How long does it take for a rat to decompose?
You might assume that once a rat is dead, it won’t cause you any more grief. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. After rats die, their bodies will decompose. During the decomposition process, gases inside the rat are released. As various organisms break down the rat’s body, they produce other chemicals, many of which contribute to the horrific smell of a rotting animal carcass. If you use rat poison in your home, you need to ensure you dispose of any resultant rat carcasses before they start to decompose.
The decomposition rate for a dead rat can vary considerably depending on numerous factors. The most critical factor in determining the decomposition rate will be the temperature. When it’s hot outside, rats decompose faster than in colder weather. Think of it like the meat you buy from the supermarket; it will last a lot longer in your fridge or freezer than out in the open. Rats that die inside will take longer to decompose than those that die outside because they are less exposed, even if the temperature is slightly warmer inside.
A dead rat at room temperature takes around three weeks to decompose completely, but it starts rotting almost immediately. If the dead rat isn’t removed swiftly, the smell will build in strength and linger for longer. Trust us; you really don’t want to experience the stench of a decomposing rat.
The odour isn’t the only issue decomposing rats can cause. Dead rats present a severe health hazard, much more so than living specimens. Rat carcasses will attract flies, which then lay their eggs in and on the rat’s body. These eggs hatch into larvae, commonly known as maggots, which are responsible for their own set of problems. Any parasites on the rat’s carcass will start looking for another living host, which could end up being you or your pets.
So how long does it take for a rat to decompose?
How To Get Rid of rats
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Pest advice for controlling Rats from BPCA