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Rats! Rodents sighted in Orchard Road again

Authorities have received 13 complaints about rats in Orchard Road malls as of May. One mall has made checks for rat droppings and the setting of traps, a daily affair.

SINGAPORE: Rats have been sighted in Orchard Road once again. The National Environment Agency (NEA) said it has received 13 complaints about rodents in Orchard area shopping malls as of May this year. It has taken enforcement action against two food shop operators after investigations showed signs of rat activity.

Even the newly opened Orchard Gateway mall has not been spared. Looking out for rat droppings at the garbage dump and setting a variety of rat traps has become a daily ritual for some staff at Orchard Gateway. The mall's management has engaged a pest control company to make sure tenants follow the rules that protect the mall from pests. Recalcitrant tenants face a fine or may have their contracts terminated.

The NEA said its checks in April found evidence of rat activities at Orchard Gateway's basement, bin centre areas as well as rat burrows at planter areas outside the building. It has also instructed building management Knight Frank Asset Management to clean up the area. Subsequent checks have shown the building to be satisfactorily maintained, according to the agency. 

Pest experts believe the mall's rat problem may have started while it was under construction. Said Mr Ng Say Kiat, Vice-President of the Singapore Pest Management Association: "The main reason is that there are a lot of workers at the construction site, and when they eat, the environment and the conditions may not be satisfactory. As a result, there will always be some rat problem at the construction site. And if this is not properly controlled, when the building is completed, rat infestation will continue in the new building."

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