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What do you do if you have a dead animal inside your home or in the yard… Well, don’t worry, as pest control professionals will come and remove dead animals from inside your home or yard.

Death is not something pleasant to think about especially when you consider the beauty of wildlife. The problem is when an animal goes from being something magnificent to watch in its habitat, to a destructive force that enters your life.

Then, after wreaking havoc on your yard and home, they pass away either on the lawn or in the attic or in the walls or under the shed, or any number of places that make getting them out even more damaging to your property than when they were alive. It also becomes more of an expense when having to hire a professional to come help you get them out. 

The fact is, when an animal dies on your property, it is on you to find a way to dispose of the body.  It becomes your problem and your cost — especially if you choose to use a professional service.  The thing is, it needs to be taken care of quickly because leaving it will cause even more problems, e.g. smell, stress, and then there’s the parasites, pests, insects, or animals that want to feed on the carcass.

If a larger animal, such as a deer, for example, dies on your land you even run the risk of dangerous scavengers coming in for a meal. Depending on where you live this could be anything from a wild cat to a brown bear, visitors you definitely don’t need. If left unattended, the dead animal will also end up contaminating the soil around it and any water sources with any number of harmful diseases.  

When it concerns areas around your home and property feel free to call a pest control company or animal control services. Some people even call wildlife control services to come and remove the dead animal in a respectful manner. Whichever service you decide to go with, their main objective is to get the animal out in a safe, healthy way, for everyone.

What the Professionals Say?

No matter which service you use whether it be a pest professional or animal control or wildlife services, they all work to perform the same task.  Some of the most common animals that are found passed away around a home include anything from squirrels to raccoons, then mice, or stray cats/dogs, or rats, also opossums, and, our favorite, skunks. 

The smell that the animals give off after they die can fill the home with an odor that can be likened to rotten meat, with some folks describing it as being like an open sewer.  A skunk’s smell, if not taken care of quickly, can hang around for weeks, even months. If there is a dead mouse in the wall that you cannot get out, you can plan on the smell lingering heavily in the air for between seven to ten days.  But a raccoon and opossum will take weeks for the odor to finally dissipate.   

If you a squirrel or rat has died in your attic, you’ll have initial indicators. A lot of these little critters like to find the darkest, tightest place to crawl into and die. Usually you will hear a scratching on the wall for a couple days and then silence for several days and then:

  • A sudden surge in the number of unexplained flies.
  • A stain will appear on the wall or ceiling.
  • Offensive odors will be detected.

You can’t always use odor as an indicator to where the dead body is though, as sometimes, although there is a putrid, strong smell inside your home, the animal is in a window well or under the deck. The smell just got trapped inside the house.  

What Professionals Do?

When a professional comes to remove any dead animal, they will wear a facemask and gloves and be decked out in protective clothing.  Wild animals carry some nasty parasites and after they die, they are looking for a new home.  You don’t want it to be you they take up house on or in by not being properly covered.

The first thing a professional will do is the initial inspection, which is when they try to determine which animal they are looking for and where it isn’t.  They call this the process of elimination.  

They can determine the type of animal by how strong the odor is and how long the odor has been around.  This will tell them not only the size, but also the species.  

They look at the house’s construction to see if there are areas where an animal can enter.  This will eliminate places the carcass could possibly be if the house is closed up tight.

Parasites and pests being present, e.g. flies in a large group, in a particular area is going to be an indicator as to where the body is located.

You need to be prepared if the animal is inside the house, walls may need to have holes cut in them or the professional may need to dig up a stoop or a shed in order to get under it.  It may even come to a point where a burrowing animal got under a pad of concrete that was made for a walkway or a patio and they are forced to cut it out.  

Of course you have the option of leaving the animal to rot where it is and deal with the odor until it eventually goes away.  The problem with that is the things the carcass leaves behind, e.g. fluid stains, parasites, pests — not to mention there may be more of the same animals that need to be gotten out before they meet the same fate.  No one wants their home to be cracked apart in order to retrieve a dead animal, but leaving it could have worse repercussions for you, your family and your home.

If there is a dead body alongside the road — also known as road-kill — this is probably something that is outside of your local pest control or animal control or wildlife services’ remit. They will not deal with it, so you need to call the appropriate service for the country that you live in, and they will come and take care of it. It’s not on your property, so you are probably not legally responsible for it, but you may want to get it taken away for health purposes.

Not Using a Professional

Some folks simply don’t want the expense of using a professional to take care of the animals that pass away on their property.  In most countries you are not required by law to do so.  You are, most likely, however, legally required to dispose of the animals in a proper and respectful way.  

Generally speaking you will need to wear the proper facemask and protective gloves in the same manner that professionals do.  You don’t want any splatters of body fluid hitting you in the face or getting on your hands.  You should have some rubbing alcohol and paper towels with you to immediately wash off any fluids that come in contact with your skin.  

  • Use a long-handled shovel to pick up the animal.
  • Place it inside a heavy plastic bag and seal it up.
  • Put the bag inside a cardboard box and tape it shut.
  • Immediately shower and wash the clothes that you were wearing.

After that is done, you need to decide what you will do with the box.  Most countries approach this issue in the same way, and the process seems pretty standard across the board.  There are a number of ways to dispose of the body.

  • A local sanitation department. Use double garbage bags, one inside the other and put the box inside.  You have to call the sanitation department to let them know what you have so they’re prepared when they come pick up.
  • Landfill.  Check with your local office to see if they permit the disposal of dead animals.
  • Compost.  You can also allow the body to rot in a compost pile. The remains would be good for the soil, but the odor may be intolerable and you should be sure that no one else will be bothered by what you do.
  • Burial.  If local laws permit this, you will need to follow the guidelines, Be sure to follow the guidelines strictly, staying away from utilities, food and water sources and other points detailed by your local authority. 
  • Cremation.  Unless you have access to an incinerator on your property this will undoubtedly leave you out of pocket.

The demise of a wild animal is an unfortunate part of life, but we can always be sure to give them a proper send off if they happen to die in or around our property. Just be sure to do so in a lawful, safe and risk free manner.