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DIY Tips for Dead Animal in Attic

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DIY Tips for Dead Animal in Attic

Eric:  So we’re here with All City Animal Trapping. And wanted to get your professional opinion on do it yourself tips for a dead animal in attic.

All City Animal Trapping:  Okay, do it yourself tips for all dead animals are pretty much gonna be the same thing. We’ll start in the attic. Basically what you need to know going into an attic if you’ve never been up there before has really nothing to do with the dead animal itself. Each beam in an attic is sixteen inches apart, I believe they’re called bays. And you have to step on those. If you step on drywall, you will go through that ceiling and you will end up in the living room or the kitchen of the house. Or wherever you are. I’m sure anybody who’s worked in attics for a long period of time has done it at least once. And put their foot through a hole in the ceiling.

But if you’re going up into the attic, you need to understand how to walk around in the attic. What you can grab and where you can put your feet, because it’s important. Otherwise you’re going to damage the roof of your house pretty easily. But, if you catch a rat in a trap up there, or if possums, which have really short lifespans, about three years in the wild. Go up there and they happen to pass away. Same thing being for raccoon, for whatever reason, sometimes things eat rat poison. Like our company doesn’t use poison specifically.  But it’s everywhere out there and sometimes the wrong animals get to it and will pass away at strange spots.

If you have to do that yourself, the only things I can really say to you are definitely wear gloves.  Bring a bag, use ten parts water to one part bleach in a spray. So you want to bleach it, but you don’t want to turn everything white in the attic. You just want to disinfect that area. You can use Odoban or Zap, both are available at home Depot. But you want to spray that down, it helps too, if they have a good smell to them. So not to bother you. And then you definitely want to wear a mask if you’re around rat droppings at any point. So rat droppings as they age, they become kind of dust like when you step on them, they turn into pores up into spores in the air. You can breathe it in which can cause potential health problems.

Let alone the fact that not all attics have been treated for asbestos to those at this point. So you should be wearing a mask regardless, going into an attic. But if you have a smell up there and you’re trying to conquer it yourself, The only thing you can really do is not be squeamish. I mean, if you have the fortitude to go up there and get it, it can be done.

Can you find it?

The problem is can you find it? And are you comfortable belly sliding over those six inch sixteen inch bays, where you’re gonna have one bay on your chest, one bay around the crotch area, one bay around your knees, as you’re trying to enter your way forward into the deepest parts of the attic, because it’s never simple. The animals never die right in the middle. They always tuck themselves into a corner to protect themselves just as they should. That’s what their instinct says, even if they’re passing away. So it’s gonna be in somewhere strange. It’s gonna be right in your face because you’re gonna be crawling face first. And that smell is going to be intense.

Basically, if it’s so intense that you can smell it through the ceiling and whatever room you’re in, down below, when you get up there, it’s going to go about, I don’t know, five times stronger. So as you get close to it, then it’s going to increase as well. So the real tip I have is get it done quick. I’ve been doing this a long time and every now and then even I still get grossed out when dealing with dogs or, you know, large raccoons or anything like that. That has happened to pass away in a strange space. If that air doesn’t have anywhere to go. It’s going to affect you a lot. So, can you still hear me?

Eric: Yes.

All City Animal Trapping: Oh, okay. Sorry about that. My phone cut out for a second. So long story short with that is, go up there with your bag, your gloves, your mask, your bleach, and everything like that, but there’s no secret special way to do it. You’re going to scoop it up, you know, put it in a plastic bag. You’re going to tie it off. There will probably be bugs and things like that around it that are also quite gross. You are gonna have to spray those down as well and clean them up and that’s all services that we provide as a company. But, most people, they’re not going to be very comfortable doing that. It’s just, it’s not going to be worth it to you to tear up your clothes and make them super dirty slide in through an attic or through a crawl space underneath the house and then coming upon a really, really ripe, dead animal down there, that you know you can’t run from it when you’re trapped in those spaces.

When you’re in the crawl space, I get up in an attic. If you get gross out, backing out is a slow process, you can’t do it quickly because you have to step in the right places in order to do it. So, if somebody is going to attempt to do it themselves, I would just say, try to do it quick. I mean, you can travel to your breath and all that sort of stuff. It’s not going to work, wear a mask, you can put some Vicks vapor rub inside the mask, if you want to try to hide the smell, but it is going to be gross. 90% of the time, 99% of the times, most likely. So, usually most people leave it up to, I mean, I guess we’re experts when it comes to removing dead animals, but really it’s just where you stew it. And we know where to look and we know how to get into those places and do it quickly and efficiently. Kill off the bugs, get the smell away and get out because that’s really all it boils down to. Find it clean it, and get it out of there.

Is it for everyone

Eric: Gotcha. So aside from the know-how, you kind of need to have the stomach for this.

All City Animal Trapping: 100% if you’re getting grossed out in your house and you don’t, and you can’t even see it, trust me when you get close enough to see it, it’s going to be very, very, very gross. It’s weird to that animals cause we get called out every now and then, for a couple of other things that kind of run concurrent with it. Sewage lines break, and people think that there’s a dead animal underneath the house. They get very confused about that. Now these are things we’re great at telling you exactly what it is, but these are things that I’ve seen that have happened before. Sometimes we’ll search the whole property, then you’ll find a pool of water, beneath the pipe and you go, oh, sewer line has broken. That’s what the smell actually is.

Mold can do the same thing. But outside of that, if you think it’s a dead animal and any good trapper, as soon as they walk in to your house, or as soon as they pop the hatch on the attic, when the smell hits them, they know if it’s an animal or not. If you’re good at this, you know, if it’s an animal or not. And then based on that, you know, if you’re a person trying to do that yourself and you don’t even know if it’s an animal or not, it could be a needle in a haystack trying to find it because we’re also looking at, pop prints, what type of animal it is, and then based on what type animal might be been up there, we know where to look cause it’s going to be in this corner, this is what it’s nest looks like, that sort of thing.

Outside of that, if you can see it and your homeowner go after it and get it done, do not take your time. The slower you go, the more that smell is going to bother you. But, most of the time I would say leave it to the professionals. I get asked a lot about rabies. There’s not a lot of rabies in Southern California. I’ve seen it maybe twice and both cases were concerning bats, I get asked a lot about all sorts of viruses and diseases that can come off these animals. As far as I can tell you cannot get sick from breathing. If you’re putting your hands on a carcass or something like that without gloves on, and then touching your mouth, the same goes for any animals, droppings, you raise your risk for anything that animal is carrying. So that’s another reason gloves, mask, bag, bleach, all that stuff is essential.

Eric: Okay. Awesome. Well, thank you for sharing.

All City Animal Trapping: No problem. Thank you.