Rat Control & Rodent Management System Singapore | Ratsense

How a Rodent Management System Ensures a Rodent Free Workplace?

Rodents are obnoxious pests, who can do a lot of damage not only to homes but to workplaces. These creepy crawlers may look small, but they are also the carriers of many health hazards.

They carry some of the most dangerous diseases like rat-bite fever, leptospirosis, Bubonic plague, Hantavirus, Lassa fever and many others. Rodents are infamous in professional environments as they may create havoc by damaging electronic wirings, warehouses, food products and factory essentials etc.

Rats and mice are known especially for structural and electrical damages, one of the leading causes of electrical fires.

Some Interesting Facts about Rodents

Poor hygiene, poor building quality & maintenance, and poor cleaning standards will encourage a rodent infestation. In fact, these conditions are perfect for rats and mice from where they get access to a continuous food supply.

Eventually, these premises will become their nest and breeding ground, and any electrical cable in the vicinity can potentially be gnawed on and damaged by these pests. It is not easy to catch a rodent as they typically avoid contact, can run very fast and due to their small stature, can also easily escape through small holes.

In many cases, people use just about anything ranging from glue traps to snap traps which are available at any nearby retailer.

However, are they effective enough to be used on a large scale?

For example, in a warehouse or factory, where rodents may be present in large numbers, the traditional way of trapping is not enough, cost-prohibitive and not sustainable in the long run.

But the good news is that now, there are various rodent monitoring systems, which detect and monitor the rodents’ every activity so that more effective and efficient control programs can be executed to reduce their infestation.

We have already mentioned that rodents are not just any pest, and they are extremely dangerous as they are carriers of rodent borne diseases.

So, to fight that, one has to maintain proper hygiene and a rodent management system to meet rodent-free safety standards.

What is Rodent Management System?

Considering the increasing need for rodent control in workplaces, the market provides multiple control technologies which monitor the rodent activities and keep them away. They are the best solutions to current rodent issues as the traditional trap technologies may fail to provide results in bigger infrastructures.

Functions of Rodent Monitoring Devices

  • The rodent management gives protection from harmful insects and prevents costly damage done by pests or rodents.
  • It not only gets rid of rodents but also provides safety to the employees and food products.
  • In the rodent management system, there are various devices which are equipped with ultrasonic technology. The bizarre sound of the devices is unbearable for the rodents, hence, guarantees a rodent free space for a longer period of time.

What Support Does a Rodent Management Device Company Offers to Its Clients?

There are a number of companies in the market that offer rodent management support by analyzing the requester’s budget, space, types of rodents, and other factors. They vouch to provide features like eco-friendly services, use of non-toxic products and techniques, and offer trapping stations that are easy to install and operate.

The advantage of using rodent management systems is that it helps in treating rodent and helps in reducing their population in the coming months.

Also, the professional support provided along with the rodent monitoring devices conducts regular inspections, monitoring, and suggests ways to prevent re-infestation.

Some Common Practices to Follow

Do an inspection for droppings, usually under units, close to a wall, near documents and files, cupboards, AC vents, and other related areas ensures a rodent free environment.

Managing commercial spaces could be a challenging task, but the priority of the rodent management service providers is to ensure that you never face any embarrassment from of your guests, clients, and employees.

Keep browsing the web to know more about rodent monitoring devices and how they can help to prevent infestation.

September Blog

The Importance of Conducting Rodent Control Sessions in Singapore Regularly

Managing commercial spaces is a challenging task. Even the smallest presence of rodents and pests will put your brand’s reputation at stake. If you have tried in the past, you’ll know that despite multiple attempts, it can be almost impossible to prevent entry of rodents into your premises. And it may be tough to believe but most of the pests and rodents carry some kind of dangerous bacteria and infection, which can be very hazardous to your customers’ and staffs’ health. However, rodent control in Singapore can be made simple with a little bit of education. Read the sections below to know more about the infections they might carry with them and how you can prevent their entry into commercial areas:

Some Quick Facts on Rodent Management

Rodents roughly make up to 43% of all mammals currently surviving on the planet. They are highly capable, love to take shelter in the shadows, and are extremely secretive, hiding their presence and actions from humans. Making their habitats in storage units, food processing, or transportation facilities, rodents carry many infections and bacteria that can be responsible for hazardous diseases and health issues. Installing rodent monitoring devices can help you in getting rid of them by obtaining details about the areas where they are commonly sighted. The same can help you draft a strategy that can prevent their entry and infestations in commercial spaces.

