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Okay! This is the important step - find out how they are getting into the basement! There are two major rat species: the Norway Rat, which is more common in basements, and the Roof Rat, which is more common in attics.
First, inspect the whole house, even the roof! Rats can get in at any place, and then climb down the walls and into the basement. Check ground level vents, such as seen below, and also, all areas where pipes lead into/out of homes, to see if there are gaps that rats can use to enter. Check it all. A knowledge of rat behavior helps, and experience definitely counts for a lot, so if you need help, click on this map of Professional Rat Removal Companies serving every town/city in the USA.
Roof rats in basement - Just because a rat is called a ‘roof rat’ does not mean it has to look for areas in the roof to get into a home. Roof rats are also known as black rats and they are exceptional climbers. Black rats will enter a home at any level if there is an opening. To get rid of roof rats in the basement, you need to find the hole they came in from and seal it shut. Any holes left open will prevent your rat control methods from working. Rats give off pheromones that attract other rats. Even a dead rat will draw others of its kind in to the immediate area. Before you can trap and remove the rats in the basement, you need to close you home off to more invaders. Rats are commensurable animals meaning they live in close proximity to humans because that is how they find shelter and food. For this reason, and the nuisance implications, rats are best trapped with lethal traps rather than live traps. Lethal traps for rats can be anything from glue traps to electrocution traps to snap traps. Depending on your budget and curiosity level, you can try all three. The most effective trap is still the snap trap. Snap traps are easy to bait and do not alarm the rats with suspicious box-like containers. When set properly and in areas of high rat traffic, snap traps will take care of your rodent problem before it requires professional intervention.
Rodents in the basement - Most people with basements that develop rodent issues do not use their basements for much beyond storage. This inattentiveness to the base of your home can be the direct cause of any rodent issue you are currently experiencing. Rats and mice that enter a home’s basement usually enter the home at the ground level. This means that somewhere there is a hole that had been overlooked and needs repair. If you do not take the time to find this hole and any others that may be allowing animals access, you will never be able to resolve the rodent problem. Fixing up your home’s exterior is the first, important step in the rodent project. The next step will be actual animal removal. This is not a step you have to do on your own, but it is a step that can be done on your own. Rat or mouse removal will mean lethal trapping. Snap traps are the most reliable traps on the market and also the most cost effective. Snap traps should be baited with peanut butter or another sticky food and then set around the areas where you have noticed feces or urine.
How to trap a rat - you're going to have to trap a few as well, so you need to read this too.
How to get rid of rats - just another general guide with lots of information.
How to kill a rat - another guide, helping to humanely solve the problem.
How to get rid of rats in the basement - the same way as in the attic or any other part of the home. Find the openings, seal them shut, trap and remove the rats.