The other day we found a not-so-happy surprise at the shop. We performed a complete interior detail on a car whose owners noticed a smell coming from inside their car. They thought it was from juice or milk that had spilled and started to rot. Little did they know, the smell was actually coming from the rotting carcass of a mouse.
A dead rodent can cause a terrible stench and is often very tricky to locate. Since some of them only require a hole the size of a small coin to enter, it’s easy for them to crawl into small spaces in the car interior. Once inside, they get stuck, curl up and die. Then as they decompose, the stench grows and becomes unbearable before it gets better.
Since rodents can hide in the smallest of places, make sure to do a thorough search inside and out of your car. Although the smell might be bad, trying to pinpoint the location of the rodent will be beneficial when it comes to elimination. Remove any seats that can be removed to search under and around them. Lift the carpets where possible, and try to remove as many parts as possible. If you’re having trouble locating the smell, turn on your car and run the air conditioning. If the smell appears worse with the air on, this can be an indicator that the rodent is located under the hood.
Once found, look for any maggots surrounding the rodent. They may have accumulated around or under the carcass. So now comes the fun part – you will need to remove the remains of the dead rodent. Protect your hands with rubber gloves and to be extra careful, try to wear a face mask. The smell will be the strongest at the source, and as it is moved around the smell will get worse. Clean the area thoroughly with an enzyme-based bacteria removal product. Spray an odor neutralizer throughout the car as well for any remaining stench.
Do you have any critter stories you’d like to share? Share your experiences with us in the comments below!