Something to cover up the smell of decaying rats?

(30 Posts)
MulledWineAndScully Thu 10-Jan-13 12:57:11

There's a rat problem at work with rats under the floorboards that are dropping dead and then decaying. We've put up with the smell of rotting rats for 2 months now and it's not getting any better (as more rats are getting in all the time and dropping dead). If you've ever smelled a dead and rotting rat it's really not a good smell and I just can't take it any more - a very unpleasant working environment. There's Neutrodols all over the building but they do next to nothing against the overpowering stench. I've got roomsprays and perfumes that also don't cover it up.

I'm starting to go mad. I feel sick every time I come in to work. People are reporting headaches and nausea. I've got a stinking cold and can't smell anything, yet dead rat smell still gets through (HOW??!)

Does anyone have any great suggestions to create a nicer environment (stench-wise, at least) for me and my colleagues. We can't burn anything (H&S and all that) but I am up for trying anything else.

dikkertjedap Thu 10-Jan-13 13:17:53

I am afraid the floorboards will need to be lifted and the corpses will need to be removed. The stench can otherwise go on for months. Isn't this a public health issue if there is such a rat infestation? Rats spread all kind of diseases.

MulledWineAndScully Thu 10-Jan-13 13:28:55

Tell us about it! They are refusing to lift the floorboards. They have laid poison down and attempted to block the holes where they are getting in. Apparently they are in the walls busily chewing through the insulation.

I am kind of worried about the health issues, particularly as I'm pregnant - the nausea is bad enough anyway without dead rats.

My DH says that eventually the smell of a dead rat will go once the rat decomposes fully, but as more rats are getting in I can't see it ever going away.

Roll on Mat Leave!

Wingedharpy Thu 10-Jan-13 15:35:53

Do you have a union of any sort at work?
If so, I would suggest getting in contact with the Health and Safety Rep regarding this issue.
It sounds very grim.

MulledWineAndScully Thu 10-Jan-13 15:41:08

Unfortunately the union has been derecognised by the company! One of my colleagues is a union rep but can't do anything.

Today they've been "cleaning the skirting boards" to try to get rid of the smell (I have no idea how this will work...)

We've had an email from the Building Manager (interestingly titled 'rodent situation' rather than 'rat situation') saying "We have had a pest expert spraying rooms and carpets with deodoriser yesterday and our cleaners are now armed with the same spray."... it's made zero difference. If anything it's getting worse.

PandaG Thu 10-Jan-13 15:45:19

they surely need to get the bodis out, to completely get rid of the smell, but in the meantime, bicarbonate of soda. We had a couple of rats in our cellar - and did manage to find and remove the dead bodies eventually- but a marge tub or 2 or bicarb really helped to absorb the smell.

YOu can get big boxes of it in the cleaning aisle in the supermarket rather than the little pots of cleaning stuff. Once it stops absorbing the smell stick it down the sink with a sloosh of vinegar for a drain clean too!

PandaG Thu 10-Jan-13 15:45:53

hmm rather than little pots of cooking stuff

TheMysteryCat Thu 10-Jan-13 15:46:02

Has anyone called environmental health? Your company's management of the issue looks like it's in breach of the HSE. This really needs to be dealt with properly and that includes lifting the floor and removing carcasses.

PandaG Thu 10-Jan-13 15:47:23

tubs of bicarb open by the way.

sounds horrendous.

wasabipeanut Thu 10-Jan-13 16:01:17

I can't believe it's legal to tell employees they just have to suck this up. It has to be an environmental health issue by now surely?

You have my sympathy.

MulledWineAndScully Thu 10-Jan-13 16:07:20

I will try bicarb of soda - thank you all!

HighJinx Thu 10-Jan-13 16:07:45

Who is refusing to lift the floorboards? Your employers or the building managers? (or are they they same company?)

I agree with others that someone should call environmental health about this, but I know that sometimes these things can be tricky in the workplace.

I feel for you.

Sleepyfergus Sat 12-Jan-13 15:23:20

Erm, I'd be on the phone to Environmental Health and getting them out ASAP. Sounds like your employer is trying to avoid a costly clean up and prevention job, but I would have hoped they would be covered by some kind of insurance.

