20-man team take on dozens of rats in Bukit Batok's Operation Rat Attack

The rat busting operation at Bukit Batok MRT Station continued on Thursday evening, as more than a hundred curious onlookers gathered to watch pest busters trap and kill the rodents. -- ST PHOTO: YEO SAM JO
The rat busting operation at Bukit Batok MRT Station continued on Thursday evening, as more than a hundred curious onlookers gathered to watch pest busters trap and kill the rodents. -- ST PHOTO: YEO SAM JO
The rat busting operation at Bukit Batok MRT Station continued on Thursday evening, as more than a hundred curious onlookers gathered to watch pest busters trap and kill the rodents. -- ST PHOTO: YEO SAM JO
The rat busting operation at Bukit Batok MRT Station continued on Thursday evening, as more than a hundred curious onlookers gathered to watch pest busters trap and kill the rodents. -- ST PHOTO: YEO SAM JO
The rat busting operation at Bukit Batok MRT Station continued on Thursday evening, as more than a hundred curious onlookers gathered to watch pest busters trap and kill the rodents. -- ST PHOTO: YEO SAM JO
The rat busting operation at Bukit Batok MRT Station continued on Thursday evening, as more than a hundred curious onlookers gathered to watch pest busters trap and kill the rodents. -- ST PHOTO: YEO SAM JO
The rat busting operation at Bukit Batok MRT Station continued on Thursday evening, as more than a hundred curious onlookers gathered to watch pest busters trap and kill the rodents. -- ST PHOTO: YEO SAM JO
The rat busting operation at Bukit Batok MRT Station continued on Thursday evening, as more than a hundred curious onlookers gathered to watch pest busters trap and kill the rodents. -- ST PHOTO: YEO SAM JO

SINGAPORE - The rat busting operation at Bukit Batok MRT station continued on Thursday evening, as more than a hundred curious onlookers gathered to watch pest busters trap and kill the rodents.

More than 20 men from Star Pest Control were spread out on the grassy slope beside the station with orange nets, extendable clamp sticks, ropes and safety harnesses.

As a light drizzle eased, the men could be seen putting trapped, dead rats into their nets.

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

On Tuesday, military simulation operator and Facebook user Ryan Keith Smith, 33, had posted a video and pictures online, which showed dozens of rats scurrying around on the slope. He had also emailed the authorities asking for action to be taken.

 

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The pest busters were called in on Thursday morning, and started laying rat poison and traps near the burrows and forested area at the top of the slope.

By evening, the scene was a bustling one, with many jostling to get a view of the operation and children exclaiming with excitement as they spotted the rodents.

Bukit Batok resident Shanice Yeo, who was part of the crowd on Thursday evening, said she felt "disgusted" by the infestation.

"Imagine if they come down into the pathway where we walk," said the 17-year-old polytechnic student, shuddering. "I really hope they catch all of them."

Housewife Evelyn Chin, 54, who also lives in the area, said that she started noticing the rats a few weeks ago.

"It's very horrific," she told The Straits Times in Mandarin.

"They come out in the evening at about 7 or 8pm, and there is a whole bunch of them running up and down. I've never seen so many rats in my life."

About 40 rats were killed and captured as of 10pm on Thursday, when the day's 14-hour extermination operation ended, said Star Pest Control general manager Bernard Chan.

"Some of them didn't come out probably because of the rain," he said. "If not for the weather, we could have caught more. The slope would also have been less slippery."

Mr Chan said that his team nabbed the rats with their hands and equipment, and used cardboard and glue to prevent them from escaping. He added that the extermination mission could take several days to complete.

"Once the rats die in their burrows from the poison, we will seal the holes and bury them," he said.

yeosamjo@sph.com.sg