Jogger spots rat at Tampines Street 34: 'Looking at its big size, this is probably not a stray hamster'

Submitted by Stomper Francis

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Rats do tend to come out in the dark.

A jogger caught sight of one at Block 364 Tampines Street 34 on Saturday (Aug 27) at 4.41am and it was big.

Sharing photos of the rodent, Stomper Francis said he was jogging to a nearby leisure park when he spotted the animal near a central refuse chute (CRC).

"Looking at its big size, this is probably a sewer rat and not a stray hamster. Such rats live in burrows, build nests underground and are probably good swimmers," he said.

"Rubbish outside the CRC was left uncovered, which is a recipe for rat infestation. The odours and smells from the CRC garbage probably attracted this rodent too.

"The town council claimed that they engaged a term contractor to control and destroy these rats, but it’s not prevention unless residents and cleaners practise good sanitation habits."

The Stomper added that the people living there should also take some responsibility.

"Residents should stop feeding cats and pigeons on the streets, in the void decks and common corridors. There are still maids throwing bread out for birds, which is high-rise littering. The leftovers also attract rats," he said.

"Throwing waste into bins that come with covered lids is the best way to keep rats away. Unfortunately, most of the open bins the town council provides don’t have lids.

"Even with lids, it is useless if residents don’t bother to remove and put back the cover after disposal. Most residents find it inconvenient and dirty to open and close the cover, and they just dump the rubbish on top of the cover or floor.

"It’s a matter of mindset and social responsibility. It is hard to change their bad habits and still work in progress."

In response to a Stomp query, a Tampines Town Council spokesman said that keeping the estate clean and maintaining its public hygiene is the town council's top priority.

"The town council engages the pest control vendor to conduct weekly culling and bait treatment in the area. Regular housekeeping for the central refuse chutes and bins includes cleaning and washing the CRC in the evening daily.

"Our cleaners will continue to clear the rubbish accumulated in the bins," said the spokesman.

"We would like to remind residents to tie the rubbish bags tightly and dispose of them only at the CRC. Residents should avoid leaving food unattended in common areas as it will attract pests, including rodents. The town council will continue to put up notices to remind the public about the proper disposal of food waste."

The spokesman added that the town council has not received any feedback about residents throwing food out of their units at Block 365 or the surrounding blocks to feed the birds.

"However, we will work with the National Environment Agency and look into the reported case of high-rise littering," he said.