How to Get Rid of a Dead Animal Smell Under a Deck

Dying skunks, raccoons, opossums, rodents and small domestic pets often seek refuge beneath an outdoor deck when hurt or dying. The darkness provided by such a location provides the ailing creature with a feeling of comfort. The animal often passes away unbeknown to the homeowner until the telltale smell of decomposition begins. During hot, humid weather, the decay rate of a carcass often becomes more accelerated. You will need to seek out the source of the odor, remove it and deodorize the area to remove the offensive aroma.

Things You'll Need

  • Gloves

  • Protective clothing

  • Eye protection

  • Plastic bag

  • Rake or shovel

  • Hose

  • Commercial odor neutralizer

Step 1

Dress in protective clothing such as long pants and a long-sleeved shirt. Wear gloves and eye protection.

Step 2

Crawl under the deck. Locate the dead animal. Scoop it into a plastic bag using gloved hands, a rake or shovel. Tie the bag closed. Dispose of the animal's carcass appropriately.

Step 3

Hose off the area under the deck using water. Thoroughly saturate the area to rinse away body fluids, flies and other pieces of decay.

Step 4

Spray a commercial odor neutralizer onto the area where the dead animal lay. Follow the directions on the odor eliminator when applying. Consider using an odor neutralizer that contains citrus to add a pleasant scent to the area.


Have the dead animal's carcass professionally removed if you believe the animal may have died from rabies or another zoonotic disease.

References & Resources