Dead Animal Removal

Dead animals in your home? Our experienced professionals at Norcal Wildlife Removal will safely and hygienically remove animal remains in your home or business.

Norcal Wildlife Removal specializes in handling unwanted animal guests in any form, we remove both live and dead animals, and handle a variety of species from birds to reptiles and mammals. We are available to residents and businesses across towns and cities in Santa Clara County, San Francisco County, and San Mateo County.

The foul stench of decomposing flesh is usually the first sign that there may be a dead animal somewhere around your property, and this is because animals rarely die in plain sight. They prefer to crawl up into a place with some form of shelter. The rotting remains of any animal are unpleasant and unhygienic for anyone to handle, except if you have the proper training on how to handle it.

The remains of wild animals are usually a site crawling with tons of disgusting maggots and unfriendly microorganisms that can infect humans and cause a number of deadly infections and diseases. Plus, it attracts lots of insects including cockroaches, moths, flies, mites, wasps, etc. Even while alive, many animals act as hosts to pathogenic microorganisms that cause deadly diseases to humans and pets, and when they die their carcass is still able to spread deadly diseases, especially when handled unprofessionally.

To remove dead animals from your property we first have to find them, this is easy if the animal died in plain sight. But if your only evidence of a dead animal is an unpleasant smell, then our first assignment will be to find the carcass.

You will be surprised at where animal carcasses can be found, animals can die inside walls, beneath the insulation, in the ductwork, under the bathtub, and some other crazy places. And when trying to locate the carcass, our most valuable tool is our sense of smell. Yes, we use our noses to find the animal.

Disposing of rotting carcasses and cleaning up the contaminated site can be a tricky business and without the proper precautions you can get yourself infected with some deadly virus or fungus, and even worse spread the infection to those around you.

Removing dead animals requires some form of safety measure such as wearing protective clothing, cleaning up and sanitizing the affected area with a powerful disinfectant, deodorizing the environment to restore some form of normalcy, and generally making it safe again for humans and pets.

If there is a foul smell in your home, and you suspect it’s a dead animal, give us a call and we will come quickly to get it out.

What happens if you have a dead animal in your house?

When an animal dies in your house, the very first sign will most probably be the unpleasant but unique smell of decomposing flesh. Except of course you stumble on the body before it starts to decompose. When an animal dies, the body is immediately attacked by different microorganisms which trigger decomposition. That unmistakable stench of death is caused by a cocktail of volatile organic compounds produced by the activity of microorganisms on the carcass. 

Bacteria working on the carcass of an animal will trigger a series of chemical reactions in which large amounts of sulfur-containing compounds are released. Over 400 volatile organic compounds are released from a dead animal including compounds like sulfur dioxide, methane, benzene derivatives, and multiple hydrocarbons. 

Once the body of an animal has started to decompose, it’s highly recommended that you do not approach it for any reason because the site will be highly contaminated with pathogenic microorganisms. 

Dead animals also attract scavengers which act as hosts to a number of pathogens. Whether an animal dies in your ceiling, attic, under the deck, in the walls, or in your basement, it’s important that you call animal control experts to professionally handle the removal to avoid the spread of diseases around your home and property. 

How Long Does a Dead Animal Smell Last?

The smell of death starts at the onset of decomposition and will last for as long as it takes the carcass to completely decompose. This means that there isn’t any specified amount of time it takes for the smell to go away. If it’s a baby rodent that died, the decomposition will last for just about a day or two and so will the smell because the animal is very small. 

An animal as big as a squirrel may take up to one week to completely decompose and the smell will also last for about a week. But if you’re dealing with something significant like a raccoon or a skunk, which are bigger animals, then expect the smell to be stronger and last for much longer. 

An animal as big as a raccoon or skunk will take several weeks to completely decompose. In this case, the stench will be unbearable, especially if the animal died within or very close to your house. 

Nobody should have to endure the awful smell of decaying flesh for whatever reason, once you get the first whiff of dead animal smell in your home, ensure you quickly reach out to Norcal Wildlife Removal for emergency dead animal removal, clean up, and sanitization.   

How Can You Get Rid of the Smell of a Dead Animal?

