10:38AM | 04/21/04
Member Since: 04/20/04
4 lifetime posts
At the place where I work, a mouse (we hope it's only a mouse) has died in the wall of our office. Now, I've read through some of the previous posts on this topic and I just can't believe that all we can do is wait it out or tear out the wall. (I smell -kidding- a million dollar invention here somewhere.) But, if this is the case, does anyone know of any good 'cover-up' or something for the smell? It's going on a month, now, and with summer coming, well, let's just say we'll be eating out... Thanks for your help!


11:45AM | 04/21/04
Member Since: 06/06/03
1250 lifetime posts
Sorry to hear about this. I know firsthand this smell, and it ain't pleasant. We had it in one of our workplaces once, and years later in my home (the smell in the home environment was particularly lovely, as you might imagine). In both cases it was a RAT (sorry to say!) I don't think a mouse would give off such a stench for that long a period.

I don't recall what types of odor mitigation I tried, although I do recall trying some. There certainly are "neutralizers" (sold at pet stores, home improvement, etc) but in my case---aaaaarrrrrggggh, we couldn't stand it anymore--I ended up tracing the smell (all nosework) and dug it out of the wall. It was worth it!

By the way, get out on your lunch hour for a short break anyway--rat or no rat!, I think it's just good for you :)

Good luck, maybe you can 'draw straws' to see who the lucky individual might be...


-k2 in CO

Moderator, Miscellaneous Forum


06:56AM | 04/28/04
Member Since: 04/20/04
4 lifetime posts
Thanks for your input - it's good to know we're not alone in this smelly endeavor... After much pleading, several equally smelly "remedies", and offering to switch offices with several people, we might have permission to try to dig the thing out of the wall. So my question now is this: is there any 'surefire' way to find the deceased? The concern is that we'll drill a bunch of holes and still be unsuccessful (this is the worry of those not stuck in this office, mind you - I, possibly unwisely, do not share this worry). Any and all suggestions are greatly appreciated! Thanks again...


03:48PM | 04/28/04
Member Since: 06/06/03
1250 lifetime posts
Hello hatdrm,

I almost hate to say this, but in my (albeit limited) experience, NOSEWORK is surprisingly effective (so to speak) and you (or the unlucky draw-er of the "short straw") will be able to sniff out the "deceased" (as you say) in due time.

Best of luck. As for the holes that have to be drilled, well, that is kind of an unnecessary evil in this "business."

Hmmmmm, I wonder why I seem to be alone at responding to this post. Maybe others know better.... :)

Please keep us informed. As John Cleese once said on Fawlty Towers, "You want RAT with THAT?"


-k2 in CO

Moderator, Miscellaneous Forum

Jim D

11:50PM | 04/28/04
Member Since: 01/06/01
345 lifetime posts
Hatdrm and K2 - hi, I haven't had the "fortune" of dealing with dead mice in office walls - my last critter was a small opossum. My suggestion for finding the critter would be to use a stepladder and strong flashlight - use the ladder to get above the dropped ceiling if there's one, and use the light to look down between the drywall sheets. Many times, the walls don't run to the true ceiling and since the drywall's mounted to metal studwork, it's not capped at the top so you can look down through to the true floor.

Otherwise, you'd end up having to locate and use some type of borescope or remote inspection device that puts a mirror or camera on the end of a flexible wand and has a light source to illuminate the area you're trying to view. (You might even find something like this at a local tool rental place...) If all you have is an inspection mirror, you can shine a flaslight on the mirror and the reflected light would light up some of the area. This would work if you're able to gain access into the wall area by removing a telephone outlet plate where no box is behind the plate (in an office environment, you'd not normally find this unless someone ran the line in a big hurry after construction was completed).

When it comes time to remove the critter, recruit a handyman or DIYer to help out. If the wall has wallpaper, they should be able to cut the paper to peel it back, then cut through the drywall in such a way as to only need some spackling to put it back in place afterwards. A little wallpaper paste will put the wallpaper back down, and then it's just letting the smell dissipate. When I removed the opossum, our civil engineers (I'm in the USAF) gave me a professional-strength smell neutralizer that was definitely orange-based (like the cleaning stuff you see in the infomercials). I used some of that on a rag to wipe down the area where the carcass was laying, then sprinkled some on a paper towel and left that inside the wall. The orange smell was the only thing you could detect and it dissipated after a couple weeks. The container didn't have a brand name on it - sorry!

I hope this helps you some - good luck! Jim D/Heathsville, VA

plumber Tom

07:42PM | 05/01/04
Member Since: 05/10/03
810 lifetime posts
That's why i have a cat. She eats them. sorry to be gross, but my sarah is carnivorous. Would a cat in the office be such a bad idea? they are natural enemies. Some tips: contact the maintenance man to seal up all the small holes in the masonry, wood or steel structure of the building. A mouse can slip thru small holes and basically chew around wires, holes, etc. Tin foil rolled in balls is a good sealer.


07:06AM | 05/03/04
Member Since: 04/20/04
4 lifetime posts
Hurray!!! One of our coworkers (my new personal hero) was able to find and remove the rat (yes, I'm afraid to say it was a rat) using a high-powered light and some location guesswork (because we're in an office inside of a plant, there was a gap between a block wall and the drywall where the rat had gone to die) Thank you all for your help/advice/empathy... and, just something to keep in mind, this dead thing in the wall would make a great revenge tactic, if one was so inclined. Thanks again...


05:44PM | 11/19/04
Member Since: 11/18/04
2 lifetime posts
I am an expert with dead animal removal. You have to sniff and sniff like a dog until you find the source. If you can't find it, I recommend using an ozone generating machine to find the smell.

Orlando Rat and Pest Control

399 S. Orange Ave

Orlando, FL 32801

Check out this site for photos on how it's done:


04:19PM | 02/07/05
Member Since: 02/06/05
1 lifetime posts
To Dseerveld-

I'd love to hire your services but unfortunately live in CA. We definitely have a dead something and have torn the house apart looking for it. It's been a week now and at my wits end. I'm thinking about a hotel soon. How can an ozone generating machine help us find the smell? I thought all it would do is cover it up?


01:40PM | 04/20/05
Member Since: 11/18/04
2 lifetime posts
Dead Rat Odor: The ozone machine won't help you find the dead rat, it will help lessen the odor in the air.

In order to get rid of dead rat smell, it must be located and removed, or the carcass must dry up (a process that can take 2-3 weeks).

If you need rat control in California, try links from this site: it lists wildlife & rat removal experts nationwide.
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