Job described as 'Change washing machine connection'; arrived at the customer's address, a converted church hall; customer took me through a labrynth to reach his laundry room, on the way describing how his cleaner thought rats had chewed through the outlet duct from the tumble drier. As we neared the laundry room the smell started to hit us - seemed like an animal smell, and very strong.
In the laundry room, the tumble drier was stacked on a washing machine and the extract duct - a flexible plastic pipe - led through a couple of partitions then along a one of three shelves about 3 metres long. The shelves were stacked mainly with laundered towels and sheets, all in plastic bags. On the duct shelf some of these packages showed signs of rat droppings and damage caused by rats chewing them.
The customer said that he wanted the duct replaced with a metal one, and the area cleared out.So I started moving the laundry packages off the shelves and separating them into undamaged and damaged piles. Then - yuch, I found the body! A large rat, well decomposed, with maggots crawling over it, laying on the severely damaged duct under laundry packages.
It had obviously been living in the area (I later found the nest in the wall cavity where the duct led outside) and had died from the poison put down by the customer. The rat's body joined the pile of damaged (and badly contaminated) laundry in a couple of rubbish bags which ended up in the bins outside. The customer's vacuum cleaner then had a work out cleaning the remaining debris from the shelves, wall cavity and floor, before a new aluminium duct could be installed.
End result - cleaned out laundry area; new rat-proof duct but...still a very strong smell! I wonder how long it will take to disperse?