You can only completely eliminate the awful smell of decomposing dead animals if you find and remove the carcass. The smell will never go away provided the dead body of the animal is still there. To get rid of a dead animal or animals, invite wildlife control experts to carefully remove the remains and clean up the affected area. 

When we remove dead animals from a place, we completely clean up and disinfect the site with a powerful disinfectant. This is to ensure that no disease-causing bacterium escapes because they have the potential to infect humans and pets and can cause very serious health problems. Our technicians will also treat the odor using an odor neutralizer which contains enzymes that break down the chemical compounds responsible for the bad smell.

Cities we serve include:

Atherton, Belmont, Brisbane, Burlingame, Colma, Daly City, East Palo Alto, Foster City, Half Moon Bay, Hillsborough, Menlo Park, Millbrae, Pacifica, Portola Valley, Redwood City, San Bruno, San Carlos, San Mateo, South San Francisco, Woodside, Palo Alto, San Jose, Santa Clara, Los Gatos, Los Altos, Campbell, Cupertino, Sunnyvale, Mountain View, Morgan Hill, Gilroy, San Francisco, etc.

dead dear removal

How To Remove a Dead Animal Under The House

It’s not at all uncommon to discover there’s a wild animal on your property. For homeowners all over the United States, snakes, raccoons, squirrels and everything in between are a common enough occurrence, which is why most want to know what to do if they find one. To learn more about dead animal removal visit

Well, if you learn there’s a wild animal on your property, it stands to reason that you should contact a wildlife removal professional like Norcal Wildlife Removal. But what do you do if the animal is already dead, and worse, trapped under your house?

Well, let us show you.

  • Equip yourself.

Remember that you want to act quickly – as soon as you discover the animal’s presence under your home. The more you leave a dead animal on your property, the higher the chances are for attracting other unwanted wildlife.

When you’re preparing yourself to dispose of a dead animal, make sure you equip yourself with adequate protective gear. You’ll want to make sure you’re wearing protective rubber gloves, to avoid coming into direct contact with the carcass (which can, in turn, expose you to a wide range of serious diseases).

You’ll also want to wear a protective mask, so as to avoid inhaling any bacteria-filled particles from the rotting carcass. Make sure you also have plastic bags, disposable containers, and other such products nearby.

  • Locate the carcass.

Next comes the nasty part. This is where you’ll actually have to get down on your hands and knees and into the crawl space underneath the house. Take a flashlight with you and advance slowly, in case there are other, live animals trapped underneath.

It can be difficult to spot a dead animal under the house, so a good trick is to stay still and listen for flies. Flies can be a good indicator to lead you to the dead animal, so try to pay attention to them.

  • Dispose of the animal in a plastic bag/container. 

Ideally, use a sealed bag to dispose of the dead body as swiftly as possible, and avoid prolonged contact with the carcass, for fear of germs. Make sure your pet isn’t around, to prevent them from coming into contact with the dead animal and potentially contracting a disease.

  • Thoroughly clean and disinfect the area.

Just because you’ve removed the dead body itself from the property doesn’t mean your job is done here. You still need to spend some time in the crawl space. Use a strong disinfectant and cleaning product to scrub the area where you found the carcass and nearby, so as to remove diseased particles. It’s important to thoroughly clean the crawl space, to protect yourself, your family, and your pets from disease.

When disinfecting an area where you found a wild animal, bleach is never a bad idea. 

  • Figure out the entry point.

It’s not some random coincidence or misfortune that the dead animal was on your property. It probably came in through a hole or crack, either through your vents, foundation, fence, or something similar. What’s more, the animal was attracted to your property for a particular reason (most commonly, these include a safe place to nest or a readily available source of food or water).

Now that you’re safely removed the dead animal from your property, you need to figure out why it was there in the first place. Identify the hole/crack the animal came through and seal it with difficulty to chew or claw through materials. Remove any sources of food or water that may be attracting wild animals and fix the hole that may have served as an entry point. 


dead animal

How To Locate A Dead Animal Inside Your House?

Before dying, animals, particularly rats and mice, prefer to hide in an inaccessible location. And having a dead animal stuck someplace within your home can be incredibly dangerous to your family’s health. It goes without saying that the decaying carcass of animals is infected with harmful bacteria and microorganisms, which are not just the cause of the foul odor, but also the source of potential diseases. Here is a great resource at to learn more about dead animals in your house.

