Rats! Fell for these traps...

The pest busters had to use ropes to get up the slope beside the MRT station, in order to inspect rat burrows at the top.

It was man versus rat last evening along the grassy slope beside Bukit Batok MRT Station.

Some 22 officers from Star Pest Control were spread out on the slope with orange nets, clamp sticks, ropes and safety harnesses, while over a hundred curious onlookers gathered to watch the pest busters kill the rodents.

Evening is when the rats usually emerge to look for food.

As a light drizzle eased, the men put the dead rats they had caught into their nets.

Even then, other rats were seen coming out of their burrows and scampering around them.

The pest busters were on a "search and destroy mission" against the rats, after military simulation operator and Facebook user Ryan Keith Smith, 33, posted a video and photos of the rats online on Tuesday.

He also sent an e-mail to the authorities to ask for action to be taken.

Star Pest Control general manager Bernard Chan said the rats' burrows were spread out across the top of the hill, across an area half the size of a football field.

Bait containing rat poison was placed outside the burrows.

He said that getting rid of the rats could take three to five days, or even longer, depending on whether the rats took the bait.

As of 8pm last night, Mr Chan said that his team had killed and caught about 15 rats. He said the rain might have deterred many rats from emerging.

The Housing Board, National Environment Agency, Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority, and Jurong Town Council issued a joint statement on the matter last night.

They said that "continuous indiscriminate feeding of dogs in the area by feeders" had resulted in the rat issue in recent months.

The statement noted that rodents proliferate whenever food sources are available, due to improper disposal of food or leftovers from feeding strays.

"We have intensified our pest control measures to eradicate the rodents and, in response to public complaints on aggressive stray dogs, we are continuing with stray dog control operations," the statement said.

"However, for these efforts to be effective, the feeding of stray dogs needs to cease. Feeders should also not interfere with stray dog control operations, or tamper with traps and other equipment."

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