Written Reply to Parliamentary Question on Rodent Infestations Nationwide by Ms Grace Fu, Minister for Sustainability and the Environment
Ms Mariam Jaafar: To ask the Minister for Sustainability and the Environment (a) whether there has been an increase in the number rodent infestations nationwide; and (b) if so, what are the root causes.
1 The National Environment Agency (NEA) carries out regular surveillance to identify areas with rat activity. The data is shared with other agencies and Town Councils for them to undertake targeted and sustained rodent control efforts. Based on NEA’s surveillance, the average number of rat burrows detected in public areas in each 2-month surveillance cycle for 2020 and 2021 were 4,300 and 3,900 respectively. With the resumption of social and economic activities, the number in 2022 is around 4,100 as of August 2022. This is lower than the pre-COVID number of 4,740 in 2019.
2 Rats thrive when food, water and shelter are readily available. Factors contributing to rat infestation include poorly-managed bin centres and refuse chutes, left over feed for stray animals, improper disposal of food waste and poor housekeeping, all of which provide conducive conditions for rats to feed and nest.
3 All stakeholders including landowners, building management, foodshop operators, supermarket operators and individuals must establish good housekeeping and refuse management practices. They should also conduct routine pest control checks and treatment to prevent rat infestation. Failure to do so can result in the creation of conditions favourable to the propagation or harbouring of vectors which will be subject to enforcement actions by NEA under the Control of Vectors and Pesticides Act and the Environmental Public Health Act.