You may not notice it for several days, but the smell of a decaying dead animal will become unbearable as the animal continues to decompose. An increase in the number of insects on your property and, of course, the foul smell, maybe one of the first signs you notice. And once you’ve determined that you have a dead animal in your home, you’ll want to get rid of it as soon as possible.

Here are some of the signs that indicate the presence of a dead animal somewhere on your property:

  1. A strong and lasting stink emanating from within your home is the first indicator that something is definitely isn’t right. If you’ve done virtually everything to get rid of the foul odor but haven’t been successful, there’s a good probability you have a dead animal carcass trapped within your home.
  2. Insects, particularly houseflies, thrive where there is a dead animal. If your home is normally free of bugs, but their number has suddenly increased over the course of a day or two, you should be concerned. They’re either eating the animal’s dead carcass or some other open food source. Inspect your home extensively to determine the source of the bugs’ infestation.
  3. If you’ve just observed an unusual discoloration on the ceiling or any wall in your home, you should be concerned about the sanitation of your home. An inexplicable stain on the wall or ceiling could be the result of an unwell or wounded animal that died in your home recently.

These are some telltale indicators of a dead animal trapped somewhere inside your house or attic.

Getting ready to remove the dead animal

Keep in mind that you must act fast once you find the animal’s presence beneath your house. The more dead animals you leave on your property, the more likely you are to attract unwanted creatures.

When you’re getting ready to dispose of a dead animal, make sure you’ve got the right safety clothing. To avoid coming into direct touch with the carcass and risk getting infected by some deadly disease, make sure you’re wearing protective gloves.

Also, remember to put on a mask to avoid breathing in any bacteria-laden debris from the rotting body. Make sure you have plenty of plastic bags, disposable containers, and other items on hand.

Steps to remove dead animals

One thing about animals is that they rarely die in plain sight. More often than not, they would crawl into a tight corner or enclosed place to die, which makes finding them very challenging. And this brings us to one of the taskings and unpleasant parts of finding a rotting animal carcass. 

Step 1: Sniff out the carcass

One of your first clues should be to think of all the possible places that animals like to hide in and proceed gently in case there are any additional living creatures trapped beneath you. It can sometimes be tough to see a dead animal under the house, so being calm and listening for flies, and sniffing the air is a smart strategy. 

Step 2: Remove the body

When you finally find the location of the dead body, you may need to either make a hole in the drywall or crawl into the attic or under the home and crawl to that spot. Remove the body and place it in a bag.

Step 3: Clean up the place

Ensure that all the debris has been removed. Disinfect the area using a disinfectant spray.

Well, if you learn there’s a dead animal on your property, it stands to reason that you should contact a wildlife removal professional like Norcal Wildlife Removal. But what do you do if the animal is already dead, and worse, trapped under your house?

Well, let us show you.

raccoon removal

How Do Dead Animals Spread Diseases? 

Wild animals are known to transmit diseases through their bites, scratches, and saliva. But do dead animals pose severe health risks? Of course! A strong case can even be made for why dead animals are more likely to transmit diseases. And in this post, we’ll explore how dead animals spread diseases. Let’s dive right into it. 

What happens when an animal dies?

Once an animal dies, it expels fluids out of the bladder and large intestine. These fluids hold several pathogens that make their way to find new hosts. The eyes turn gray because blood stops flowing to the eyes. The tongue may come out. And while you notice no overpowering stench, the decomposing process has started. 

Within 6 to 12 hours of death, the carcass begins to stiffen, and the skin undergoes discoloration. By this time, the other insects and flies further deposit bacteria that infest the body. The dead carcass is a breeding ground for bacteria, germs, pathogens, and lots more. 

Within 24 hours, the body becomes stiff and cold. And within a couple of days, you may see white maggots feasting on the carcass. The site will be gross, and the smell will be awful. But these processes are part of a natural cycle to decompose the corpse. 

Disease spreading mechanism after death

After the death of an animal, there are different ways through which diseases can be spread to humans and pets. Some of the common mechanisms include:

  • Contact with bodily fluids

As noted earlier, bodily fluid starts to get out of a dead animal within hours—these bodily fluids – saliva, blood, urine, mucous, and feces – host several diseases. Examples include hantavirus and leptospirosis. That’s why you must avoid direct contact with dead animals. Always ensure you wear hand gloves when disposing of a carcass – or better still, involve a professional animal removal company.