Rodent Research Takeaways You Must Know

It is hard to find information about rodents and their infestation as most of the commercial spaces and offices prefer to hide that to prevent damaging their business’s reputation and goodwill. Most commercial areas also prefer to hire exterminators or conduct examinations, only when their business is closed for some time, to ensure that they maintain their image and reputation in the market. In an article published on ClarkPest.com, the following information is shared to keep commercial building owners aware of the health risks they will encourage if they don’t treat rodents and pests on time:

  • It is imperative to consider that rodent droppings carry bacteria and it lasts longer than 86 days for mice. It simply means that there could be higher risks of contamination even if you have treated the rodents and they are not present in the commercial spaces anymore.
  • A common mouse urinates up to 3,000 times a day, thus, have more chances of spreading the infection and diseases at a rapid rate.
  • Laying down traps near sanitation and food storage areas can prove out to be extremely helpful as rodents love to hide, reside, and spend time at moist and dark places.

Why Is It Important For Your Business?

In Singapore, hosting pest control and rodent control sessions regularly isn’t always considered viable for most commercial establishments, but it should always be counted amongst the most crucial steps for prevention and eradication. It is your duty to ensure safety, good health, and bacteria-free servings to your customers to ensure repeated business. Organizing a competent management strategy can be simple and involves routine inspections alongside comprehensive rodent monitoring. This will ensure the removal of any such pests and the prevention of any future reoccurrence. Since rodents can reproduce quickly, it is absolutely essential that you conduct rodent monitoring sessions regularly and move quickly upon discovery of a nest to control the damage they may do.

August Blog

How to Prevent Rodents From Entering Your Workspace or Commercial Buildings?

Undoubtedly catching a sight of a rat or mice in your commercial space is one of the most daunting things that can ever happen, but preventing the same should be one of your prime concerns to avoid any such future instances. Owing a big restaurant, hotels, café, mall, or even an office workspace is not worth giving a try, if you cannot take preventive measures to secure the health and hygiene of your guests, workforce and even of visitors. Since warm areas and leakages are the two most common areas for rats and mice to hide, you must take some preventive measures to void these opportunity intruders. If you just wish to keep the food, warmth, and comfort to your guests, then read the following sections to understand a few tips that can help you to prevent the entry of rodents in commercial workspaces:

What All They Are Looking For?

Making everything available at disposal is one of the biggest mistakes that most of the commercial building owners make to attract rodents. Some food and warmth are their prime concerns, hence, ensuring adequate availability of these two may invite rodents to your commercial workspaces and they won’t take a minute to snoop in, if given a chance. It is important to keep all the things they love away from their reach to prevent their entry in your cafes, restaurants, hotels, malls, and other commercial buildings.

How to Figure Out If You Have a Rodent Inside?

Mice and rats may leave their leave their marks and make too much noise around their habitats to catch your attention. If you have good hearing capabilities, then you can also listen them rustling around in walls or ceilings, behind the refrigerator, and even in the air conditioning vents. Seeing small holes gnawed in properly sealedcereals, sugar and bread bags are quite common. They may also leave some inevitable mouse droppings behind on counter tops, dashes, and even cupboards to leave their marks of existence.

How to Get Rid of Rodents Completely? 

