Oh rats! Rodents seen scurrying around Toa Payoh block

PHOTO: Screengrab from Facebook/Brandon YS

While netizens described them as 'chonky', the rodents spotted at Toa Payoh Central appear to be a growing concern among residents.

On Nov 21, Facebook user Brandon YS uploaded a 23-second video showing rodents scampering about the rubbish disposal area of Block 79D Toa Payoh Central.

In the clip, the rats appeared to be searching for food as they repeatedly bit into the garbage bags and grabbed the items within.

Rat infestation at Toa Payoh Central 314079 I counted at least 10. Can quickly come and catch all the Jerry? Bishan Toa Payoh

Posted by Brandon YS on Sunday, November 21, 2021

"I counted at least 10, can quickly come catch all the Jerry? (sic)" he wrote, nudging Bishan-Toa Payoh Town Council to take action by making a reference to the popular cartoon series Tom and Jerry.

In the comments, netizens living in the area shared their own rat sightings, with some mentioning that rodents were not only seen on the ground floor but also on the second and third levels of their HDB block.

Screengrab from Facebook

A 30-year-old woman told Shin Min Daily News that in her five years of living in the estate, she has seen rats when she takes her children to the playground in the evenings.

"I'm worried that these rats will cause hygiene issues," she said.

Another resident told the Chinese daily the problem gets worse during the weekends.

The man said that large items left in the disposal area could've attracted the rodents.

PHOTO: Shin Min Daily News

According to Shin Min, a sign urging residents not to throw kitchen waste in public areas was put up at the block's lift lobby. Doing so may attract rats and cockroaches, the sign explained.

In response to AsiaOne’s queries, Bishan-Toa Payoh Town Council (BTPTC) said on Tuesday (Nov 23) it has been working with residents to resolve the issue.

The town council engaged pest control contractors to carry out ground treatments for burrow detection and also conducted night culling exercises to eradicate the rodents. 

A spokesperson from BTPTC said: “BTPTC believes that rodent control is a collective effort. To address the issue comprehensively and effectively, BTPTC has been continuously engaging the cooperation and support of the community to practice proper waste disposal.”

In August 2019, a chicken rice stall at Toa Payoh made headlines after a live rat was found inside a raw chicken left outside the coffee shop.

The Singapore Food Agency investigated the incident over food hygiene concerns.

amierul@asiaone.com