Bertha, the massive boring machine that will carve out the Highway 99 tunnel beneath downtown Seattle, set foot on the docks on Saturday, April 6 and is now being reassembled in preparation for its “big dig” duties.

Five stories tall and containing parts that weigh as much as 900 tons, Bertha’s cutter head or “face” was unloaded under rainy skies along with the other 40 pieces of the gigantic machine that will be lowered into the boring put near the stadiums.

Among the interested observers at Bertha’s “coming out of the storage hold” party was Sven, the Twitter blasting Norway rat, who has more than a few issues with the impending digging activities.

Sven and his fellow rodent and pest colleagues that reside in large numbers in and around Seattle’s waterfront are none too pleased that their well-established burrows and harborages will be disturbed and even destroyed as Bertha starts churning away this summer.

Sven recently Tweeted this message regarding Bertha’s arrival, “UN-#welcomebertha you are going to make my house inhospitable! Time to move all my friends and family into downtown.”

The threat of unwanted rodents and pests invading structures in search of quieter surroundings is quite real. The Sprague Pest Experts have seen increased rodent activity along the waterfront since preliminary construction activity commenced last year and what we’ve seen isn’t pretty.

The Seattle waterfront is an incubator for rodent activity since it offers all the things they need to thrive and survive: water, ample food sources and easily accessible shelter. The fact that most of the structures in the area are built atop Seattle’s original underground city with all its subbasements and crumbling foundations and sewer pipes contributes mightily to the abundance of rodent burrows.

Rodents (and pests in general) are opportunists and will take the easiest path inside a structure. The Sprague Pest Experts have been hard at work making the road a little bumpier for rodents in the tunnel digging zone.

Our preventive rodent management programs deny these destructive and disease-carrying pests out of structures by sealing up cracks and openings in building foundations (a mouse can squeeze through a ¼ inch opening to gain access!), installing screens over heating, cooling and exhaust vents, installing door sweeps on loading dock doors, and sealing up openings around utility openings. We have also been setting a fair share of traps and bait stations to knock the sizable rodent population down to size.

Building owners and property managers who are concerned about rodents and other pests seeking shelter in their restaurant kitchen or storage room, need to take a pro-active approach. The Sprague Pest Experts have the tools and tactics to prevent rodents and pests from causing you unnecessary headaches as the tunnel project gets into full swing over the next few months.

Visit our special Seattle Tunnel page for more information on how this massive construction project is impacting pest activity in downtown Seattle.

You can also meet Sven and follow his interesting missives on Bertha on his Twitter account @Ratpocalypse.

If you have an issue with rodents invading your living or working space, send us an e-mail at info@spraguepest.com. We’ll be happy to get back with you with more information on how to maintain a pest-free environment.


The Sprague Pest Experts