poison, which many homeowners use.

Once they die, the smell of death is inevitable. 

3 Steps for Finding and Removing the Dead Mouse

mouse dropping next to wall

There are signs of a mouse invasion that you can’t afford to miss. Tiny paw prints and scratches on the wall are indications of rodents.

For the most part, their droppings are easy to spot.

If they’re dry, that’s an indication of dead vermin.

A tiny mouse can take two weeks to decompose. A giant rat can take longer. A nest of rats makes the equation worse.

The smell of decay can be trapped in your walls for a long time, so it’s essential to act fast. The smell can be subtle at first, and it can be easy to ignore.

However, it can get very intense very fast and become tough to ignore. 

It’s a bit of a process to remove both the carcass and the awful smells. Let’s start with the removal of the carcass. I’ve broken it down into the following steps.

Some professionals can assist with the disposal, but I’ll be focusing on the DIY method.

1. First, We Prepare

I recommend using rubber gloves and a form of mask or face-covering.

Grab a cleaning product. If you’re using bleach, make a solution that is 10 percent bleach and 90 percent water.

Make sure you have at least two bags that can be sealed to secure the carcass.

Have paper towels and bags to dispose of clothing and gloves.

2. Now, for the Real Work

Your nose will guide you. Unfortunately, there aren’t too many alternatives here. You have to sniff out the location of the carcass.

You can also try a thermal camera (if you’re lucky enough to get your hands on one), but the heat coming from the dead mouse may have very low intensity.

An electronic borescope can help you detect a body through a hole the size of a coin. If you find anything, you’ll need to drill a hole about six to nine inches.

If the borescope doesn’t immediately yield results, you may need to drill more holes.

Once you have found the body, you’ll notice a change in smell. You’ll need a drywall saw to cut a hole in that spot. If you have used rat poison, there may be multiple bodies.

Bodily secretions left by the dead creature can attract flies, which can lay eggs as a source for their young. Then you’ve got a new problem of getting rid of maggots!

The area has to be cleaned very thoroughly. I recommend enzyme-based cleaners.

The CDC recommends spraying disinfectant and letting it sit for five minutes or more.

Check some hot spots in your house. Dying rodents try their best to reach warm areas and food sources. They especially like chimneys and attics.

Once the area is clean, you can use an odor neutralizer or odor control products, such as Epoleon. It’s essential to now seal all wall cavities. 

3. Time to Clean Up

home cleaning

The area has to be cleaned and wiped thoroughly, eliminating any kind of bodily discharge.

Make sure you’re using paper towels to wipe down all surfaces.

Check the area for mouse droppings.

Dispose of the gloves and clothes worn while removing the body.

How to Keep Mice Out of Your Walls in the First Place

seal up wall opens against mice

1. Don’t let food scraps collect in your crawl space. Mice have a very strong sense of smell.

2. Keep all crawl spaces and wall cavities dry.

3. It’s vital to seal off any holes in your home. Wall cavities, no matter how small, need to be taken seriously.

Rats and mice don’t need a lot of space to crawl into your home.

4. Invest in ultrasonic pest control like you might use to get rid of other pests like pigeons, which can emit soundwaves through your crawl spaces.

The sound will be inaudible to you and your family, but it’ll keep pests out.

5. Have your home’s air ducts cleaned. They’re common passages used by rodents while traveling around your home, especially for mice up in your ceiling.

6. If you notice any trails, droppings, or paw prints, set up traps in the air ducts. Traps set in accessible areas are easier to clean up.

7. Avoid using rat poison or bait by yourself if you suspect an infestation. Rodents taking the bait can die in walls or hard-to-reach places.

8. If you hear sounds in your walls, investigate all your wall cavities. You can also set up snap traps. The food-baited end needs to face the walls. These contraptions are cost-efficient.

A Few Things to Think About

I would recommend going over the steps thoroughly and make sure you’re comfortable drilling holes in drywall.

If you’re uncertain about the process, consult an expert.

Professionals have equipment that makes minimal damage to walls. The following is a video of an expert providing advice for removing dead animals from walls.

If you have young children living with you, use caution with things like traps. Parents should also be aggressive in dealing with strange smells.

The odors released from decaying carcasses can lead to health complications.


What does a dead mouse in a wall smell like?

It’s a very strong smell similar to decaying cabbage leaves.

How long will a dead mouse smell in the wall last if I do not do anything?

The smell can persist for approximately two weeks.

Does a dead mouse in the wall pose a health risk?

Yes, it can spread airborne pathogens. It can also attract flies and maggots to your home.


The smell of a dead mouse can be overwhelming. It’s scary and can be dangerous.

If you’re wondering how to find a dead mouse in the wall, there are manageable solutions and steps to prevent the problem from recurring. A dead mouse smell, although unpleasant, isn’t the end of the world.

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