Restaurant manager Chris Ng did not think he would have problems with rats in his flat.
After all, his home is on the top storey of a 12-storey HDB block at Choa Chu Kang Avenue 2.
But Mr Ng, 40, was horrified when he discovered three rats - two in his kitchen and one in his living room last Tuesday night.
Mr Ng said the rats had eaten through a loaf of bread left on his kitchen table.
"And they weren't small. They were at least about 6 inches (15cm) in length," he said.
Mr Ng said he called the Town Council the next day to report the issue.
"I have two young sons and I didn't want them to get bitten while they sleep at night," he explained.
He said the town council sent a pest controller to his home a week later. They set glue traps but did not catch all the rats.
Meanwhile, some wiring in his home was chewed through, affecting his washing machine, claimed Mr Ng.
After he found rat droppings on his neighbour's balcony, Mr Ng realised that the rats could have originated from the space between the roof of the building and the top floor.
But he was told by a town council officer over the phone that this was not the case as there was a wire netting to prevent the rats from entering the space.
Mr Ng persisted and the officer eventually opened the access door to the building's roof to check.
They found huge holes in the wire netting and rat dropping filled the space.
"They even found a rat carcass there," he said.
But a spokesman from Chua Chu Kang Town Council (CCKTC) said that there was only one reported case of rat sighting from within an apartment unit in the past six months.
Before Mr Ng's feedback, CCKTC uncovered two rat burrows in the area during regular maintenance works. Both burrows are being treated.
CCKTC said that it would work closely with an appointed pest control team to "investigate and treat" Mr Ng's rat concerns.
They will also issue notices to residents, "advising them on the dos and don'ts to minimise rodent population".
Mrs Deanne Ong, 41, director of Origin Exterminators, said that rats are not only common on the ground, but can go onto roofs as well.
She said: "These rats can be brought in through building defects, pipes and other structural gaps.
"Typically, infestation from the ground levels can be easily transported throughout a building this way.
"They use overhanging branches from overgrown trees as runways into higher floors within a building.
"Once they establish themselves, they can build their nests and survive within the building."
Previous rat cases
Where: Blocks 165, 166 and 167 of Bukit Batok Avenue 8
What happened: Rodents invaded HDB flats and shops, with some even breaching defences, such as fences and traps, put up by residents and shopkeepers.
Action: Jurong Town Council sent its officers to investigate and advised residents to maintain proper housekeeping and not leave food sources exposed.
Where: Clementi Block 448 Market and Food Centre
What happened: A rat's nest made from scraps of paper and shredded plastic bags was found on top of an exhaust pipe located above a stall in the food centre, with as many as 10 baby rats inside.
Rat burrows were also seen in the grassy field just behind the food centre.
Action: West Coast Town Council deployed a pest control contractor to carry out rodent control treatment at the food centre and advised stallholders on proper housekeeping and waste disposal management.
Where: Condominium in Hume Avenue estate
What happened: Four residents set their own rat traps and spent about $5,000 to hire three pest control companies because of a rat infestation in their condominium.
The rats - some as long as 16cm - defecated and urinated at almost every corner of the estate, even at the residents' doorsteps.
Action: The condominium's management said it would get a pest control company to get rid of the rats. .
This article was first published on October 17, 2015.
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