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Feng Zengkun
Sunday, Oct 19, 2014

Singapore

Rat issue prompts town council action

The Straits Times | Feng Zengkun | Sunday, Oct 19, 2014

A rat infestation in a part of Bukit Panjang has drawn the attention of the authorities, with the town council calling in help to deal with the problem.

Pictures of the rats scurrying across a grass verge in Bangkit Road were shared online earlier this week.

A visitor to the area, who wanted to be known only as Mr Ryan, said he took the photographs and reported the issue to the Holland- Bukit Panjang Town Council on Monday night.

The 33-year-old added that he had given feedback about the issue in May, after which there had been a culling operation.

"The rat population seems to grow really quickly, and there are eateries nearby, so it's worrying for the health of the people in the neighbourhood," he said.

The town council on Wednesday said it had received seven cases of feedback on rats in the area in the past five months, and has stepped up pest control efforts.

A spokesman said it carries out fortnightly operations and has hired a pest control specialist to catch the rats.

"On Tuesday night, we had an operation and caught them using baits and traps," she said, adding that the effort will continue for the next few days.

The town council has called its conservancy contractors to help clean up the area after the operations, removing the rats in bags for proper disposal.

While some residents told The Straits Times that they had not seen rats in the estate, others said the creatures appear early in the morning and late at night.

They blame food scraps left by people on the grass verges for attracting the rats. "People like to leave bread pieces for the birds, and even noodle scraps sometimes," said 45-year-old resident Wendy Lim.

The town council spokesman said its cleaners will carry out an additional sweep in the afternoons to remove the food scraps.

The National Environment Agency said it has received 2,490 cases of feedback on rodents across Singapore in the first nine months of this year, compared with 2,496 for all of last year.

zengkun@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on Oct 17, 2014.
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