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to think i can leave a decomposing rat in the wall cavity to decompose?

(94 Posts)
Anna1976 Thu 13-Oct-11 08:43:11

My parents live in a double-brick cavity-wall house, built in about 1905. It's become apparent in the last few days that something is very dead indeed, somewhere quite close to the back of the house.

The stink is appalling today, but the revolting blowflies of the last few days aren't around any more. It took us until yesterday to localise which wall vent they were coming out of, having already checked under the house, the chimney, and pulled up the floor in the loft, to make sure we couldn't find anything emanating flies.

Getting the bloody thing out of the wall cavity would be basically impossible, and the stench should only haunt my parents' house for... um ..not sure how long....

Yuck. Any ideas how long it might go on? or what else to do? I think it would cost less for the parents to move into a hotel for a couple of weeks (or just grin and bear it) than for any attempt to be made to remove the thing.

AKMD Thu 13-Oct-11 08:46:26

YANBU, move them out then once it's stopped stinking, get them cavity wall insulation so it doesn't happen again. Or consult a builder about getting it out.

going Thu 13-Oct-11 08:47:56

We had a dead mouse (I assume) and the smell was awful. I realy feel for your parents but the smell will go!

WitchOfWoo Thu 13-Oct-11 08:48:45

It will mummify eventually or turn to dust.

Ecover do a lovely reed diffuser which will mask the worst of the putrifraction stage.

Bramshott Thu 13-Oct-11 08:55:26

I don't know what else you can do. We had a blackbird in ours . . .

valiumredhead Thu 13-Oct-11 08:59:48

Sorry to tell you but it goes on for AGES and lots of people do get builders in to try and get it out as the stench is so awful!

Really you need to lay down poison/traps and work out where it got in or it'll happen again. There is never a lonely rat/mouse, where there is one there will be more...

valiumredhead Thu 13-Oct-11 09:00:37

Call the council and ask for Pest Control, our council offers a free service.

Anna1976 Thu 13-Oct-11 09:07:07

thanks for the pointers.

Valiumredhead, you make good points for city life in the UK, but this is in leafy Australia - rats in the walls/roof, possums down the chimney & occasionally in the roof, are a fact of life rather than a specific indication that you have a problem. We know where it got in, under the eaves... the inside of the house itself is pretty well sealed so they don't tend to actually have problems with rats or mice in the rooms (at least, not any more now there aren't holes in the walls like there were all my childhood)

What surprises me is that this is only the second one in 33 years that has actually smelt this bad... confused

fastweb Thu 13-Oct-11 09:09:38

I don't see why not. The previous owners left hundreds (well....tens, but at the time it felt like hundred) of rats to be left at peace in their final resting place of the boarded up chimney flue.

As I discovered when I gave the board a hard bash with a pizza rolling pin while the man fitting a new woodburner was fiddling about with his tools.

When the board gave it rained dead rats on me.

And I ended up shedding ratus mortus all over the room, the woodburner man, his precious tools and my quivering husband as I whirled around it shreiking like a banshee.

So I immagine the smell must fade sooner or later,leaving the corpse waiting like a timebomb to traumatise an unsuspecting new owner in the future. <still has nightmares emoticon>

I personally would not bash down a wall to get it out if paying the waiting game is an option. Not in an old house for sure, touch anything and three million very expensive other alterations/repairs all come to light.

spiderpig8 Thu 13-Oct-11 09:11:06

our dead rat stank for about 3 weeks I think- and that was in winter so it would have decomposed pretty slowly.i don't think it's worth getting your house ripped apart.I mean for a start , how would you know where it was?

AmazingBouncingFerret Thu 13-Oct-11 09:11:54

I'm sorry fastweb but im howling at the thought of you getting rained on by dead rats!

grin

Anna1976 Thu 13-Oct-11 09:14:10

fastweb, god that must have been AWFUL. You have my eternal sympathy i have a few rat stories from my childhood that i'm trying to blank out of my memory.

spiderpig - am hoping as it's getting on for summer in Sydney that decomposition might be mercifully fast.... praying hard for sunshine...

fastweb Thu 13-Oct-11 09:15:50

as was I AmazingBouncingFerret, as was I.

