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What Would Cause Scampering Noises in the Ceiling of a Basement?

Angela Castillo

Basements are usually dark, quiet areas that homeowners only enter occasionally. Pests are attracted to basements for these reasons. They also like the boxes and storage bins to hide in and build nests.

A raccoon could be the source of mysterious scampering noises heard in the basement.

If you have been hearing scampering noises in the ceiling of your basement, there are many animals that could be the source of the sound. All of these creatures are found in the lower 48 states of the United States.

Mice and Rats

Mice and rats are a common cause of noise in ceilings and walls because they are constantly chewing to make new tunnels and nests. They are also very territorial. Males will constantly fight for dominance and territory. According to Mice or Mouse Pest Control website, the more food in the area, the less territorial a mouse will be. Snap traps are effective ways to curb a mouse or rat infestation. If mice are not dealt with quickly, they can become a huge problem. A female mouse can produce up to 75 young in her one-year lifespan.


Squirrels normally live outside, but when given an opportunity to build a nest in a cozy, heated home, they will take it. They can cause thousands of dollars in damage to insulation, wiring, interior walls and pipe damage. Commercial traps are available to capture squirrels alive and in a humane way. According to the Pest Exterminate Now website, peanut butter works well as a bait. Thick gloves and a face mask should always be worn to relocate squirrels. In most cases, it is best to call in a licensed squirrel trapper to help relocate a squirrel.


If the scampering noises are extremely loud, and you have noticed that pet food is being stolen or your trash cans are being invaded, then you could be dealing with raccoons. They not only make a mess and bring an unpleasant odor with them, they can also be carriers of rabies. The best way to remove these animals is to call a professional. According to the Wildlife Removal website, you must have a license in most states to trap raccoons, even you are using a live trap. Always check to make sure there are not babies somewhere in the ceiling; not only is it inhumane to leave them to die, but when they are deceased, they will create a terrible smell in your basement.

Feral Cats

House cats that have been abandoned or have grown up feral often choose interior walls or ceilings to reside during colder months or when they have kittens. They are often territorial and will fight with house pets and steal food. They are normally impossible to tame and can be dangerous, even when very young. Your local animal control may be able to provide you with live traps you can set for these cats. The office will then send a officer to collect the cats once you have trapped them.