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Wildlife Damage Control/Animal died under deck


An animal crawled under our deck (which has a screen porch over it)
and died.  I fear it was something large like a raccoon or rabbit since the stench is awful.  The smell has driven us from our back yard.  We have hordes of flies too.  We can't reach the animal since the deck sits approximately six inches from the ground.
We prefer not to rip up the floorboards of the deck, but that may be our only option.  We have tried fans and moth balls, etc.  But, nothing masks the smell of decomposition.  Do you have any ideas for us?
Thank You.

Mothballs are useless and are a suspected carcinogen, so I wouldn't use any more of those.

I guess my question is why the animal died there. Did you secure a hole you shouldn't have? Is there a window well that it became trapped in? While knowing that doesn't help now, it will prevent future problems.

As for the odor, you can read my publication on removing skunk odor. It will have tips on handling odors. Otherwise, you are stuck with using a long pole with a hook and trying to snag the carcass.
Be sure to wear all appropriate safety equipment as you don't want to come in contact with the spooge.

Otherwise, in a few more days as the carcass breaks down, the odor will lower.  

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Stephen M. Vantassel


I can assist the public in responding to all kinds of wildlife related problems in the United States and Canada, including birds, mice, rats, skunks, raccoons, beavers, opossums, voles, moles, chipmunks, woodchucks, pocket gophers, and more. Please note that I specialize in vertebrates only, (animals with a backbone). While learning about insects, other experts should be consulted with insect questions. My passion is wildlife damage identification, for if you don't know what animal is causing the problem, you can't begin to resolve it responsibly. My latest book is the Wildlife Damage Inspection Handbook 3rd edition (2012). It is available at my site or by visiting my various vendors. (A simple internet search on the book's title will bring you to them).


I was a full time animal damage controller for over 5 years and a part-time animal damage controller for over 10. I have been a volunteer for for over 5 years under the Pest Control Category, when they graciously created a new category that better suited my experience (I don't answer bug questions). I was a licensed animal controller in both Massachusetts, Connecticut and Nebraska. I presently run the Internet Center for Wildlife Damage Management for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and

National Wildlife Control Operators Association, Community Integrated Pest Management group at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

I have published multiple books, including The Wildlife Removal Handbook rev. ed. and the Wildlife Damage Inspection Handbook 3rd ed. Additionally, I have written dozens of articles which have appeared in Wildlife Control Technology Magazine, Fur-Fish & Game, The Trapper, The Fur Taker, The Probe, and others. I have co-authored wildlife related publications for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension program and was responsible for revising the handbook designed for the Pest Controllers looking to obtain their category 14 license.

I was a trapper education instructor for the state of Massachusetts, and have attended a variety of conferences and trainings, including but not limited to Vertebrate Pest Conference, Wildlife Damage Management Conference, National Wildlife Control Association national conference, Wildlife Control Technology Conference. I have not only attended these meetings but have also been privileged to have been a speaker. I have received the National Wildlife Control Operators Association Educator of the Year Award in 2008 and 2012.

Awards and Honors
Certified Wildlife Control Operator (2001), Academy Certified Professional (2008), Master NWCOA Instructor (2012)

Past/Present Clients
I have helped thousands of people around the U. S. through my work at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Wildlife Control Consultant. Specific tasks include: Ghost writing, Research, Expert Witness, Writing Training Manuals, Public speaking at Conferences, Workshops, and Trainings

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