Regardless, this is shoddy for the employees, esp in your condition. I would also mention this to your doc/MW

I should imagine this could be reported to EH anonymously, please give them a buzz anyway to enquire about the risks at the very least. Goodluck.

LegArmpits Sat 12-Jan-13 15:31:18

Oh that's rank. We had a massive dead rat under the decking one summer and it made the entire street garden stink. The only way was to remove it. Def speak to Environmental health.

My mum has rats in the attic thankfully it seems they are gone but one died in the wall so we closed the room off and left window open but it was just getting stronger so I bought her one of these www.ratbait.co.uk/earth-care-odour-remover-478-p.asp

They last up to 3 months and have had a significant effect on reducing the smell to barely there.

MulledWineandScully Mon 14-Jan-13 09:30:21

Well we've come in this morning to the joys of enormous black flies swarming around the office. The whole building is affected by the smell, but only mine and a few offices are affected by the flies as we are directly above where the corpses are. I am really hmm that these flies have potentially been feasting on rat corpses.

I scoured the supermarket cleaning aisle for bicarb of soda and found none, I'll try the ratbait site too thanks for the link!

specialsubject Mon 14-Jan-13 10:12:42

you'll find bicarb of soda in cheap packs at Wilkinsons or pound shops - not sold in the supermarkets as not enough profit.

however to get rid of a smell, remove what is decaying. Your employer stinks as badly as the bodies!

bad smells are not a health hazard but make sure the flies go nowhere near any food.

NotALondoner Mon 14-Jan-13 10:16:35

Can't you call environmental health (anonymously if needed)?

Sleepyfergus Mon 14-Jan-13 12:41:21

Oh jeez, that's horrid. We have 2 cats so often have mice brought in as presents. One must have been alive and squeezed in under our bookcase where it died. Cue big horrid bluebottle flies....just a couple to start with, but at worst, about 10. And that was from 1 titchy mouse. Once we found the corpse and maggot cases, they disappeared. It was foul though. Makes my skin crawl just remembering it.

PLEASE call Encironmentsl Health. This has gone beyond you having to find a solution, or having to put up with this. It's not worth the health risk. Please, please, please.

Please!!!

izzyishappilybusy Mon 14-Jan-13 12:48:16

If you are pregnant go sick seriously I wouldn't work in that pregnant

crunchingicicles Mon 14-Jan-13 13:31:45

Those flies are likely to be spreading all kinds of nasties wherever they go. If environmental health aren't called, sort out work assessment risk for your pregnancy - this is not a suitable environment for anyone, especially a pregnant woman. It's not just that if you get ill you are more unwell & there's a potential risk to your baby, but also in pregnancy your immune system's defences are lowered, so you're more likely to get ill in the first place. Can you get a male friend to call environmental health? Then even if it was said, 'we had a man call us...' you still wouldn't be outed as the one who called. This is just so wrong & I'd guess the problems won't end with the flies. The crazy thing is, the longer they leave it, it's probably getting more & m

crunchingicicles Mon 14-Jan-13 13:33:07

it's probably getting more & more expensive the longer they leave it. Probably cheaper in the long run to just take up floor and remove dead rats.

MulledWineandScully Mon 14-Jan-13 14:49:59

Someone is coming to 'deal with' the flies tomorrow but to me that is like plastering over the crack! The whole situation is ridiculous.

I have got my 16wk check in about an hour, I will mention it to my mw and see if she can suggest anything. I had a bad stomach upset last week which I put down to something I'd eaten but now I am wondering if it was something to do with work confused

I will definitely follow the advice given by many of you IYKWIM wink

izzyishappilybusy Mon 14-Jan-13 15:04:27

The flies will just keep breeding

MulledWineandScully Mon 14-Jan-13 15:07:55

You know, nobody else at my work seems to care! I'm not normally too fussy about things but I do have a limit.

The office next door has a much worse fly situation and they're all just sat there working away, the flies keep landing in their mugs.

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