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House odour

(36 Posts)
Elizabeth1 Tue 06-Feb-18 23:23:49

I came home in November from a 4 week holiday abroad to find a terrible odour in my spare bedroom. At first I thought it was a gas leak and called the emergency service who said it wasn’t a gas leak. I’m quite worried over this and there’s no way I would let anyone sleep in that room until the source of the smell has been identified and fixed. The trouble is it comes and goes. We’re having a plumber come in this week here’s hoping he can sort this problem. Anyone with an idea of what this could be.

MissAdventure Tue 06-Feb-18 23:26:46

Apparently a dead mouse gives off a gassy odour. Could that be possible? They can squeeze into anything larger than the width of a pen.

Marelli Tue 06-Feb-18 23:34:33

There was a really horrible smell that suddenly appeared in our spare room, Elizabeth 1. It was last summer, and we searched under the bed, thinking perhaps the cat had brought in a mouse or bird - which she had. A bloated and purifying mouse was lying just under the edge of the bed's valance. The smell was awful and goodness knows how long it'd been there. I know you don't have a cat, but a wee mouse might just've come in out of the November weather?

Elizabeth1 Wed 07-Feb-18 00:17:49

Or even a rat Marelli the smell is like a putrid gas. It’s a pity DH cannot smell it he doesn’t have a sense of smell and isn’t too bothered.

jusnoneed Wed 07-Feb-18 08:01:04

I used to help run a community centre and when I unlocked in the morning I would get a strong whiff of a horrible smell. Turned my stomach. This went on for a week or so, no one else smelt it as by the time they arrived fresh air had gone through. One day it was so bad I ended up crawling around the seating area where I thought it was, sure enough found one spot where it was terrible. Built in seating, got someone to pull the top off and inside were two dead rats and the smell nearly knocked you off your feet shock We called in pest people and it turned out that the local council had put poison down some drains a couple hundred yards away and the rats had eaten that and then followed pipes under the building and got up under the seats through old pipe, and there they died. It had to sprayed with some special (very fragrant) stuff which cleared the stench.

kittylester Wed 07-Feb-18 08:06:30

Years ago, teenaged DS1'S bedroom had an awful smell. I spent ages looking for stray socks festering aomewhere but the smell just got worse and worse. We eventually found a bird which had presumably fallen down the chimney and died in the boarded up fireplace. Yuck!

Greyduster Wed 07-Feb-18 08:17:19

I think it is more than likely a dead rodent. We had one under the floor of our last house and in the first instance, like you, sent for the gas people because we thought it was a gas leak. Eventually, DH went down into the crawl space under the floor and found a dead rat. No idea how it got there, but we never had trouble after it was removed.

Auntieflo Wed 07-Feb-18 08:55:25

When I read through the OP, my first thought was 'dead mouse', then found that subsequent posters all had the same thought. Luckily we haven't, fingers crossed, ever had one in the house. But, during a coach trip in China, we suffered from the smell, At first we blamed the driver, his lunch, anything that we all could think of, and the driver was not amused, it was a new coach and his pride and joy. It turned out to be a dead mouse in one of the ventilation/heating pipes. After a good clean, the pong was gone.

DanniRae Wed 07-Feb-18 09:11:21

We had a strange smell in a spare bedroom. Then we could smell it elsewhere, even in the garden. To cut a very long story short it turned out to be coming from next door where there was a cannabis factory! This was quite a few years ago and I still can't believe that we never suspected a thing until we noticed the smell.

Persistentdonor Wed 07-Feb-18 09:59:23

You don't have an en-suite in the spare bedroom?
Waste water pipes that don't get used will start to stink after a few months, blush but a quick squirt of bleach and some running water clears it.

Omaoma57 Wed 07-Feb-18 10:03:48

We had a odd smell in our bedroom....turned out to be a bee nest in the corner of the roof....could not be removed as they are protected but once all gone, hoovered and nest removed the smell disappeared!

DaisyL Wed 07-Feb-18 10:09:34

I live in a very old house and have had all sorts of dead creatures dying (and giving off terrible smells) rats, mice, and birds all squeeze themselves into cracks under floorboards, behind skirting boards or in the attic. I think they get driven into a nice warm house by the cold. Sounds awful but if you can't find them the smell disappears after a while. We had something in the spare room which smelt terrible, but although we searched and searched we never found anything and eventually the smell went away - presumably when the house falls down they will find several skeletons - hopefully only of rodents or birds.

TillyWhiz Wed 07-Feb-18 10:12:06

Oh I know it so well - that smell is mouse urine mixing with the fibreglass loft insulation! We did try a pest control but that smell was even worse. Our cure seemed to be to double the amount of loft insulation.

