How long is this going to stink?

We own a “Chicago-style bungalow”, which is a fancy way of saying it’s a one-story house with a big attic. Long before we bought the house, the attic was dormered and finished into a full second floor. However, as a result of this, the attic is now fundamentally nonexistant – theer’s about 3" between the ceiling and the roof.

I needed to explain this in order for you to understand the problem…

Several years ago, we had a problem with some squirrels who got into the space between the roof and the ceiling, above my home office. They were noisy little bastards. I humanely trapped two of them, and moved them away, and eventually the rest left. When the roof was redone last year, the roofers patched the little hole next to one of the window dormers where we suspected they were coming in.

Haven’t had another squirrel issue since. Until a week ago, when my wife began to notice a funky smell coming from upstairs. At first, she blamed me for not cleaning the catbox. But, within a day, it’d gotten stronger, and didn’t smell like cat poo (and, besides, I’d cleaned the box by then!)

Now, the smell is strong enough that I can tell you, pretty much, exactly where it’s coming from. It’s coming from the ceiling, about 3 feet from the window. And, it definitely smells like something dead. My best guess is that a squirrel got back in there, and croaked. I don’t think it’s a bigger animal (like a raccoon or possum), since there doesn’t appear to be a hole big enough for something that big to get in.

I’ve gone outside, and I don’t see any visible evidence of damage to the roof or the window area. And, getting to where the putative body is isn’t an option, unless I’m up for cutting holes in my ceiling (and, I’m not). There’s literally no way to get to it otherwise.

So, my question to the Doper community…just how long is the stink process going to last? How long before poor Mr. Squirrel just becomes a dessicated little bundle of fur and bones? It’s been noticeably stinky for 7 days now. On a scale of 1 to 10, I’d say it’s a solid 7 right now. Having a window open in the room, and a Glade Plug-In set up in room, take the edge off of it, but it’s still pretty foul.

I had a raccoon get into my wall and die a few years back.

No way to get to it other than to knock down a wall.

It smelled horrible for about 2 months.

Hopefully less for you since a squirrel is considerably smaller

Go to a health food store or pet food store and get some bags of zeolite. Hang near the area.

It will stink about a hour after that.

Really? Cool. Will go check that out.

(Holding my breath while I type this. My computer is about 5 feet from Ground Zero. :frowning: )

I recently researched this very thing due to a fly infestation in my house. I never smelled a corpse but I had heard skittering in my attic about a week before so I suspected a rat. From what I found online both the smell and the flies could last up to 3 weeks. Usually by the time the flies are due for a another generation the corpse is too dessicated to be of interest too them. By the way, the flies only lasted a couple days, I shut all my a/c vents and sprayed a lot of bug spray on the ones I saw.

As had been mentioned there are products that are supposed to help get rid of the smell.

The first pet store I went to, they looked at me like I’d sprouted a second head.

The second one had bags of zeolite, specifically for odor elimination. I got two of them. Well, the stank isn’t gone, but the zeolite sure took the edge off of it. Thanks!

Shouldn’t you be a little concerned that if this animal got in and died, another could?

I wouldn’t be able to sleep until I found where it had come in. If I was you, having checked the roof and eaves, I’d check around the foundation. Maybe it’s come up to the attic space through the walls.

Personally, I’d take down a piece of the ceiling before I’d live with the reek for several days/weeks. And summers right around the corner, yikes! A hole in the ceiling isn’t all that hard to repair and might reveal how the critter got in.

Either way, I wish you luck!