What You Need to Know When Dealing with Rats in Singapore

Rats are notoriously the most dreaded pest to exist in the premiere and challenging bunch to get rid of. Not only do they stress us because of their unhygienic presence, the hazardous damages they cause, but also the food safety risk to consider. In this article, Rentokil shares the essential information you need to know when dealing with rats, including signs of rats to pay attention, how rat activities come about, and more importantly, pest control solutions to get rid of rats effectively.


  • Signs of rats you should pay notice of
  • How do rat activities come about?
  • Why are rodents challenging to eradicate?
  • Which types of premises are at risk of rat infestation
  • What should you do if you encounter rat presence around?
  • What happens if you do not engage prompt rat control services?
  • How much does it cost in professional rodent control?
  • Which rat species are common in home?
  • How often should we engage pest control for rats?
  • What is next after completing rat pest control?

Signs of rats you should pay notice of

Spotting rats scurrying around is the first and easiest way of noticing signs of rat activities in your premise. However, as they are capable of hiding well from lures and predators and are nocturnal, we need to rely on other signs of rat presence such as:

  • Droppings or poops – There is a difference in terms of appearance between rat and mouse poops
  • Runways and paths – They will leave their track mark or footprints with their oily steps an, urine and droppings
  • Gnaw marks – You may see them on walls, wire, plastic, piping and any furnishing in the premise
  • Burrows – These are hiding nest that rats and mice hide within to rest and food storage
  • Unusual smell or odour – They are coming from urine that tends to be strong smelling and musty
  • Damaged goods and packaging – Resulted from their gnawing and feeding on the internal of the products
  • Scratching noises and sounds – As rats climb, scurry around and move their way, you can notice scratching sounds especially at the ceilings, rooftops and lofts

How do rat activities come about?

Rats will relocate due to nest disruption such as renovation or construction and hide indoors from weather in rainy conditions. They can seek elsewhere if there is food competition or food supplies limitation because of removal or an overpopulation of rats. Here are more reasons and possibilities that rat infestation can occur in your premise. Firstly, presence of food source and water (besides ingredients) including pet food, faeces, trash and waste. Secondly, a cluttered home that allows rats to hide and nest, including leaf piles, shrubs and overgrown grass. Thirdly, rats enter through opening, ranging from compromised property integrity, opened windows and doors, ventilators and gaps. Fourthly, inadequate housekeeping and gaps in food stowage such as exposed food, lack of well-sealed jars and storage bags. Finally, cross infestation, where rats from surrounding sites and location can travel and make their way into your home or premise.

Why are rodents challenging to eradicate?

Rats are very efficient in hiding and most of the time, spotting their presence can be difficult. Firstly, they do not appear in the daytime as they seek food sources at night. Secondly, because of their capabilities in agility and flexibility that allow them to hide at hard to reach spaces, rat detection can be a challenge. Thirdly, some of their infestation signs are less obvious or beyond visibility, thus we can miss out rat activities, thus allowing infestation to grow. Fourthly, rodents are known for their intelligence and do not fall into our trap easily, hence they can avoid lures and traps.

Finally, rats can grow their resistance to baits, and professional rat control specialist are trained to alternate baits to overcome resistance challenges. Above all, comprehensive and integrated rodent control solution is necessary to heighten detection of rat activities, allow more accurate and targeted placement of baiting units and supported with adequate monitoring and reporting through sensing technology.

Which types of premises are at risk of rat infestation

Rats are agile and very flexible, and possibly able to squeeze through any holes, gaps and opening they can find. It can range from residential homes, office space where rats like to lurk around the ceiling and server room, and even industrial compounds where there are multiple hiding corners and points of entries. In addition, they are often associated with waste and a poor sanitised environment, hence basement, rubbish centres are another hot spot you may find them in premises including retail malls and hotels. Finally, this is not forgetting the presence of food and water, that any premises would most likely harbour, be it residential, commercial or industrial sector. Above all, as rats climb, swim and travel, places with open concepts, located near construction areas where you may find burrows or are connecting joints, cross infestation of rats may occur.

Read also: Find out the various diseases transmitted by rats in Singapore

debugged blog what we need to know when dealing with rats what to do when encountering rat activities

What should you do if you encounter rat presence around?

Rat infestation should not be treated lightly as they can cause various health and safety issues comprising food contamination, transmission of diseases, rat bites, potential allergies, product recalls and operation closure, and even likelihood of short circuit and fire incidents caused by the circuit disruptions. Hence, Rentokil has summarise a checklist in the event of a rat infestation encounter:

  • Recall and document locations where you spot signs of rat infestation or their actual activities
  • Clear away clutters, piles, junks, debris and waste to ensure good sanitation, and ease of premise inspection and treatment delivery
  • Contact a pest control company who will perform site risk assessment, environment study, key risk areas before recommending suitable solutions
  • Ensure adequate and quality rat pest control is in place, including inspection, placement of baiting units and 24/7 monitoring
  • Continue to keep premise clean from waste, food source and water with diligent housekeeping and sanitation regime
  • Seal off any holes, opening, cracks, gaps and crevices to prevent rodents from entering those multiple source of entries
  • Adopt diligent habits and ensure adequate awareness on rat prevention tips

What happens if you do not engage prompt rat control services?

