SEATTLE — The project to replace the Seattle Alaskan Way Viaduct with a tunnel will also stir rats and cockroaches, who will move to new locations to look for food, according to Sprague Pest Solutions.
The company sent out a press release advising those who own a business or work near the Highway 99 Viaduct to prepare themselves for an influx of rodents and cockroaches. The Seattle waterfront is no stranger to these nasty pests and as the Highway 99 tunnel project gains steam, this massive undertaking is forcing pests to find new places to hide, feed, and unleash their damaging and public health behavior.
Sprague Pest Solutions is encouraging business owners in the "pest impact zone" (For specific zone locations visit www.spraguepest.com/seattletunnel) and surrounding downtown areas to review their property's pest defense plan to guard against Norway and roof rat, mice, and American cockroach infestations.
The potential harm these pests present include contaminating and spoiling food supplies, transmission of disease and bacteria, and structural damage to buildings and electrical wiring.
"Anytime a major construction project, like the Highway 99 tunnel, gets going pests are going to have their harborage areas disturbed and will seek new sources for food and shelter," says Jeff Weier, Sprague's long-time technical director and board certified entomologist. "The best defense in these cases is prevention. Having the proper exclusion work done now will save you time, money, hassles and potentially major pest problems down the road."
Seattle has experienced similar large surges in rodent and pest activity during the demolition of buildings to make way for the construction of the Columbia Center, the Seattle Bus Tunnel project of the late 1980s and the demolition of the Kingdome.
Sprague Pest Solutions is adopting a novel approach to spread the word to local businesses by employing a bike billboard campaign. The campaign will kick off on September 13 with bike messengers, working in groups of three, towing A-frame signs through downtown and the Seattle waterfront to raise awareness to the situation.
The signs will feature a customized ad campaign using catch phrases such as "Save Your Building! Ratpocalypse is coming!"; "Sven the Rat is coming to your neighborhood!!" and "Prevent the destruction – Call Sprague."
The two-wheel marketers will also hand out information cards encouraging business owners and residents to follow Sprague's resident rodent expert, Sven the Rat, on Twitter @Ratpocalypse, and to act early to prevent rodent and pest infestations. The bike billboard campaign will run through the end of September.