Barely five months after the problem made the news in the constituency, another rather serious rat infestation problem has surfaced in Bedok, which is under the charge of the East Coast Town Council (ECTC).
According to Chinese newsaper, Lianhe Wanbao, the rodent problem at a Bedok North Street 1 coffeeshop is so bad that business there has dropped by 20 per cent as customers avoid the eating place.
At times, rats were spotted running into the coffeeshop even as patrons and diners were there.
Besides the presence of rats, residents also complained about the many cockroaches there as well.
A video of the rats and cockroaches scurrying around the coffee shop located at Block 217 Bedok North Street 1 was posted online recently and soon went viral.
It was reported by the Chinese paper that the cause of the rodent problem could be the lawn in front of the eatery.
But the situation is not new and the eatery’s manager Ms Zhuo Huiling, 49, said the coffee shop has been plagued by the problem for the past two years, with the situation worsening during the rainy season, according to a Asia One report on Thursday.
Asia One said:
“Diners told Wanbao that the vermin problem does not lie with the coffee shop, but the open space and nearby bushes which have become a breeding ground for the cockroaches and rats.
“A coffee shop patron, Ms Huang Meiting, 21, said she doesn’t dare to sit at a table near the grass due to the mice.”
The presence of the rats, however, is not limited to the coffee shop. Residents say rats have also bee spotted at a nearby cafe and void decks too:
Wanbao said large rats leading smaller ones was spotted at a drain near one of the void decks at a housing estate. The paper also reported that 10 rats were spotted in a span of 10 minutes there.
Ms Zhuo said that pest controllers have been called in twice in one month recently and that stall owners have cleaned their stalls more frequently – but the problem still persists.
Asia One reports:
The stall owners have also bought at least 10 bottles of pesticides to deal with the cockroaches, she shared.
Over 10 mouse glue traps were used to catch about 30 rats in the past seven months, with an average of four caught per night.
Ms Zhuo said the town council should do more to help rid the area of the pests.
“Numerous cockroaches were spotted in a drain that emitted a foul stench. Water samples were extracted by a pest control company personnel to test for cockroach larvae,” Asia One said.
According to a East Coast Town Council staff, the town council will help clean the drains outside the coffee shop, and will continue to follow up on the situation.
In April this year, Bedok South residents expressed worries that their area may become “the next Bukit Batok hill” because of the presence of rats.
In December last year, a hilly area near Bukit Batok MRT station was infested by rats.
The authorities blamed leftover scraps from the indiscriminate feeding of stray dogs as the cause if the infestation there.
More than 300 rats there were killed by pest controllers over two weeks.
As for the problem in Bedok South, which centered around blocks 69 to 72, residents reported seeing many rodents the past year.
“Some residents said they have seen swarms of 20 rats scampering around in a carpark at night,” the Straits Times reported then.
Some residents told the press that the likely cause was a nearby garbage collection point and a food disposal area near a coffee shop in Block 69.
The Straits Times reported then:
Mr Adrian Theseira, managing director of Wipeout Pest Control Services, which is leading the extermination exercise, said it has found more than 30 rat burrows and nests across blocks 69 to 72.
As of Monday night, it caught 38 rodents using traps in areas such as drains and rubbish chutes. The rats caught were killed. Since last Thursday, pest controllers have also placed poison in rat burrows.
On Monday night, The Straits Times spotted more than 10 burrows, two live rats and a dead one on the pavement next to the coffee shop.
As for the East Coast Town Council, which is run by the People’s Action Party (PAP) MPs, it said was alerted to the rise in rat numbers by conservancy workers and residents, and has since taken measures to control the pests.
The Bedok area of East Coast GRC is under the charge of Minister of Manpower, Lim Swee Say.