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Pest expert: Seal things up before Seattle ‘rat-pocalypse’

Billboards have begun appearing around the Pioneer Square area saying, “Save your building @ratpocalypse is coming!”(Image courtesy twitter – Biking Billboards)

The big dig along the Seattle waterfront that will make way for the Hwy 99 tunnel could also displace scores of pests and set the stage for what some are calling “ratpocalypse.”

Billboards have begun appearing around the Pioneer Square area saying, “Save your building ratpocalypse is coming!”

Concerned, KIRO’s Dori Monson decided to consult a pest expert. Elmer Bensinger, with Mathis Exterminating, says there is a real possibility larger pest populations could come to the surface once crews start digging.

“Anytime you’re going to do construction like that, you’re going to stir up rodents. It’s just the nature of the beast and that’s what’s going to happen.”

Bensinger says the core of that area being built over the old Seattle underground, and the presence of fill add even more elements that suggest potential issues.

“You’ve got the makings for the conducive conditions to have a problem.”

The rats trying to avoid the construction will look for a new place to call home, Bensinger says. Adding that the best thing business owners and residents can do is prepare beforehand.

Rats only need a half inch to gain entry into your home or business, so Bensinger recommends getting with a pest expert to evaluate risk areas and close up those areas before the critters start looking.

While the ratpocalypse billboards circulating via Sprague Pest Solutions direct residents back to their @ratpocalypse page, with historical references to hauls of rodents at past construction sites, Bensinger tells people it’s not time to freak out.

“I don’t think there’s anything to panic about,” says Bensinger. “I’m a firm believer that proactive is always better than reactive, so what you should do is you should have somebody come out and see what areas on your business or your facility might need to be sealed up. Take a proactive approach to it.”

Mathis Exterminating is a sponsor of the Dori Monson Show.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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