Sometimes we'll get a call from a customer who is getting a bad smell coming from his/her dryer. Usually when this happens it turns out to be an animal that has crawled into the vent and died or a bird's nest. Of course this is not overly pleasant but it does need to be dealt with. However, we had a particularly unusual case the other day.
We were called to this customer's house because they were selling and the inspection flagged dirty dryer vent so they had to have it done per buyer's request. The house was in a very nice area and I'm guessing was sold for close to a million dollars or more. The vent was EXTREMELY dirty even though it was only 14 feet straight up vertically through the roof with no turns, however as we began to set up the customer told me they had smelled a bad odor coming from the dryer a few months back but it eventually went away. Of course an animal will eventually dry out and no longer smell but the carcass will still be there, but we hadn't seen anything quite like this yet. After pulling out the dryer and disconnected the hose we were fairly impressed by the amount of lint built up in the hose itself (when this happens it means the duct itself has backed up so badly that it is beginning to back up into the hose and eventually the dryer which is how fires start!!!). As we started to clear the lint out of the hose we found two dried out mice! We continued to clean out the exhaust pipe of the dryer which extends roughly 2 feet into the dryer and there at the end of the hose inside the dryer was a third mouse. Upon finishing the cleaning we informed the customer of the mouse and they were absolutely mortified!
If you have a foul odor coming from your dryer vent you need to get it cleaned out ASAP! What you think may be in the vent might actually be inside your dryer!