• Begin the session by getting rid of all the potential food sources.
• Cleaning up any spills or crumbs lying in cupboards since long could be another effective way to put an end
to their food offerings.
• Clean out the clutter and put your dry food in glass or metal containers to avoid offering an ease of
access to them.
• Seal all the wall and door openings to prevent more mice from getting in.
• Install rodent sensor and other advanced devices to monitor their activities and then create a trap to get
rid of them completely.
• Place the rodent catching traps closer to areas where they move
• Using peanut butter or chocolate helps in catching them immediately
• If you have placed the traps in the same area since long and haven’t got anything, then relocate them to a
different area to gain success.
• Take help of live traps, if you really don’t wish to kill them all.
• Look for any openings from outside or inside the doors and windows and seal them properly to prevent them
from snooping inside.
• Keep a constant check on electrical or gas pipe entrances for tiny gaps as they work as an open invitation
to rodents.
Rodents are more than just an aggravation and they can possess great threats to your business and its reputation and premises. Call your nearest pest and rodent control service provider now, and install rodent sensor devices to ensure that you service guests with happiness not diseases!

rodent sensor

Basic Rodent and Pest Control Strategy Tips

Many a time, you may think about commencing a pest control session at your workspace or commercial building, but end up leaving that thought unattended because you might not have adequate knowledge on how to commence it and what its after effects are.
Well, a lot of Singaporean employers and maintenance staff deal with the same stress every day, but the solution lies within a knowledge-based approach that can easily be conducted by contacting a few rodent control service providers and pest management professionals to find out more about the relevant insect / pest biology and treatment methodology.
If you wish to know about how to manage health while commencing rodent and pest control works, here are the basic dos and don’ts:

  1. Prevention is the First Step

If you catch sight of mice and insects in your workspace, stores, cafes, washrooms, inventories, and other prominent places quite often, then the first step towards pest control is removing all the sources of food, water and shelter from the affected areas. Store your food in tight containers, handle food scraps carefully in trash cans, fix pipe leakages in cafeterias and washrooms, and never leave food and water unattended. Additionally, ensure that your storerooms don’t have any clutter by removing all the old stacks of magazines, newspapers, or cardboards. At last, clear all the areas and close holes and gaps where pests/mice can enter, hide and breed.

  1. The Correct Monitoring Approach is Important

Performing rodent monitoring is a tough task, but things can be streamlined if you are aware of the methods that can be used to get rid of them completely.

In traditional monitoring methods, a periodic, regular visual inspection is done by a pest control vendor in an effort to locate signs of rodent activity. Unfortunately rodents are smart creatures and one would rarely find the rodent waiting around to say hi to the unsuspecting inspector. Instead, a 24/7 electronic monitoring approach allows us to outsmart the rodents, as they go about their regular activities, allowing the electronic monitors to pick up their movement patterns and behavior. This information is the key to winning the war against rodents, as this method of monitoring can give us critical data such as: activity zones, pathways, entry points and population sizes.

  1. Act Fast, Play Smart

Rodents reproduce very quickly and in a matter of 1-2 months, your premises can go from supporting a pair of rodents to a whole family of them. As such, it is critical that you act fast once you have the data to establish the population size and activity areas of these rodents. A variety of conventional and newer designs of traps are available in the market, and can be deployed using food bait instead of chemicals to attract the rodents to these traps. Dried squid and peanut butter are common options used due to their strong smell and the rodents’ preference for such foods.

  1. Perform the Disposal With High Consciousness

Once the rodents have successfully been trapped, it is advisable to dispose of the carcasses carefully and considerately, as they can be a source of disease and bacteria. Carcasses should be double bagged and disposed of in a compactor, where the trash gets regularly sent off for incineration.

If this sounds like way too much work on top of your regular job, then engage a pest management professional and insist on a 24/7 rodent monitoring system to help you solve your rodent related problems!

rat

Rodent Management in Food Courts

You wake up one morning and read in the newspaper that a rat was spotted in a food court of a shopping mall or an airport, or at a restaurant. You feel disgusted and congratulate yourself for never having dined at that offending establishment before. What do you do next? Not only you decide never to eat at that place in future but you also start telling others about this to prevent them from going there and falling sick.

