Deceased critter under mobile home.

For abut the past 2 weeks, I noticed a somewhat bad smell inside my house. It was mainly near the bathroom by the master bath. It got worse and worse. Finally, I started to sort of smell it outside, so I thought it was a plumbing problem. Called Rescue Rooter out. They looked under the houses (it's a mobile home on cement pylons). He did see a few small areas where the dirt appeared to be damp - not puddles, so it didn't appear to be a 'leak' as he said it would then be a puddle vs just moist dirt. He wasn't willing to crawl under the house. He also stated the smell wasn't sewage, but a dead animal.
My guess is he was pretty confident - why leave and not charge me anything if it really wasn't a plumbing issue?
So I contacted a local 'animal removal' service.
I pulled back part of the skirting below the master bedroom / bath (where the smell is most predominant), and WOW... Did it smell. Of course, I don't know a bad sewage smell from this, but this contractor also saw the moist dirt, and did crawl under the house but didn't see any signs of a deceased animal, but was pretty sure it was a dead animal. (No flies, no animal on the ground, etc).
Now the home does have some areas where - and I may not be describing this right - throughout the home, there's insulation, then a small piece of wood holding the insulation in. And there's a number of areas where an animal has got in and pulled insulation out and 'nested'.
The contractor looked in the areas where the insulation was removed, no animal there, but it's possible the animal is elsewhere. Short of removing ALL the wood and insulation in the general area where the smell is, I'm at a loss.
The contractor says the animal should decay and be gone in a month - is that true? Any suggestions? I can't sleep in my bedroom the smell is so bad. I'd LOVE to get this taken care of...
Thanks.
Evan
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Evan Platt wrote:

The smell will be gone within a month. The hotter it is the quicker it'll decay, and the quicker the smell will disappear.
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Evan Platt wrote:

Vicks Vap-O-Rub on your upper lip and inside your nostrils.
Standard gear for medical examiner's forensic toolkit.
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wrote:

I'm in search and rescue. I'm quite familiar with Vicks :)
But I'd rather not have to smell that inside my house - or keep using that.
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I also live in an (older) mobile home (circa 1973). I've had more than my share of critters make their way under the home - mostly raccoons, skunks, and a possum.
Some of them get into the sub-floor area. This is the area between the floor INSIDE the home, and the bottom board UNDERNEATH the home.
Sounds like you do (unfortunately) have a dead critter in the sub-floor area. Personally I would not leave it in there. The smell will NOT go away in a month. That area is enclosed and the smell will stay around and get into everything (your clothes). Worse yet it may well attract other animals looking for 'a meal.'
You will have to 'Suck-it-up', and venture under the home. Hopefully the area of the strongest smell will be close to where the animal tore its way in. If not, cut a small access hole so you can stick your head up in there and look around. Once you find and remove the critter be sure to patch up the hole.
Or take the easy way out and hire someone to do the job. Your community office probably has a phone number for someone who does this work.
Good luck, Phil
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wrote:

We've burned many a scented candle in various rooms. It'll go away in time!
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wrote:

We surrounded our old hunting camp trailer with very tight mesh wire (1/2") or it might even be smaller. We haven't had a problem since. The whole deal cost us about 30 bucks and maybe two hours labor. Just get you some 1x4x8s and screw them along the bottom of the trailer. Lay some landscape timbers along the ground and then tack or staple the wire to the lanscape timbers and stretch it up to the 1x4s and tack it there. Viola, problem solved. You can go buy one of those very large boxes of baking soda and put it under the trailer as close to where the smell is coming from and believe or not, it will absorb the smell and you won't smell it anymore.
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On 18 Jun 2008 19:40:50 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@INVALID.com(Phil) wrote:

Yep, myne's a 1973 too, IIRC. I'm having the entire outside boarded up - err I should say enclosed. Right now, there's plenty of places an animal can get under the house.

Yeah.. I hope it's not in there.

What makes you think it's in the sub floor vs just the area where the insulation is?

Yeah... I'm not going under the house. I've got a contractor coming out, but most everyone so far doesn't seem to want to find it.
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Evan Platt wrote:

Sometimes the smell lingers and lingers. I remember I bought a mobile home many years ago. The previous owners had mice. They had a nest in the electrical outlet and someplace in the roof space. The house was vacant for the previous winter and it was winterized with RV fluid in the drains and such with no heat. I think the mice froze to death that winter before I bought it. It smelled for a couple years and the smell would return from time to time. I found them dead in the electrical box which was full of turds and mice urine, it was a mess. They came in through the electrical conduit that came from under the trailer to the box. I sold it 5 years later, nobody the wiser.
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Claude Hopper :)

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Operant word here is "should." The problem is that if it's a big enough critter, the stench could come back every time it gets hot and humid. Consider this a search and rescue mission of the small, personal sort. Suit up!
-- Bobby G.
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