It's not uncommon for homeowners to find a rat, mouse, or other small rodents dead in their ductwork - however it's never a pleasant experience. Most people find out the hard way, by smelling a foul odor. And then you have to find the source of the smell and have it removed. Even if the animal died in your ductwork, the odor will continue to seep into your home and stink up the whole place.
If this occurs in your house, you'll probably have two questions: where did the scent come from, and how can you get rid of it?
Although it's best to have a professional handle this sort of case, here are some things you can do if a small animal dies in your ductwork.
Follow the Foul Scent
The stench of the decomposing animal is normally the first sign that something is wrong. While smelling an animal can indicate that it died in your basement, attic, crawlspace, or ductwork, the only way to know for sure is to follow the scent.
If you've ruled out any other possibilities and think it's in your ductwork, carefully remove the vent cover and check inside with a flashlight. You will start extracting the animal if you can see it. If you don't see it right away, you might need to hire a specialist to find a way to get rid of the animal.
Rodents In Your Ducts
Animals also die by crawling into nooks or dark corners, or even into the insulation, making it extremely difficult to locate them. You'll need to carefully remove it once you've found it. Supplies such as a garbage bag, latex gloves, paper towels, and disinfectant spray should be gathered. If you can't reach the animal, you'll need to use other options, - like a grabber or something that will pull it closer to you for pick-up.
Once it's been located and the source of the odor has been eliminated, thoroughly disinfect and clean the region. Use disinfectant spray to clean any areas that were touched by the carcass.
Fix the Gap or Leak in Your Ductwork
After the animal has been removed and the area has been cleaned, it's a good idea to have a professional HVAC company assess your ductwork for gaps or leaks. One thing you should do is get your system and ductwork thoroughly inspected to figure out how the animal got into your ductwork in the first place. It's important to locate any holes, in order to prevent any animal from entering the ductwork - and to improve your system's energy efficiency.
You may also want to hire a specialist to clean your ducts. This will help to eliminate any remaining odors and provide you with peace of mind about any bacteria or viruses that might have been left behind.
Hire a Professional When in Doubt
Though this is a problem you might be able to resolve on your own, you can see why hiring a specialist to come in and assist you with ductwork issues can be beneficial to save you time and money. A pest control specialist can assist you in removing the animal and eliminating the odor, while the Blue Diamond team can inspect your ductwork and make any required repairs. Contact us right away if you think a rodent has died in your HVAC system by calling (619) 514-2114. Our El Cajon duct repair company is ready to assist you!