Bad Smell In House

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Our friends have noticed a very bad smell--like that a dead animal...coming from somewhere in the dining room of their home. It's been very strong for a month now. They don't smell it in the basement below the room or in the attic above. The smell is too strong to be coming from a mouse. I've smelled it and it definitely smells like rotting flesh. They're thinking it could be a squirrel or similar animal that became trapped inside the wall...but they can't determine the exact location by sniffing along the wall.
Two questions:
1. Is there some sort of "smell detection" device can help them find the exact location of the smell?
2. Is this something that their homeowner's insurance would cover?
Thanks! Scott
P.S. A black cat has gone missing.
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What about a Dog it might show interest in one spot
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Poltergeists?? "Who 'ya gonna call..."
Truthfully, though, my sister had the same problem and they never could find it. It (the smell) finally disapated over time.
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I would help to know the age, construction and location of the house. richard
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spudnuty wrote:

Spudnuty,
It's a 25-year old two-story house, standard wood construction with basement. It's located in Central Minnesota in a rural setting with lots of trees, squirrels, deer, skunk, etc. native to the area. The house is on level ground about 1/4 mile from a lake...but no water adjoining the property.
Scott
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worked on houses where cats can get into the damnedest places in the heating ducts. Helped one client tear her walls apart when her ferret disappeared. Even a mouse can make a god awful smell. (It's very distinctive however) We just had one in a trap that I had forgotten. Another client had a squirrel fall down the chimney. They were complaining about the smell and I didn't figure it out until they told me about the scratching and scrabbling sound that had been coming from the fireplace for about 10 days then suddenly stopped a month earlier. Much older buildings may have fireplaces that have been sealed up, but you can see the chimneys in the attic. You're also in an area with a lot of animals. I have another client who has noises coming from inside a wall. The building has a history of squirrel invasion. The client is a landlord and she's not willing to tear the wall apart. The dog idea is a good one. You need the right dog, scent hunters the best candidates. My Beagle found 4 baby rabbits that had escaped into my basement. (kids!) This was after 4 of us had torn the basement to pieces over 4 hours. Watching her sniff was like watching a timeline of exactly where the rabbits had been and what they had touched. One had jammed itself in the top of my table saw on top of the blade. (I was going to work with that saw!) Another was hidden in a folded comforter that I had actually opened up. I had just not opened it completely. Good luck. Richard
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I had a rat eat poison and crawl up into a wall thru a space the size of a dime. The smell was so bad I wanted to move. I finally broke the wall open with a crow bar and found a dead rat swollen to the size of a nerf-football. It was really gross. Fixing a little sheetrock was a small price to pay to get rid of that smell.
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Kathy wrote:

Kathy,
Yes, the homeowners suspect a similar scenario. The hard part is that the smell's location can't be pinpointed. They wouldd have no problem ripping out some sheetrock...if they knew for sure where to look. I'll keep you posted.
Scott
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hole. If you can localize it to one room and one wall you may just want to take off a 4'x8' section from the bottom of the wall. Or even better, a 2 foot tall section at the bottom, 8' long. One 8x4 sheet of drywall will repair 2, 2x8 holes. Not too big a deal. Remember, you are removing this from the bottom section of the wall, that's the likely area due to gravity. Exterior wall is also more likely than interior. Near an hvac duct or electrical box is also more likely than in an empty space.
Good luck, let us know what you find and how.
PS - You been watching too much CSI - Smell detectors - Hah. Oh yea, my beagle would be going nutz! She would probably tear the drywall out for you just to get to whatever it was!
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No wrote:

I was walking her one winter day. She took a sudden right turn, dove into a snow drift digging until all you could see was her tail and came out with a perfect triangle of frozen pizza. BTW not to be a nudge but there are very sensitive devices that can detect specific chemicals. We were testing one at the National Lab where I worked. It hit on two guys coming off a plane, turns out they were explosives experts and had handled C-4 2 days earlier. The cost and size were rather large. Richard
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Kathy wrote:

Rat? We live in rat free place. Province of Alberta does not have rats. Eradicated years ago and government spends millions to keep it rat free. Rat patrol is doing the work. Tony
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wrote:

How did you cook it? Was there enough meat for the whole family?
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a 3/8" bit and some clear plastic aquarium hose in your nose should do it. when you find which wall cavity it's in, temporarily neutralize with killz-oder from grainger.
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Scott wrote:

Update,
Keep the ideas coming! I'm forwarding all of your excellent suggestions to our friends.
I will keep you posted to let you know how they deal with the problem.
Scott
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Don't discount a mouse. Our cats killed a mouse in the house and batted it under a bureau where it lay rotting until I noticed the stench. Quite noticeable. We searched the room and eventually pulled out the bureau. The dead mousie was covered with maggots and stunk to high heaven!
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I was wondering if they ripped the wall out yet.
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Kathy wrote:

Kathy,
Not yet. They're still considering the options.
Scott
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DUDE..... It's really not too nice of you to go to a friends house and FART. Either do it at home, or quit eating beans.
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Scott wrote:

Update: I talked to the homeowner today. He has a neighbor who owns a hunting dog. He's going to let the dog sniff out the room. I'll let everyone know how that turns out.
Scott
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Our friends have noticed a very bad smell--like that a dead animal...coming from somewhere in the dining room of their home. It's been very strong for a month now. They don't smell it in the basement below the room or in the attic above. The smell is too strong to be coming from a mouse. I've smelled it and it definitely smells like rotting flesh. They're thinking it could be a squirrel or similar animal that became trapped inside the wall...but they can't determine the exact location by sniffing along the wall.
Two questions:
1. Is there some sort of "smell detection" device can help them find the exact location of the smell?
2. Is this something that their homeowner's insurance would cover?
Thanks! Scott
P.S. A black cat has gone missing.
---------------------------------
Hi, I wanted to update everyone about this problem, which I first posted in February. The bad smell has been located.
A few days ago, a couple of construction friends of my homeowner friend came over and removed a section of sheetrock from the corner of the dining room closest to the garage. Right away, they spotted a long line of beetles moving inside the wall. They followed the beetles upward to see where they were feeding. They found a large, black, dead cat lodged in the wall. It looks like the cat entered through the garage and entered the wall (it was wintertime in Minnesota) between the ceiling of the dining room and the floor of the bedroom above....and he got trapped. This explains why the smell didn't go away, even after five months.
I told my friend just a few weeks ago to borrow the neighbor's hunting dog to sniff arouond, but he didn't take action. He's at work all day, and his wife stays home, so it wasn't so urgent for him. Anyway, a couple of construction worker friends from church convinced him to open up the sheetrock, and the mystery was solved.
I'm really glad they won't have to put up with that lousy smell any more. Sometimes, you just have to get in there and tear things apart.
Thanks for all your suggestions! Scott
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