(CBS Seattle) — A local pest control company says it’s seeing an increase in business because of the Highway 99 tunnel project.

Sprague Pest Solutions told KIRO TV the drilling has sent rats fleeing into buildings in downtown Seattle. The business is now using rolling bicycle ads to alert building managers to seal cracks so rats can’t get inside. The company told KIRO it’s seen a 60 to 80 percent increase in calls since the tunnel project began, as the shaking of the ground sent rats out of their hiding places.

A tunnel project spokeswoman told KIRO that contractors set dozens of traps, but have not noticed a significant number of rodents. Project managers also say much of the tunneling is done below sea level where rats don’t live.

Sprague Pest Solutions predicted the resurgence of rats last year as the project got underway, saying similar rat displacements also happened during the construction of the Seattle bus tunnel, the Columbia Center, and the Kingdome demolition.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. KIRO TV contributed to this report.)


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