That is the kind of damage a single rat can do to a business. It can completely tarnish the brand image and reputation and cut down customers in massive numbers. Therefore, it is extremely important that food outlets are very careful with the way they are managing their hygiene, not only in terms of the cooking but also maintenance. Rats are also responsible for damage of property and transmission of diseases.

One of the ways hygiene can be maintained in such places is through a proper rodent management system. A public place has lots of inlets and outlets. These entry and exit points provide a convenient opportunity to the rodents for free movement. They can get in when they find it safe and quickly leave and hide somewhere when there are people movement and activity around.

Not only complete eradication but rodent monitoring is equally important because rats and mice are too intelligent to be spotted easily. They breed very fast; while you may assume you have caught and killed one, there might be an entire family living in a hideout in the building.

To begin with, sanitation is extremely important. The next important thing is the closure of the entry and exit points. If you are one of the vendors in a place shared by many, it is not possible for you to supervise these things yourself. In fact, these are not one-time activities but recurring ones that need constant supervision.  Using rat poison is not feasible approach as this may lead to food contamination and, thereby, invite legal issues. You have to keep the food and drinks sealed, but you can’t guarantee it for all the other vendors, sharing space with you in the same building. Management of wastage and food leftovers, leaky pipes and faucets, cracked foundation, missing screens – all of these are factors that can contribute to the infestation and spread of rodents.

Therefore, it is best to contact a company to help you with a viable rodent management system for the entire building or floor. These companies have exterminators, who have the experience and expertise of dealing with and handling rats and mice. They will not miss out on potential rodent breeding or activity zones and will implement changes and protection all over the place to ensure complete eradication of rodents. Also, considering the fact that you are running a food business, they will ensure not to use poisons or any kind of method that may pose a threat to the health of people. They will continue with rodent monitoring for a few months more to check if there is further infestation.

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Rodent glue board baited with food safe peanut butter

Rodents are Plaguing Shopping Malls in Singapore

The worst nightmare for a shopping mall operator is a rodent infestation. It can happen in a short span of time. Rodents are opportunists that are very intelligent and adaptable. They can enter your shopping mall using whatever items that are available to access your building such as electrical wires, railings, pipes, ducts, and tree branches. Also keep in mind that rats can squeeze through a hole that is no larger than ¼-inch.

Rats have adapted well to our urban environment. They can multiply quickly in places with poorly managed environments and easily available food and water sources. Shopping malls are the best nesting place for rodents if proper rodent control programs have not been adopted by operators and shop owners. Rodents can carry and transmit various diseases, so they are a major public health risk . The presence of rodents in shopping complexes damages the business’ reputation and results in financial losses as shop owners move to other buildings due to rodent problems.

When the National Environment Agency (NEA) conducted inspections at Punggol’s Waterway Point, it uncovered some signs of rat activity in a food shop and ceiling above a common area of the mall. The inspections were carried out after a diner complained that a rat had fallen on her from the ceiling while she was waiting for her meal at a coffee house in the new shopping mall. In 2015, NEA conducted inspections at a famous shopping centre in Singapore and found rodent activity in the false ceilings of 14 food shops and food stalls. The shopping mall’s management intensified its pest control checks & treatment, and intensified housekeeping system and refuse management after the NEA inspections.

 

Some interesting facts about rodents that you should know

  • Rats are considered the smartest animals on the planet. They are often ranked in the company of dolphins and chimpanzees.
  • Rats have a very acute sense of balance therefore, they are excellent climbers.
  • Most rats are crepuscular, which means they are most active around dusk and dawn, and utilize rest of the hours in a day for lesser activity and sleeping.
  • Rats are very social animals and are often accompanied by their companions. So in rat infestation, you may have to deal with several rodents.
  • In a study conducted in five countries in Europe, it was estimated that rodent infestation resulted in the loss of $11.8billion revenue in 2014.

