if this isn't the smell of death, i don't know what is. we had a wee rodent problem a couple of weeks ago (squirrels--and they're not the cute fluffy ones we had in texas, either--these are feral desert squirrels that will totally cut you if given the chance) and we put some bait out for them, which has obviously worked. however, instead of expiring outside like a good guest, they decided to die somewhere in the 5-inch space between our roof and our ceiling. and i absolutely cannot find them. i thought they were in the air duct system, but from what i can see they aren't there. then i thought i might get lucky and they'd be on the roof, but no. they are totally somewhere in my house. the walls are adobe so i know they aren't in there--the herringbone wood ceiling is the only place they could be.
of course the main locus of the smell is right over my bed, which would also be right next to the place where i keep all my clothes. i'm not sure any of us can survive this smell--we may truly have to rent a hotel room. i have burned enough incense to make a hippie's eyeballs burn and have lit scented candles, but nothing is working. if anyone has any suggestions about what to do, please, please, please add it in the comments!
the exterminator came yesterday and things are just a giant freakin' mess up there. apparently, squirrels have been living in that space for DECADES and have destroyed parts of the ceiling and the roof (rich and i had convinced ourselves that it was old water damage; it wasn't). there was one specific 4 inch vent that they are coming in and out of; there were 17 locations in all that they were coming through. and the poor exterminator literally almost got sick when he opened the vent--and that's impressive, because--and i don't think i'm impugning exterminators at all by saying this--it is hard to gross-out an exterminator. he even took pictures of it with his phone.
so, to recap: the smell is beyond unbearable; all kinds of poison has been put up there; all the vents and entryways have now been sealed; and we just stay gone as much as humanly possible. yuuuuuuuccccck.