SEATTLE, OCT. 16, 2012 — /PRNewswire/ -- When it comes to protecting the commercial and retail business in and around Seattle's waterfront from rodents and other pests, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

The Highway 99 tunnel project will make life easier for area commuters when it opens in 2015, but in the meantime Seattle's rodent and pest populations are poised for a commute of their own. This trip, however, ends in the basements, crawlspaces, storage areas, kitchens and retail locations of Seattle's waterfront businesses.

The $1.96 billion tunnel project has intruded upon the well-established rodent and pest populations that call Seattle's waterfront home. The digging and related noise is forcing pests to venture from their burrows and harborage areas in search of new sources of food, water and shelter.

"Pests are creatures of habit, especially rodents, and they react to changes in their environment," says Jeff Weier, a Board Certified Entomologist with Sprague Pest Solutions. "When there is a change in their environment pests will actively seek new locations to feed and live."

What can local business owners, property managers and maintenance staffs do to protect their structures from these unwanted commuters? Weier suggests the following exclusion tips:

  • Patch openings in exterior walls larger than 1/4 inch using gnaw-proof materials, such as steel sheeting, 1⁄4 inch hardware cloth, and galvanized steel and concrete. Holes may be plugged with steel wool or copper mesh prior to patching.

  • Seal gaps under siding at the top of the foundation.

  • Seal openings around pipes and conduits where rodents pass through exterior walls.

  • Close outside doors tightly when not in use.

  • Install tight-fitting weather stripping on the bottom of all pedestrian doors and overhead doors.

  • Cover all air vents with 1/4-inch hardware cloth and make sure vent "flaps" are working properly.

  • Eliminate excess debris and garbage in and around structures.

  • Eliminate water sources such as standing water, and leaking pipes and faucets.

For more information on how to protect your business from rodent and pest infestations, contact Sprague Pest Solutions at 206-323-5660, e-mail at info@spraguepest.com or at www.spraguepest.com/seattletunnel. You can also follow the company's Twitter feed on the situation @Ratpocalypse.

Sprague Pest Solutions, founded in 1926, delivers innovative pest solutions to clients throughout Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Utah and Colorado. Sprague is a Copesan Services partner.

Read more here