Rodents have outsmarted traditional pest control methods

Using same old trap methods will not work on these intelligent pests. Pest managers and shopping mall operators need to get to the root of the problem. It should be a long-term effort, and not considered as business compliance. Rodent infestation is a serious issue for commercial properties, so it should be managed using smart practices such as using RATSENSE sensors that determines rodent activity and then dictates how traps should be placed. Based on these rodent activities, traps can be placed where the rats are travelling, and where they least expect it, thereby enabling pest controllers to catch them easily.

Presently, shopping mall operators hire exterminators after the rat problem surfaces, rather than preventing it from the outset. Rodent monitoring and control measures should be of preventive nature rather than reactive. Mall administrators need to follow good hygiene practices and adopt a rodent-proof design. If rodents have become smart, we have to outsmart them before they gnaw a big hole into our reputation. Use rodent sensor to capture rodent activity when they are most active, and then catch them using traps placed at strategic locations using real-time data from the sensors.

Interested to learn more about RATSENSE? Contact us today!

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References: –    
“Pest control checks done nightly: Waterway Point” Channel News Asia, March 29, 2016, accessed April 16, 2017,

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/pest-control-checks-done-nightly-waterway-point-8129750

 

“Rat activity detected in food shop and ceiling in Waterway Point; enforcement taken: NEA” Straits Times, March 28, 2016, April 16, 2017,

http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/rat-activity-detected-in-food-shop-and-ceiling-in-waterway-point-enforcement-taken-nea

Rodents in Your Condo’s False Ceiling: 4 Ways to Get Rid of Them

Like other pests, rats can quickly take up residence in less populated areas in your condomonium such as false ceiling. False ceilings are the ideal place for rodents to seek refuge and build their nests. These pests can wreak havoc in your condo because rats are known for chewing electrical wires, damaging building structures, and transmitting diseases. They can get into tiny spaces, which is why even the smallest of holes in your home could be a potential entry point for rodents.

 
A condo owner in Singapore shares his ordeal and said, “We are a family with young children and extremely worried about rat infestation in our condominium. Rats have made a hole in the false ceiling, bit several wires causing the electricity to trip and are giving my family allergy problems. We have repeatedly told the condo management to do something about it but the management refuses to take any responsibility. I have tried to seal the holes in my condo’s false ceilings and also the gaps in the walls, but it seems current rodent management practices are not enough. I need some effective rodent monitoring and management system.”

 
At RATSENSE, we have also observed an increasing trend of rodents entering into false ceilings of condos in Singapore. That’s why we have modernized our operations and created effective rodent management programs through the use of RATSENSE sensors for detecting rodent infestation.

 
When rats or mice get access to your condo through pipes, ducts or holes, they can spread diseases, cause considerable damage, and contaminate food. Therefore, it is important to get rid of these rodents as quickly as possible. Removing these rodents from your condo can be a difficult task, and you may also require professional exterminators, but these three ways can help you avoid these squeaking pests.

 
1. Map the entry points: Find out how the rats are getting inside your false ceiling. There may be holes outside that lead into your building, gaps in siding, wires and pipes go into the house and roof lines. Seal all the entry points with mesh wire because rats can chew through other sealing materials such as caulking. You can also tie RATSENSE sensors to pipes and ducting above false ceiling panels, to locate the travel pathways of these rodents. This would help pest manager to capture rodent activity and trap them when they are most active.

 
2. Clean the False Ceiling Panels: Clean the panels to get rid of mouse odor, feces, and other wastes that attract new rodents. Make sure you wear gloves and mask while cleaning the panels as rodent infested area can transmit germs to your body if you don’t take proper care during clean up. You should also check for sources of water such as a leak in pipes above ceiling panel or air.

 
3. Keep kitchen and dining area clean: Rats and mice can easily take up residence in your condo and start nesting. If they find a source of food and water, and a little shelter, they will never leave the place again. Take a look through your kitchen, and keep all your food tightly sealed in a mouse proof container. Don’t forget to keep dining area clean as small food pieces can also attract rats in your home. Also, have a look in other areas where you store food items, such as dog or cat food, a bag of birdseed in garage, fruits on dining table, etc.

