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Help! There's a dead body in my house!

  1. Hollie Thomas profile image59
    Hollie Thomasposted 5 years ago

    Not sure if this is the right place to post this thread, I'm useless with categories. However, yesterday morning when I got out of bed and went into the lounge I noticed three, really big flies. They weren't like the usual house fly, they were more like blue bottles but not blue bottles. Thought nothing of it as I'd left the window slightly ajar and thought they'd probably come in through the window.Went upstairs, continued to work until 6Pm and then went downstairs to make dinner. When I walked into the kitchen there were dozens of huge flies at the top of my kitchen window, and I mean dozens! I ran to the shop and bought some fly killer, blitz them all, removed them and cleaned the kitchen.They'd been everywhere, all over my fruit, string of garlic in the kitchen,worktops etc.

    We've had a crap (none existent summer here in the UK) but yesterday was warmer, so thought that it might be due to the rise in temperature. Closed all my windows and went to bed. This morning dozens of flies in my kitchen, again! Looked it up on the internet and discovered that quite often, blow flies will invade your property if you have a dead animal between your walls. Then, of course, I remembered that a few weeks ago I heard a bird at the back of my chimney breast, it suddenly went quiet, so I thought it had got out. It appears not, and short of knocking my chimney breast down to get to the dead body there ain't much I can do, but keep killing the flies ( who apparently carry dysentery) and waiting until they can't lay eggs on the flesh of the dead animal. Has this ever happened to any of you? How did you deal with it? How long does it take for the body of a bird to completely decompose? I feel sick!

  2. Cagsil profile image60
    Cagsilposted 5 years ago

    Can't you hire someone to clean it out?

    1. Hollie Thomas profile image59
      Hollie Thomasposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      Tried. Spoke to a pest control company today who said that I'd need to knock my chimney breast down to remove the dead animal. Spoke to a second company who said the same. Apparently, they can spray all manner of chemicals if they can get to the source, but short of that, it's a waste of time. Looked on the internet and found that a number of people have been in this situation and you just have to wait it out (unless of course you have lots of money to pay builders to knock down your chimney breast and then rebuild it, I haven't) But now I''m thinking it's possible that cockroaches and all manner of infestations could take over. Again, I feel sick.

      1. IzzyM profile image88
        IzzyMposted 5 years agoin reply to this

        Nah, cockroaches won't get in unless you have leaky plumbing or something. I would seal up the chimney breast as best you can, or wherever they are accessing your home, so that the flies have to go up and out your chimney.

        You might also want to consider buying some of these plug-in insecticides that will take care of any that get through.

        You're in England, I take it? Where the summer weather has finally arrived! Here in Scotland it is still raining and cold.

        The warm weather will help their eggs hatch quicker, which is good in a way as the 'infestation' will be over quicker too. Once you have killed them all off, and the corpse has rotted/been eaten, there will an end to it smile

        1. Hollie Thomas profile image59
          Hollie Thomasposted 5 years agoin reply to this

          You've made me feel better, Izzy. I was seriously getting worried about the prospect of roaches. It has been warmer here in dreary old Manchester the last couple of days. There were just a few dead flies when I got up this morning, which is much better than the day before (honestly, there were around 50 or so, I couldn't believe what I was seeing) The thing is, and I know this sounds pretty sad, I bought a food processor on Tuesday and I've been dying to use it (I really must get a life) But I don't even want to cook in there now. I've even been dreaming about the damn things. sad

  3. Cagsil profile image60
    Cagsilposted 5 years ago

    That sucks. sad

    I could say more about it, but then this thread would have to be moved to another category, like politics. hmm

    1. Hollie Thomas profile image59
      Hollie Thomasposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      Yes, does sound a little bit like the parasites that have taken over the world. sad

  4. recommend1 profile image71
    recommend1posted 5 years ago

    Surely it is unlikely to be between the walls - more likely to be in the chimney ?  maybe you could sweep it out ?

    When I saw this thread I thought it was about loveless marriage !  big_smile

    1. Hollie Thomas profile image59
      Hollie Thomasposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      Well, yeah, but if it's in my chimney it's between the walls. big_smile Loveless marriage, good one, I wanted to draw attention to my plight (not being melodramatic at all big_smile) but hadn't considered the loveless marriage angle. More, "well, she's a lefty, bound to be psychotic and she's also ungodly" Seriously though, are there still chimney sweeps in Manchester? We're a smoke free zone, unless of course you live in Chorlton or Didsbury. They're all quite bohemian.

      1. recommend1 profile image71
        recommend1posted 5 years agoin reply to this

        I would change immediately to the right wing then you can get one of those tiny, malnourished, orphan boys to climb up there and get it out for you.