I wouldn't mind so much but I only did the board bashing cos the wood burner man was doing the "little woman" speil and I made the decisive blow with the rolling pin for feminism more than a real desire to actually do any dirty work.

Only to end up acting like some mouse phobic woman in a Tom and Jerry cartoon, thus making woodburner mysoginist do a smug face. Until one corpse bounced off my head and onto his tools. That wiped the smirk off him.

Anna1976 Thu 13-Oct-11 09:18:08

oh YUCK. But good one Fastweb, striking a blow for feminism with a dead rat is probably quite effective grin

fastweb Thu 13-Oct-11 09:18:14

been AWFUL

<whimpers at the seven year old, indelible, memory>

<nods vigorously>

stealthsquiggle Thu 13-Oct-11 09:18:48

We had a rainstorm of dead (and dessicated) rats when we had to take a ceiling down [bleugh]

OP - could you not temporarily seal the wall vent in question to lessen the smell - if it is past the flies stage it should hopefully be over the worst now? Definitely leave it to it though - just imagine what you would reveal if you knocked a hole in the wall - 106 years' worth of dead things for starters!

fastweb Thu 13-Oct-11 09:21:13

We had a rainstorm of dead (and dessicated) rats when we had to take a ceiling down [bleugh]

<revises plan to take down false ceiling in hobby room/junk dumping place>

stealthsquiggle Thu 13-Oct-11 09:21:24

As for why it doesn't happen more often - could it be that this is something bigger (and therefore smellier) than a rat??

stealthsquiggle Thu 13-Oct-11 09:22:58

fastweb - the dead-rat rainstorm was, although gross, an improvement on when DH went in search of the noises, made hole, stuck his head through it, and came nose-to-nose with a very much alive rat grin.

Anna1976 Thu 13-Oct-11 09:25:31

stealthsquiggle - have suggested that (as well as taping flyscreen over the wall vents) but parents are a tad picky about their lovely federation-era heritage paintwork. Also, in Sydney's humidity it is very hard to make anything stick to cold plaster wall, particularly 3 metres up where you can't really lean anything against it.

Frankly I'd be going for cavity wall insulation (and floor insulation, central heating and double glazing) rather than honorary membership of the Society for Creative Anachronism's Edwardian Colonial chapter, but hey ho... their house, their rules, their dead rats... smile

Anna1976 Thu 13-Oct-11 09:31:08

stealthsquiggle - i think if it were a brushtail possum we'd have found it by now. Probably wouldn't fit down a wall cavity...

Etwinkles Thu 13-Oct-11 09:32:46

We had a dead thing... Rather than rip holes in the walls we left it to decompose and the smell lingered on and off for two weeks. We tried using
plug in air fresheners but they seemed to make it worse, so bought these odour removal bags online which removed the smell rather than masking it with a sweet scent and I reckon they really worked. Search for odour removal bags or dead rodent smell online... Quite a few companies do them.

paddypoopants Thu 13-Oct-11 09:33:40

The length of smell depends how big it is. We had a bird(maybe seagull?) down our chimney in one of the bedrooms- it was blocked off and fitted cupboards in front of it so we couldn't get at it. The smell went on for 2 months. We just didn't use the room. Leave it a week or two and see how it is.

fastweb Thu 13-Oct-11 09:34:03

and came nose-to-nose with a very much alive rat

<THUD>

I hate live ones more than I hate dead one.

I used to live in Bangkok, in a house with no kitchen, but a veranda. So with a complete failure to take into account the slight diveristy of fauna in my home, I turned the veranda into an open air kitchen, complere with open shelving units for the food.

First night I stocked the "kitchen" I woke in the wee hpurs to a terrible racket, opened the door and came accross a scene like something out of a well known horror book (that I wish I had never read)

I spent the rest of the night in the wardrobe, crying, and trying to keep the doors shut with my fingernails, convinced they would break in the house in search of pudding, and eat me.

I hate fucking rats, wherever I go and live they follow me, in massive herds, for the sole aim of indulging in the sadistic emotional torture of Sarahs.

I may be taking it a tad personally.

But it feels like they are doing it on purpose.

fastweb Thu 13-Oct-11 09:34:41

inmy new home, even

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