  • Inhaling contaminated air

Wild animals leave behind lots of waste. Sometimes, these wastes contain pathogens that can become airborne. Inhaling these pathogens can cause severe problems for humans. For example, histoplasmosis is a bacterial infection caused by inhaling the fungal spore from accumulated bird/bat dropping. This disease can cause severe lung problems and even death if left untreated. 

  • Ingesting pathogens

The bodily fluids of dead animals can contaminate food and water sources. You may contact some harmful diseases if you ingest these food items. Examples of such conditions include leptospirosis, giardiasis, E. coli, and lots more. 

Handling dead animals

By now, you know why you must stay away from dead animals. If you notice a dead animal in your house or property, here are some actions to take. 

  1. Wear appropriate clothing

First, you want to put on long-sleeved shirts and trousers, and also wear hand gloves. It would be best if you also put on a mask. 

  1. Trace the location of the animal

The best way to locate a carcass is to follow the smell. 

  1. Remove the carcass.

With your gloves on, please pick up the carcass and place it in a plastic bag. Also, use a shovel to scrape the vicinity around the carcass to pick up other debris and waste materials and put them into the plastic bag. Dispose of the plastic bag appropriately.

  1. Disinfect and deodorize the area

After getting rid of the carcass, also apply an enzyme-based to kill all pathogens in the infected area. You can also use a deodorizer to get rid of the putrid odor. 

Know when to get help

Handling dead animals can sometimes be challenging. For example, the carcass may be stuck in hard-to-reach places, like within the walls. Again, you might be dealing with a large carcass like that of a raccoon. Getting a professional wildlife removal company would be best if that’s the case.

dead animal remover under house

How Can You Remove the Smell of Dead Animals?

One of the worst parts about getting nuisance animals into your home is all of the problems that they cause. Some of these problems are directly the result of an action the animal does, and others are indirectly caused by them. One of the indirect problems that animals cause is when they die inside of your home or garage. This leaves you with not only the potential for disease but also nasty odors throughout your home. Continue reading to learn how you can remove the smell of dead animals. 

First Things First

One of the most important steps to do before you even think about getting rid of the bad smells is to make sure that all of the nuisance animals are removed from your home. This is very important, because if one animal gets into your home and dies, then it is very likely that many more would be able to get in as well. Since even just two nuisance animals can start an infestation, this is a very important step. You could attempt to look for these animals in your home on your own, or you could kill a couple of birds with one stone by just doing the next step listed.

Hire a Professional

This step is really a single step that will take care of virtually every other step mentioned in this article. To begin with, wildlife removal companies will be able to remove the dead animal from your home with no risk to you, your family, and your pets. Once this is done, they can perform cleaning and sanitation services that will not only kill foul odors but will also remove any harmful diseases and germs from your home. 

Now that the dead animal and the foul odors and disease are gone, there is one other big concern that still needs to be addressed. This is where it is vitally important to know for sure that there are no other animals in your home. Professional wildlife removal experts will be able to figure this out very quickly and will be able to take action if they find that more animals are still living in your home. Once these animals are removed, there is yet another step that needs to be taken. This step would be finding the entry points around your home and repairing them. While these steps can all be done DIY, you can rest assured that the professionals will handle them correctly, safely, and quickly.

Remove & Deodorize

Now that many of the important steps have been discussed, the removal of the foul odor that dead animals cause can be discussed. One of the first steps that need to be taken is to, first of all, remove the dead animal from your home. It is very important that you do not come into direct contact with the critter, but instead, use an object such as a shovel or a pair of gloves to come between your hands and the animal. Now that you have removed the animal, you can begin to worry about the smell itself. 

There are many different products that can be used in order to not only remove the foul odor but will also sanitize the area and kill any harmful diseases left behind. There are many different types of deodorizers on the market, and many are very capable of killing any scent caused by a dead animal. Once this has been applied, you can apply to sanitizing agents to the area as well. This should eliminate every last bit of the odor, as well as keep you, your family, and your pets safe should any of you come into contact with the area where the animal died.

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