Watch out Seattle, Sven, the Twitter-happy Norway rat and his legions of four-legged admirers, are on the verge of launching the Ratpocalypse now that Bertha, the massive tunnel digging machine for the Highway 99 project, has started cutting a swath underneath downtown Seattle.

Bertha embarked on its voyage late last month as it broke through the wall in the digging pit it has called home since arriving in the spring. Initially, Bertha’s progress will be about 6 feet per day but it will rev it up once it gets closer to downtown and advance up to 35 feet per day.

In total, Bertha will dig through 10 different separate digging zones starting at Railroad Way South and ending up at the intersection of Sixth Avenue and Harrison St. in 14 months’ time if all goes well.

In the initial digging zone Bertha will be digging through the fill soil that Seattle’s early residents had dumped there and where generations of rodents have established burrows.

Our pal Sven has been burning up his Twitter feed (@ratpocalypse) since Bertha’s five-story cutting head started digging and as you can see he is none too happy about these recent developments:

August 5 – “If you think the roar of #seafair is loud you should hear the rumble of @BerthaDigsSR99 from my place.”

July 31 – “AAAHHH!! It begins. @berthadigssr99 has forced us into exile. We will be applying for asylum in all the downtown buildings!”

July 31 – “The digging has started. It is time to lead the rats to the Promised Land. See you soon...”

The Sprague Pest Experts have little sympathy for Sven’s plight but we are concerned about our customers in and around the digging zone who don’t want the Twitter king and his friends to pay them a visit.

We offer building owners and property managers the following tips to prevent rodents from setting up shop in their structure:

  • Focus on Sanitation - Keep garbage in sealed cans and dumpsters to deny rodents an easy meal.

  • Cut Off Their Water – Eliminate any excess and standing water in and around your buildings.

  • Keep Doors/Windows Closed – Keep all non-essential doors and street level windows closed and check for torn window screens.

  • Seal Up Openings – Seal openings along your building foundation and around door and window frames that would allow rodents access inside to food, water and shelter.

  • Call The Sprague Experts

If you haven’t made preparations for the Ratpocalypse, don’t worry. Give us a call and we will come out and conduct a thorough inspection of your facility to identify and eliminate possible rodent access points, and implement aggressive exclusion, baiting and trapping programs.

You can contact the Sprague Pest Experts at We will get back with you right away with information on how to protect your business from Sven and the crew.


The Sprague Pest Experts