NannyTee Wed 07-Feb-18 10:13:15

Yes mice definitely smell of gas . My friend couldn't find the blighter until she pulled out her fridge freezer . It was in the grill at the back.

PenJK50 Wed 07-Feb-18 10:54:13

Can I point out a little known fact about the loss of a sense of smell (rhetorical question)! I lost mine some years ago but wasn’t concerned as my father had no sense of smell either during his later years. I subsequently went to the Doctor with various odd motor symptoms which were then diagnosed by a Neurologist as Parkinson’s! I then discovered on investigation that almost all Parkinson’s patients have no longer got a sense of smell and it is one of the earliest signs. If more GP’s and indeed laymen were aware of this fact maybe more people could receive earlier diagnosis of PD and thus earlier medication. It is bliss not to be able to smell nappies but sad not to smell roses, jasmine etc.

GoldenAge Wed 07-Feb-18 10:56:38

A dead animal - mouse, rat, bird - in your cavity wall or in the loft will be the cause - the coming and going of the smell is indicative of different stages of decay and the effect of changes in temperature in the cavity wall/loft and the possible intrusion of air through cracks etc.

Snowedunder Wed 07-Feb-18 11:00:00

One time we had terrible smell in a bedroom which came and went. It was a hot rotten fishy smell. Turned out that the plastic light fitting was being singed by the heat coming from the lightbulb. So the smell was only there when the light was switched on for a few minutes. I went to a friends house one day and she had the same smell. She was really impressed when I sorted the problem immediately!!!

Greyduster Wed 07-Feb-18 11:16:21

We had that same slightly fishy smell in our small front bedroom and my immediate reaction was to call in an electrician who checked everything out and declared it safe. We had bees in our loft at the same time and I called a local beekeeper who said that bees nests do create a smell and like omaoma once the bees had gone and nest removed, the smell disappeared. Wish I had known that before I paid forty quid out to the electrician!

knspol Wed 07-Feb-18 11:35:42

We had dreadful smell in living room last year, turned out mice in the outside wall. pest control got rid of a couple of mice once they found where they were coming in but no way to get rid of ones in wall, short of tearing down whole wall. Had to wait for them to die, smell didn't totally disappear for at least 6 mths. Also occasionally have smell in laundry room but running water in anex for a while clear this altogether.

pamdixon Wed 07-Feb-18 11:53:10

possibly dead rat? They smell really evil (only way of describing it!!). I've had one in my basement area a couple of times, and the smell permeates the whole house if you know what I mean! I found some wonderful stuff on the internet (can't remember what its called) but if you google how to get rid of dead rodent smells you will get a couple of websites. The stuff I used was a sort of jelly which you leave, in its container, in the room where the smell is, and it absorbs the smell. No idea how it works, but I can guarantee it does! If I find out the name I'll let you know. Good luck. Odour control sprays do not work if its a dead rat.

whitewave Wed 07-Feb-18 11:55:17

We had a poor little thing that got into the bird seed bin and couldn’t get out and I just never saw him to rescue him as usual.

Yes I found him by smell.

grandtanteJE65 Wed 07-Feb-18 12:31:08

I agree this sounds like a dead rat or mouse and finding and removing the rotting corpse (horrible, disgusting task) is the first step to getting rid of the stench.

I advise rubber gloves and a scarf over your mouth and nose once you have found the creature's remains, newspaper to wrap it up in, and a garden fork or trowel if you have to scoop it up.

To get rid of the lingering stench, wash the floor or carpet where you found the remains ´well in hot soapy water and disinfectant. Put a bowl of vinegar in the room and a saucer of bicarbonate of soda (baking powder) as both these absorb smells.

If it isn't a dead rodent, I hope your plumber knows what it is.

wildswan16 Wed 07-Feb-18 13:05:11

As you say the smell comes and goes I'm not sure it would be a dead "thing". Surely that would be constant. Hope you find the source and it is an easy fix.

TillyWhiz Wed 07-Feb-18 14:35:52

The smell coming and going is the clue to the chemical reaction between the mouse urine and the fibreglass as explained by the pest control officer who came to us. Yes there were corpses but they had disintegrated. I likened it to having a dead horse in the cavity - we sniffed the loft, had air bricks out, lifted the floorboards, the smell seemed to hang in midair in the room. It happened each winter just before Christmas and finally disappeared as spring approached. We had to move out of our bedroom once as the smell was so bad. Speak to a council pest control officer, they should be able to advise you. We had carbon beads in the cavity and doubled the loft insulation when there was a grant available to do so and it went, sheer joy!

Lindylou23 Wed 07-Feb-18 15:21:47

We had a strange smell that was not always there, turned out it was next door neighbours growing cannabis! !!

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