No one likes to think about death and dead bodies, whether insects or animal carcasses. But anyone who owns a pet or deals with pests in their home needs to be prepared to deal with dead animals. Squirrels, birds, and other common British animals all also frequently die in people’s gardens. As unpleasant as the topic might be, it is an important one to cover.
Irrespective of the circumstances, it is essential that dead animals are disposed of properly. If you leave an animal carcass to decay, it will create a terrible stench, attract maggots and other insects, and can present significant health risks.
Fortunately, we have gathered all the essential information you need to know to deal with a dead animal swiftly and decisively. Don’t worry; it’s not nearly as bad as most people assume.
Why are Dead Animals Dangerous?
You might think that once an animal is dead, it won’t be able to cause you problems. However, dead animals present several serious issues that mean merely ignoring them isn’t an option. The primary concern with any dead animal is the potential for disease. Most of these diseases are spread by parasites on or in the carcass, rather than the dead animal itself. Fleas and ticks are of particular concern, but as an animal decays, an array of other insects will turn up to feast on the body.
As these insects and parasites feast, they can become carriers of any diseases the animal was carrying when it was alive. Once they’re through with the dead animal, they will move onto another source of blood. If that happens to be you, a member of your family, or even a pet, parasites can spread the diseases to their new host.
Diseases can also spread from animal carcasses to humans through improper handling. You should never pick up a dead animal with your bare hands. If you or someone in your home does touch a dead animal, make sure they wash their hands thoroughly with soap. Use antibacterial gel if you have any. Don’t underestimate the danger that dead animals pose to human health.
While not dangerous, a rotting carcass will give off a foul odour. Not only is this unpleasant, but it can also be difficult to shift the smell even after you remove the dead animal. While the stench is deeply unpleasant for people, it will also attract predators that feed on dead animals.
How to Dispose of a Dead Animal in Your Garden
Whether you are dealing with a dead rat or a deceased family pet, the protocol for safe disposal remains the same. As we mentioned above; you should never handle a dead animal with your bare hands; always wear gloves. You should also wear a long-sleeved top and long-legged trousers. These clothes will prevent inadvertent contact with the carcass. If the animal is small enough to be moved with a shovel, you should do this instead of picking it up yourself.
Other than horses and livestock, you are allowed to bury pets and other animals in your garden in the UK. However, if you don’t bury them deep enough, predators will soon be along to dig them up. You should dig the grave at least two-feet deep to be safe. If possible, cover it with a layer of rocks to deter more determined scavengers.
If you aren’t comfortable burying the animal yourself, there are other options available. It is illegal to incinerate animal carcasses yourself. However, your local council authority or vet can help you if you want to take this route.
For smaller animals like rats, mice, and guinea pigs, you can dispose of the carcass in a landfill. Check that your local facility allows this; they need to be equipped to deal with hazardous biological waste.
How to Dispose of a Dead Animal in Your Wall
Rodents and squirrels are good at finding their way into the spaces behind your walls. Unfortunately, they’re not always so good at finding their way out. If an animal gets trapped behind your wall, they will eventually die there. In many cases, you won’t know they’re there until you’re able to smell them, or until swarms of flies give them away.
Before you can dispose of a dead animal in your wall, you need to locate it. The easiest way is via smell; sniff around your wall and hone in on the area where the scent is most pungent.
You then need to access the carcass. In most cases, this will require you to cut a hole in your wall. Wear gloves and have a bin bag ready for the animal.
If you aren’t confident doing this yourself, contact Bon Accord instead. Our technicians can locate and remove animal carcasses while causing minimal disruption and damage to your home.
How to Get Rid of the Residual Smell of a Dead Animal
After removing a decaying animal carcass, the stench often persists. Eliminating the odour requires some intense cleaning. You might find it easier to call in a professional cleaning surface.
If you choose to tackle the problem yourself, make sure to wear gloves and open as many windows as you can. If there are any juices or other debris left behind, clean them up with paper towels. You then need to spray an enzyme cleaner over the area you found the corpse. The cleaner will need 10-15 minutes to do its work.
If the carcass was in contact with any fabrics, you will need to wash them at a high-temperature with a hydrogen peroxide-based cleaner alongside your usual detergent. If you can’t wash the material, you need to remove it and throw it away.
When dealing with a dead animal, safety should be your priority. Make sure you wear gloves and avoid touching the carcass with your bare skin. If you have access to a HEPA face mask, this will prevent you from breathing in anything dangerous that might be airborne. If you have a dead animal in your wall, Bon Accord can locate and remove the carcass for you.