Why Pests Love Maine Basements

April 04, 2024

Many Maine homeowners have yet to realize the full potential of their basements. In the past, basements were mainly used for doing laundry, housing the wood stove and/or furnace, storing furniture and belongings, and other similar functions. However, times have changed, and basements have become much more versatile, serving as entertainment spaces, home gyms, man-caves, and even in-law apartments. This means that they now offer much more value than they used to. Unfortunately, some basements tend to be damp, creating an environment that not only attracts pests but also allows them to thrive. In this blog post, we'll be discussing why pests love basements, identifying the pests that love such environments, and sharing practical tips to prevent infestations.


wet basement in maine

Why pests love basements 

Pests are opportunistic, meaning they’ll take advantage of any opening they can find to sneak inside. Cracks in the basement walls or foundation floor, openings around ground level-level windows, and gaps around bulkheads are common basement entry points insects and rodents use to infiltrate. 

Insects and rodents, like us, require moisture to survive. While humans can easily access water through faucets, pests must search for it. Basements tend to produce a lot of moisture and generate more humidity, making them a likely target for infestations. In Maine homes, most basements have at least one drain in the floor. Unfortunately, if the drain gets clogged or cannot keep up with excessive rainfall, water will accumulate. Additionally, high water tables can cause water to seep through basement walls, contributing to moisture problems.

Water is necessary for their survival, but so isn’t food, and the easier it is to come by, the better. For example, spiders feed on other insects that inhabit basements, as do cockroaches. Of course, pests don’t always stay put and may roam the house looking for food. Mice are excellent proof of this. They may nest in the basement but often make trips to the kitchen to pilfer food.

Another reason pests love basements is because of the darkness and shelter it provides. Basements, and especially unfinished basements, offer insects and rodents shelter from inclement weather and a safe place to nest and reproduce. What’s more, since basements don’t have the same amount of foot traffic as other rooms and they’re dark, pests feel more comfortable moving around. 

Types of pests found in Maine basements


Rats and mice are commonly found in damp basements, attracted by easy access to food and nesting materials. They can cause structural damage by gnawing on wires, insulation, and wooden beams.


Cockroaches, centipedes, millipedes, silverfish, spiders, and carpenter ants are among the many insect pests that infest basements in our region.  They thrive in humid environments and can quickly multiply, cause damage to property, and even introduce health risks. Others are simply nuisance pests but will attract pests that eat them. 

How to prevent pests from taking over your basement

To make your basement less appealing to insects and rodents, we recommend the following prevention tips:

  • Repair leaky pipes
  • Address drainage issues
  • Improve ventilation
  • Replace water-damaged or rotting wood
  • Run dehumidifiers to reduce humidity level
  • Seal entry points
  • Regularly clean and declutter basement
  • Remove cardboard boxes and debris 
  • Move wood pile outdoors
  • Make sure pests cannot crawl up through drains

What to do if you find pests in your basement

If your basement has been taken over by insects and/or rodents, contact Pine State Pest Solutions for help. Our locally owned and operated pest control company has been exterminating pests from Maine homes since 2011 and knows exactly what to do to solve pest problems in basements. 

We provide year-round home pest control services in Norway, Yarmouth, and Cumberland, as well as throughout our multi-county service area. Our ongoing services include accurate pest identification, regular pest treatments, and more to keep your home free from pests. 

Check out our residential plans and pricing below, or feel free to contact us if you have discovered pests taking advantage of your basement's amenities!

*initial start-up fees may apply.

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