 
4. Use Rodent Management System: Rats are scavengers and have a good memory. A rat can identify certain substances, including rat poisons and glue traps, and avoid the areas where these traps are kept. So, it becomes hard to control them. For effective rodent monitoring and controlling, you can use some effective rodent management systems to analyze and quantify the risk of rodent infestation and take actions accordingly. An advanced electronic rodent monitoring system can detect the activity of rodents. After confirmation of rodent infestation, you can contact your local rodent exterminator to help you successfully get rid of rodents.

 

These tips will help you to successfully deal with a rat problem in your condo, but if the problem still persists, then immediately contact a professional company specialized in rodent monitoring and rodent management system. Instead of playing the catch-me-if-you-can game, hire professionals. They will do extermination, prevention and cleanup, so that you can live in a rodent free environment.

 

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References:

“Control of rodent infestations” Invasive Animals CRC, accessed April 4, 2017,
http://www.invasiveanimals.com/research/phase1/goals/goal-3/3t2/

 

“7 Steps to an Effective Pest Management Program”, Food Quality & Safety, February 1, 2006, accessed April 4, 2017,
http://www.foodqualityandsafety.com/article/7-steps-to-an-effective-pest-managemet-program/

 

 

 

Cushman & Wakefield Shares About RATSENSE at International Facilities Management Conference

The recent International Facilities Management Conference was held at Marina Bay Sands on 30th September. The theme of the Conference was ‘Digitising Facilities Management: Connecting People, Connecting Facilities’, and focused on the significance of smart technology and Internet-of-Things (IoT) systems in enhancing the efficiency of operations of facilities management.

 

As an IOT solution, RATSENSE was featured in the presentation by Cushman & Wakefield’s Group Managing Director, Ms Cheng Su Chen. We have been in partnership with Cushman & Wakefield for one of their as a service enhancement for their clients. From the data analytics, potential rodent risks could be mitigated by enabling M&E rectification of possible rodent entry points. The data analytics also allows for data driven procurement of pest management services based on the site situation.

 

Ms Cheng Su Chen, Group Managing Director of Cushman & Wakefield, presenting about RATSENSE at the IFMC in September

Ms Cheng Su Chen, Group Managing Director of Cushman & Wakefield, presenting about RATSENSE at the IFMC in September

 

As one of the top facilities management in Singapore, Cushman & Wakefield is forward-looking in welcoming the use of technology in seemingly unconventional areas such as pest management. In ambiguous and frustrating tasks such as rodent control, hard data can make the job much simpler and smoother, and be more cost-effective in the long run.

 

The RATSENSE IOT solution presents a unique service enhancement for facilities managers seeking to add value to their integrated FM solutions. We understand the challenges involved in dealing with pest issues in urbanised areas, with increasing pressures of cleanliness by users. We seek to work in partnership with facilities managers in ensuring a well-monitored and managed environment. By entrusting us with resolving pest issues, one can be assured that the situation will be not only well-handled, but the problem removed at its root, rather than deploying prolonged, short-term measures that do not aim for a wholesome solution.

 

If your building is suffering from a rodent infestation, do not rely merely on conventional trapping methods to solve the problem. By partnering with your pest controller, RATSENSE provides useful information that increases efficiency of trapping, and solves the problem faster.

 

If your building has had no rodent sightings or signs, this does not mean that it is completely safe. In this case, RATSENSE acts as a positive verification, that your building is rodent-free, that can be shown to users if they suspect rodent activity. RATSENSE also acts as an alarm, so that as soon as a rodent enters the area, it is detected, and actions can be taken swiftly to prevent an infestation.

 

Especially in light of many shopping malls making the news due to rodent sightings, nothing could be truer for rodent control than the phrase, ‘It is better safe than sorry’.

