What do I do about this raccoon smell?
May 30, 2014 12:55 PM   Subscribe

Today, the property manager and animal control removed a raccoon from a wall in the house I'm renting. I have questions about the smell, and the health of the rightful human and cat occupants of the house.

Yesterday, the property manager, on the advice of animal control, cut open a hole in the wall of our hall closet and set a trap to catch the raccoon that had taken up residence inside the wall. The raccoon, now known as "Wally", was successfully caught in the night, but before animal control took away the critter, it relieved itself on the closet floor.

The property manager cleaned up the wood floor (the closet floor, and the path by which the raccoon was carried out of the house) and wiped it down with Lysol. After the property manager left, I was still sort of unnerved by it (I was warned that raccoon feces contains all kinds of parasites), so I cleaned it all again with Lysol (wearing gloves, as recommended by animal control).

I still have some nagging questions:
  1. Theres still a pretty strong smell in the closet. What can I do to get rid of it? Its bugging our cat; she tried sniffing and rolling on the floor in front of the closet and I'd like to remove whatever incentive she has to hang around that closet.
  2. After the cleaning I've already done, should I still be concerned about us or the cat? From the time we knew about Wally until after the second cleaning was done, we kept the cat in a bedroom away from all the excitement. She's up-to-date on her vaccinations.
Presumably theres also a mess in the attic/walls that ought to be cleaned up, but I am not at all confident that the property manager will actually do anything about it. Our lease ends in August and we're going to move, so I just need help to make this situation tolerable from now until then.
posted by ddbeck to Home & Garden (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Sounds like Nature's Miracle would be indicated here. It's an enzymatic cleaner, which is different, and more effective on protein smells than disinfectants. I get it at PetSmart.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 12:57 PM on May 30, 2014 [5 favorites]

Ah yes, the delightful Jolie Kerr recommends enzyme-based cleaners for "protein"-based stains/smells. Nature's Miracle is designed for animal messes. OxiClean is also enzyme-based and Jolie is a huge fan but I haven't used it much.
posted by radioamy at 2:00 PM on May 30, 2014

I think the smell will quickly dissipate. Give it a week and fresh air.
posted by nogero at 7:00 PM on May 30, 2014

Worst case scenario:

Dawn Dish liquid + baking soda to toothpaste consistency, thin with hydrogen peroxide to soup. Takes care of smells and residual oils. Great for cleaning walls and dogs sprayed by skunks.
posted by Nanukthedog at 10:31 PM on May 30, 2014

If the hole is still in the wall (I'm guessing not), I'd be tempted to dump some powdered lime in there to try and neutralize anything that remained behind.

N'thing Natures Miracle for another cleaning of the floor.

Maybe some activated charcoal placed in the closet will help with the lingering aroma.

Cute kitty!
posted by PlantGoddess at 4:57 AM on May 31, 2014

Response by poster: As suggested, I bought some Nature's Miracle and gave it a try. It substantially reduced the smell. Thanks to all of you for the suggestions.

If the hole is still in the wall (I'm guessing not), I'd be tempted to dump some powdered lime in there to try and neutralize anything that remained behind.

The property manager already closed the hole, but I might attempt this when he returns to deal with the one or more offspring I heard stomping around in the attic last night.
posted by ddbeck at 2:04 PM on May 31, 2014 [1 favorite]

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