“How long does a dead rat smell for?” I blinked when I read my brother’s Facebook status update. Who says that? He usually likes to have political discussions with his Facebook friends or put up pictures of his kids. But, this was random. I had to know what was going on, so I sent him a message.
“Is this a real rat or a political rat? LOL”
“Very funny,” came back his reply.
Now, my curiosity was piqued. What on earth was he talking about? I decided to email him instead. “Who asks that kind of question? How long does a dead rat smell?”
He replied pretty quickly. “I’m serious. I need to know how long a dead rat smells. We had some rats in the garage and I set out some poison, and now I’m stuck with this nasty smell, and I want to know how long I’m going to have to deal with it. Any ideas?”
Unfortunately, I did have a good idea, since I’d dealt with that same thing a few years ago. My son was poking around the attic one day and apparently found a dead rat. From what I understand, he’d gotten my work gloves out, put the dead rat in a box, and carried it down to his room with thoughts of using it for a science project. He got distracted with something else, the dead rat box got shoved under his bed, and two days later the entire family had to search the entire house in an attempt to discover the source of an awful stench. Eventually, my son remembered the dead rat from the attic. The box was retrieved and his room was cleaned and sanitized. So, how long does a dead rat smell? At least two days, and probably a lot longer than that!
This wasn’t the answer my brother needed, though. It was summer, and if the dead rat was in the garage, it would probably decompose fairly quickly, with a lot of flies and stench involved. My brother and his wife had taken to parking their cars outside instead of using their nice, big garage for its intended purpose, just to avoid having to smell the dead rat. Letting it decompose on its own, then, was really not a good solution. They had to get rid of the dead rat. His Facebook friends all agreed.
I suggested a good rodent removal company, and he got them out there pretty quickly. Good thing he did, too, because it turned out he had more than one dead rat rotting in his garage. There had been an entire rat nest. They found it in one of the boxes containing Halloween decorations. Appropriate, don’t you think? The whole box got tossed and rat traps were set. My brother’s family could go back to actually using their garage and my brother went back to his Facebook political discussions. We never did find out the answer to that question, though. How long does a dead rat smell? The answer is, no one wants to deal with the dead rat long enough to find out.