The Dead Thing Saga Continues and Ends

I haven’t been very good about updating on the Dead Thing saga, but by the end of this post you will be fully informed.  Sadly this may be the last post on the subject because the Dead Thing was finally found! Two days ago as a matter of fact thanks to an invasion of flies and a VERY brave critter control specialist. But I am jumping ahead of myself.

My first account of the “the smell” confirmed there was something dead somewhere in the recesses of the crawl space under my place of work. The first critter controller was unable to find the body. However, during that initial search we discovered a significant hole in the back wall from which the smell was traveling into our office. That led to my next assignment: find a contractor to seal up the hole. Within two days the contractor arrived armed with spray foam and…moth balls! Not knowing the full effect of moth balls he explained to me that since there was a critter problem they would put the moth balls in the hole prior to sealing it up. Apparently critters do not like moth balls. Neither do humans. An hour after the contractor left, my boss was asking me to get him back now to get the moth balls out! It was worse than the smell we had been dealing with for a week. The strong toxic smell of moth balls times 100 because an entire box had been emptied into the wall +  a slightly less-powering smell of rotting animal (we hoped that’s what it was) = NOT a good combination!

It took a couple more days for the contractor to fit us in. He removed the foam, took as many moth balls out as possible and sealed the hole back up with foam. In case anyone ever asks you “as many moth balls as possible” is never enough. Even if you remove every single last one of them it can still take weeks for the smell to dissipate. And since he didn’t remove every last one of them the smell was only slightly less-overwhelming, leading to my next assignment: get the contractor back again to tear the wall out if he has to and get every single last ball out of the wall!

The next time the contractor came out (we are at week 3 now) it was with his boss. It was determined that the wall would have to be dismantled from the outside to remove the last remaining moth balls, and on the third try they got ALL the moth balls. So everything was right in the world again, right? Of course not! That would not make a very interesting story now would it?

Over the next week, the moth ball smell lessened and the death smell lingered and moved. Eventually it went away altogether. Instead of going out quietly (because how cool would that be?), it left in its place an invasion of the biggest, blackest flies I have ever seen. At first we noticed 6 – 8 of them in the windows. My boss and co-worker took up the challenge (a little too eagerly if you ask me) of ridding the office of these offensively buzzing creatures the old fashion way, rolled up newspaper style, and they were successful…until the next day. The flies had multiplied over night. There were now at least 12 – 14 flies in the building! After some more effective swatting, I suggested getting a fly catcher (you know, one of those strips that hang from the ceiling in almost every corner store I’ve ever been in).

I have a new appreciation for those fly strips. They really work! The only trick is trying to open them and hang them without getting stuck yourself. If only their were a hidden camera for all the mess ups I had.  However, for every one I put up I caught at least 15 – 20 flies,  sometimes more. This lasted at least week before…

enter Brave Critter Control guy!

When he saw the issue, he went on a search for the source of the flies. He climbed into the attic (without a ladder I might add). He just shimmed his way up there. Then he moved to the crawl space. When he finally emerged about 30 minutes later, he asked for a trash bag because he had found the dead thing! While in it’s current position it was unidentifiable he was able to confirm that it was indeed an animal and not a human. Phew! It wasn’t until he pulled it out that he discovered it was an opossum that has been dead for about – you guessed it – 2 months! This was not his first trip to the abyss so how did he finally find it?  The trail of really big, really black flies led him straight to it. He also discovered how they were entering into the office and  stopped it up for us. Since then there have been no new fly sightings!

So that is the end of this saga. Just thought you might want to know.