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Question DetailsAsked on 12/13/2015

Musky honey smell, sweet & very unpleasant.

My guest bathroom has an awful sweet smell. It started as a faint, barely noticeable odor soon after a dead raccoon was removed from our crawl space - the bathroom is just above that spot where the dead animal was. I hoped that the odor will be gone as time passes, but in contrary it became stronger and stronger. It's been almost 6 months since it appeared. I wonder if the smell even related to the animal death at all. What can it be? What should I do? The odor is really strong no matter what part of the day it is or either it is hot or cold outside. Having the bathroom door shut keeps most of the smell from going around the whole house. However, I think I am starting to notice it in another room. Please help!

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Another similar issue question with response and some links to similar questions here - some of this link may not apply to you, but similar smell and issues -

Could there be another dead raccoon in there, or a nest that had babies that starved - or maybe a diseased adult so died a bit later, maybe crawled up in the subfloor under the tub or shower (they commonly do that to die, and sometimes when alive and get stuck and die). A large animal like a racoon can smell strongly for several months - human bodies for over a year if in unventilated space, I hate to say from experience. Squirrels and rats and mice for a month or two.

Also - if they were living there - their "bathroom" might have been below your bathroom (they set aside a bathroom space away from the nest) and if ground moisture is getting to it and dampening it, the urine/ xxxx may be getting wet and decomposing, causing a strong odor. Certainly would be much stronger in the crawlspace than in the house if that were the case.

If checking out attic and crawlspace and such does not show an area where smell is much stronger, you might have to open a hole in the ceiling under the bathroom (or through adjacent wall drywall if bottom level) - about 1 inch hole, put vacuum hose over hole and turn on- will pull the air out of space and let you know if extremely strong under there - in which case likely wood rot or leaking sewage, so need to inspect with larger inspection hole or color inspection video camera - or have Plumber or Handyman do it if you cannot.

Pay attention to the issue of drain traps going dry, since you said a guest bathroom - if each fixture (drain) is not used every few months or so, water in the traps (and toilet tank) can go stagnant and stinky - eventually goes dry enough that sewer gases come into the house from the drain lines - generally smells like urine, sewage, or hydrogen sulfide (acidic sulfur smell) but can sometimes be sticky sweet pungent.

One other possibiklity, since you said sweet - could be the raccoons were raiding a nest under there - honey from a bees nest, or a termite or carpenter ant nest - they have a pungent sickly sweet smell to them at times. Pest Control would be the Search the List category for that.

Answered 4 years ago by LCD

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