Rats Hit Shopping Mall Yet Again

Junction 8 has been the latest mall to suffer media coverage due to rodent problems. On Sept 17, a rat was found scurrying on the floor of Teppan-Yaki at the food court of this heartland mall. Here’s the full article from The Straits Times:

SINGAPORE – The National Environment Agency (NEA) is investigating the sighting of a rat at Junction 8’s food court.
“We will take the necessary enforcement actions against any parties found responsible for rat infestation, or creating conditions favourable for harbourage or proliferation of rats,” NEA said on Wednesday (Sept 21), adding that it takes a serious view of the incident.
A rat was filmed roaming near a teppanyaki food stall at Food Junction in the Bishan mall on Saturday (Sept 17) evening.
The video, posted by website Mothership.sg, showed three diners having their meal at a teppanyaki counter while the rat crawled in front of the counter, unseen by them.
Junction 8 has stepped up pest control measures, its marketing communications manager Edith Lim said.
It is working with the foodcourt to prevent such lapses, she said.

A rat was sighted at Food Junction at junction 8 on 17 September. Photo retrieved from mothership.sg

 

“We are working closely with the foodcourt to prevent a repeat of such incidents, and have also reminded our other F&B tenants of the cleanliness guidelines and stepped up our checks on them,” Ms Lim said.
She added that the mall has instituted tenant guidelines on “proper housekeeping and pest control”.
NEA has conducted more than 70,000 inspections on food shops and supermarkets in the first half of 2016, according to its website.
It also audits the rat control measures at shopping malls.
“As of June 2016, NEA has taken more than 100 enforcement actions against errant premises owners,” it said.
– The Straits Times, 17 Sep 2016

 

The number of malls facing challenges with uncontrollable rodent populations is increasing at an alarming rate. This year alone, there has been rodent sightings at malls such as Marina Square, Waterway Point, Kang Kar Mall and Marina Bay Link Mall. What is shocking is that all these sightings have happened in the daytime. Rats are biologically nocturnal and shy creatures. In the day, they usually hide in external burrows or false ceilings. When the population becomes too large, weaker rats are pushed out of these hiding areas, and have to forage for food in the day. Therefore, daytime rodent sightings are a serious concern as they indicate high levels of infestation. The pest management vendor should be consulted and frequency and intensity of treatment should be increased, till populations are reduced to low levels. Inspections should also be conducted, to find and resolve the source of infestation.

 

In most cases, trap placement alone cannot determine the direction of movement of rodents, level of infestation, or potential entry points. This is where there is a need for innovative strategies to supplement trapping, to tackle the issue at its root.

 

Fortunately, ORIGIN has solution to this. Ratsense is a rodent monitoring system that focuses on data to solve rodent issues. With a system of sensors placed in false ceilings, direction of travel of rodents can be determined (e.g. from common areas into tenanted units, or vice versa), so that the relevant pest control vendor can take action. Data analytics can also predict potential entry points (which mere placing of traps cannot), and this can then be sealed. Further, population estimate can be given, to predict the duration it would take to bring the infestation under control.

 

In an age where data and Internet of Things (IOT) systems are becoming increasingly popular, it is perhaps time we learn to integrate these new technologies into seemingly unconventional fields, such as pest management. Incorporating smart technology to solve daily problems should not be limited to certain areas, but can be adopted across a wide range of sectors. Rodents are getting smarter and it’s time we should, too.

 

References
1. NEA Investigating rat Incident at Bishan Junction 8 Foodcourt. The Straits Times, 22 September 2016. Retrieved from http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/nea-investigating-rat-incident-at-bishan-junction-8-foodcourt

Another Rodent Sighting In Shopping Mall

Yet another one of Singapore’s shopping malls has been hit with rodent issues. Within a span of a month, two malls have appeared in the news, regarding rodent sightings, Kang Kar Mall at Hougang, (The Straits Times, 2 June 2016), and recently, Marina Bay Link Mall:

 

“Marina Bay Link Mall, part of the Marina Bay Financial Centre, is the latest mall to have rat issues.
The National Environment Agency (NEA) said it will be taking action against the parties concerned after finding dried rat droppings in the false ceilings of a food outlet and common area of the mall during an inspection. The restaurant is understood to be Absolute Thai. A staff member of the restaurant said pest control treatment had been stepped up and that there had not been any recent rat activity.