Pest elimination is essential for all species types, including ants, cockroaches, mosquitoes, termites and bed bugs. This is because by nature, all pests can affect our health and safety risk, damage properties or production and cause financial implication and business implication. This is also the case for rat problems in Singapore. Some of the critical implications include the transmission of diseases and food safety risk they can impose onto our food consumption and preparation, bites that can turn serious or an infection, hazardous incidents such as short circuits, trips and fire. For businesses, there are a lot more consequences, ranging from operation disruptions (due to investigation and treatments), business closure (for severe incidents, product recalls and packaging replacement, medical reimbursement or work efficiency challenges, regulatory non-compliance and financial penalty. In addition, businesses may also suffer from negative brand reputation and reviews, affecting patronage and future business growth.

debugged blog what we need to know when dealing with rats cost of rat control solutions

How much does it cost in professional rodent control?

There is a difference between residential and commercial pest control. The types of services, treatment complexities, support, frequency and price range differs. Rodent control is largely required among most commercial sectors. A good portion of residential homes also require rat treatment programmes due to its location, environment risk and premise condition.

Pest control services for rodent elimination may cost more compared to common pest management treatments for ants and cockroaches for example. It can range from few hundreds to thousands depending on the following factors:

  • Treatment space area required for the control: Covering the entire compound both indoor and outdoors, multiple premises or various levels.
  • Number of baiting units required: First line, second line and third line of defence, intensity of control
  • Severity of the infestation: Heavy infestation requires more intensive and comprehensive treatment remedies involving frequency, quantity, reach and range of treatments
  • Technology and innovation: There are options of conventional glue boards and digital baiting units where sensing technology sends a trigger on rat activities
  • Choice of active ingredient and baits: Range from generic, active, safe, food graded and quality baits and lures
  • Additional or ad-hoc flush out programme due to acute or sudden infestation spikes
  • Type of service mode: You can opt for contractual terms with long term and ongoing pest control and protection, or one-off quick fix isolation solution.

Which rat species are common in home?

The roof rat, also known as the black rat can be identified with their pointed nose and large ears. They have a preferred diet comprising fruits. As their name suggest, they tend to lurk at higher parts of the premise such as rooftop or ceilings. The brown rat, unlike the roof rat, have blunt noses and smaller ears, and feed on cereals instead. Besides hiding along ceilings, they will hang around sewers, drains and pipes. Finally, there is also the house mouse. They have a smaller body size compared to rats. However, they have large eyes and ears. They will hide within cabinets, attic, basement and voids. They have similar diet preference including cereals, seeds, fruits, and grains.

debugged blog what we need to know when dealing with rats how often to engage rat control

How often should we engage pest control for rats?

Pest infestation occurs at any time, and can trigger based on several factors. These include environment conditions, urbanisation, lifestyle habits, and housekeeping standards and cross infestation reasons. Hence, it is best to engage in a pest control specialist to manage your premise on a regular and consistent basis, rather than ad-hoc and reactive approach. Depending on the priority, critical premise needs, infestation level and environment risks, mode of frequency can range from weekly, fortnightly, monthly or longer. However, detection and inspection should be done on a regular basis. While the pest control specialist performs the site inspection, you can check your premises for unusual signs that resemble rat infestation daily. In summary, you should not delay treatments and rely on DIY remedies. This is because a rat infestation can escalate by spreading their presence and increasing their population through the breeding process.

You may also like: When do we need to start calling for pest control services?

What is next after completing rat pest control?

Both pest management and housekeeping should be well integrated and manage hand in hand to ensure efficiency and efficacy. Pest control companies manage the control, detection and treatments. On your end, you can also actively complement the pest control services. Pest prevention includes keeping place clean and sanitised. Clear unwanted items and pile-ups that allow rats to hide within. In addition, remove any available food source that rats feed on and water or moisture. Apply proofing to the premise, by sealing any cracks and crevices resulting from structure wear and tear or designs of the premise that caters open concept or any openings. Remain vigilant on pest signs such as burrows, smear marks, urine stains and stench, droppings and scratching sounds. Finally, review rat population and recommendations with your pest control specialist. This helps to ensure control is in place and population is well maintained.

Call Rentokil Singapore at (65) 6347 8138 for a rat control solution today.

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