        It would be my guess that your chimney is lined with a thin steel tube and the bird has got between it and the brickwork.  Any semi-competent builder should be able to break out the grouting and open the bottom end - and reseal it, and also get up on your roof and redo the pointing around the top end to stop the rest of the local bird population following it in

        1. Hollie Thomas profile image59
          Hollie Thomasposted 5 years agoin reply to this

          Hadn't considered hiring a small, starving boy. Suppose it would save me a few quid though. You're right about a builder, to be honest, I just thought of pest control. All those huge flies really freaked me out, it was disgusting. But now the dilemma of trying to find a builder that isn't going to try to rip me off. Am I cynical? Just read my last sentence.

          1. recommend1 profile image71
            recommend1posted 5 years agoin reply to this

            Marisa has got it - but I would risk death by asphyxiation and light the fire every two days for a couple of hours to cook the damn thing and its entourage, and the little boy if you can get him up there but not get him out either.

            There is a precedent for this, I employed a builder in Kent put up an extension whose normal job was converting big houses to flats etc.  When they were demolishing the massive chimney works they found the mummified remains of a man complete with his bag of breaking and entering tools who appeared to be from the late 1800's and had come down the main chimney which was complete with climbing handles etc, but had gone down into a closed off section  and could not get out again.  -   How big is your chimney ?

            1. Hollie Thomas profile image59
              Hollie Thomasposted 5 years agoin reply to this

              I can honestly say that I have never given the dimensions of my chimney a second thought. As for a man in my chimney, possible. Definitely not (one) of my ex-husbands though, they would never DARE to be rude enough and die on my property.

      2. Marisa Wright profile image98
        Marisa Wrightposted 5 years agoin reply to this

        I remember this happening in our house years ago.  We had to get the gas man in to disconnect the gas heater, then the chimney sweep came in with his infernal noisy machine, shoved his brush up the chimney and it was all fixed.  I'm assuming the chimney is attached to a built-in heater, not an open fire, or otherwise you'd have done something similar by now?

        The only thing you need to worry about are the flies, because the other things which feed on dead bodies are small parasites which are not interested in anything else in the house, so they'll stay with the dead body and die off when the food runs out.  And the flies will only last a few days.

        If it's a gas fire, bear in mind the bird may be blocking up the flue and causing dangerous fumes to enter your home - so don't use it until the flies have all gone!   

        The other thing to do, as recommend1 says, is identify where the bird came in, and seal it so this doesn't happen again.  If the top of the chimney is open, you can put mesh over it (which lets the fumes out but stops anything falling in).

        1. Hollie Thomas profile image59
          Hollie Thomasposted 5 years agoin reply to this

          The flue, I think that's the correct term, was plastered over and I just have an electric fire which is never used anyway. But it is the flies and other parasites, potentially, which are bothering me. I honestly thought that the bird had escaped. It's quite sickening to think that it's died in there and I wouldn't want that to happen again. So yes, I'll definitely have the chimney sealed as it is not a functioning chimney anyway.

  5. Marcy Goodfleisch profile image97
    Marcy Goodfleischposted 5 years ago

    When I was a kid, we had a dead something-or-another stuck in the walls of our very old farm house - it created a wretched smell for a while and gave us the creeps.  No flies, though, because they couldn't get in the house, I guess. Can you block the area where the chimney enters the house (fireplace opening?) - maybe seal it with plastic temporarily?   Chimney sweeps can indeed clean things out - and people still train to do that service. It might be worth it, especially if there's a build-up of soot or gunk that blocked the exit for a bird or something.  Sorry you're dealing with that!

    1. Hollie Thomas profile image59
      Hollie Thomasposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      What was the cavity was plastered over some years ago. From what I've been reading, the flies don't come from outside (don't know how true this is) but the larvae are produced from the corpse. There's a tiny gap between the skirting board and the wall and my guess is that's how they're entering my lounge and kitchen. Having said that, I've been running around the house with fly spray like a woman possessed. I've squirted the  gap between the skirting board and the wall. I just want them gone, but I'm worried about cockroaches now.

  6. Mighty Mom profile image84
    Mighty Momposted 5 years ago


    Sounds like a Chim-chim-cheree kinda problem, Hollie
    (not to make light of your plight -- just trying to be diverting)


  7. jacharless profile image80
    jacharlessposted 5 years ago

    Odd you mention this.
    I worked at a restored 15th century English Inn, shipped directly to Muir Woods.
    Seven rooms, gorgeous landscape! Snug, parsons seat, shanty, the works.

    We had the same issue with these flies, who -we were told by extermination- detested eucalyptus which grows naturally (t)here. Long story short, we were finally advised by the park officials to burn the fireplace as hot as possible to dry out the animal that had wedge itself in there. It smelled to high heaven for two days, as it was summer {although summer in SF Bay is 4 overnight and 22 during the day}. It worked. The giant flies departed and the kitchen crew stopped sweating, for a while.


  8. Hollie Thomas profile image59
    Hollie Thomasposted 5 years ago

    MM, the image made me giggle. smile


    I like the sound of using Eucalyptus, fly spray smells horrible. I haven't got an open fire so it's looking like a chimney sweep is going to be the answer. When I went downstairs this morning there were about five or six dead flies (compared to around 50 the day before), so I reckon they're dying off now. I even dreamt about the bloody things last night.