 

A spokesman said NEA conducted the inspection last Wednesday within the Marina Bay Link Mall premises where a rat was sighted, the immediate common areas of the retail mall, as well as surrounding perimeter areas of Towers 1, 2 and 3.
Despite the rat droppings, no live rats or nests were found, she said.
The mall, opened in 2010, gives access to upscale homes in The Sail, Marina Bay Suites and Marina Bay Residences.
Hairdresser Kean Pang, 36, who works in a salon in the mall, said a rat once ran into the salon. He and his colleagues chased it out and informed the management, he said.
Part-time waiter Chan Junwei, 18, said he saw a rat about two weeks ago. “I was walking towards the toilet and it fell from the ceiling right in front of me and ran away,” he said.

 

marina bay link mall

Rodent droppings were found in false ceilings of both a restaurant and common areas of Marina Bay Link Mall. Photo retrieved from The Straits Times, http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/rat-seen-at-marina-bay-link-mall

 

A spokesman for Raffles Quay Asset Management, which manages the mall, said: “A rodent was sighted at the entrance of Marina Bay Link Mall about two weeks ago.
“Following the incident, an intensified pest control flushing programme has been put in place and inspections have been increased.”
NEA said the mall management and food shop operators have been advised to ensure proper food storage, housekeeping and waste management, and to seal potential rat entry points in the false ceilings. The agency is monitoring the situation, a spokesman said.
NEA will also be taking action against a food shop which had a refuse bin found uncovered, she added. It is understood that the shop is BreadTalk.

 

The rat sighting at the mall comes shortly after a Facebook user uploaded photos and a video of a rat in the bread section of the FairPrice outlet in Kang Kar Mall next to Hougang Mall last month.
On June 2, NEA said it will be taking action against the supermarket operator and the management of Hougang Mall, which manages an external area where five new burrows were detected.
About 6,700 complaints about rats were received by NEA last year, up from around 4,000 in 2014.
Food outlet inspections rose from around 140,000 in 2014 to about 148,000 last year, while enforcement actions were taken against over 190 owners, up from 80.
– The Straits Times, 22 June 2016.

 

Clearly, there is an imperative need for rodent management strategies at malls to go beyond mere trapping, as rodents are outsmarting these. Consistent monitoring is required as well. Sensors that detect rodent activity need to be deployed, as a preventive measure. Sensors also provide hard data, predicting direction of movement of rodents, and potential entry points. Where there are disputes as to whether rodent activity is at common areas or tenanted units, the data can also clarify these issues. Hence, while traps are the ‘hands’, physically catching the rodents, sensors are the ‘eyes’, detecting the rodents and informing where to best place the traps. It is therefore essential for trapping to go hand-in-hand with data.

 

However, more efficient rodent control would mean higher costs to tenants, which will be evidently passed on to consumers. Are consumers willing to pay for rodent management from the restaurants they visit? Will they accept that the increase in prices are due to more effective measures to keep rodents at bay?

 

Indeed, as we complain about the lack of hygiene, we should first ask ourselves these hard questions. Perhaps only then would we be able to appreciate the efforts being taken by facilities managers and tenants in ensuring quality pest management and cleanliness, for the comfort of all Singaporeans.

 

References
1. Rat Spotted at NTUC Fairprice Outlet. The Straits Times, 2 June 2016. Retrieved from http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/rat-spotted-at-ntuc-fairprice-outlet.

 

2. Rat Seen At Marina Bay Link Mall. The Straits Times, 22 June 2016. Retrieved from http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/rat-seen-at-marina-bay-link-mall