About Rodents

Rodents are nocturnal animals and most active at night, but they can also be seen during the day in areas that are heavily infested. They are nearly blind, so they use their sense of smell to find food and find their way back to their nest. Rodents are neophobic, meaning they are afraid of the presence of new objects in their living environment. Rodents have a single pair of chisel-like incisor teeth in each of the upper and lower jaw. Rodents have open-rooted dentition, meaning that their teeth grow continuously throughout their lives. They keep their teeth sharp and short by gnawing often, chewing through everything, including doors, door frames, cabinets, plastic, and electrical wire which is sometimes the cause for a fire.

Rodent Life

Rodents live an average of 1-2 years.

rat in bathroom pipes
rodents eating corn
Rodents are notorious for having weak bladders. Their continuous need to pee is the reason why they may contaminate the food, utensils, or surfaces when scurrying from place to place. Rodents live an average of 1-2 years. Rodent droppings are usually shiny black, but this colour may vary according to what they eat. Fresh droppings are soft and moist, whereas old droppings are hard and dry. Rodents are disease-carrying pests which live and breed in highly unhygienic conditions, for example, sewers and bin centres. There are 6 types of diseases caused by rodents, e.g., plague, hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, murine typhus, rat bite fever, salmonellosis, and leptospirosis.
There are 3 types of common rodents in Singapore: Roof rats, Norway rats, and House mice. Roof rats (Rattus rattus) are usually black or brown in colour, size ranges from 16 to 24 cm in length. The tail is longer than the body and head. Roof rats have a pointed nose, slender body, big ears, and eyes. Roof rats are also referred to as Black Rats or Ship Rats. They are excellent climbers and the droppings are rod-shaped with pointed ends. House mice (Mus musculus) is the smallest in size (at 7 to 9.5cm) compared to the other two species. They are light brown to dark grey in colour. They have a pointed snout, larger eyes, ears, and tail of equal length to their body. Their nests can be found in dark and secluded areas. Norway rats (Rattus norvegicus) are brown or dark grey with a body length between 19 to 25cm. The tail is shorter than the head and the body with a blunted nose, small eyes, and small ears that are held tightly against the body. Their nests can be found in basements and lower portions of buildings.  

Rat infestations are one of the most concerning matters for many industries in Singapore

Since rats are ubiquitous and highly adaptive to new environments (modified or fragmented), they can multiply quickly in our urban environment as long as it is close to their food source. Moreover, rats and mice are not only the cause of contaminated food but also cause damage to infrastructures by gnawing. These issues occur due to poor management of waste centres, uncovered refuse chutes, overflowing bulk bins, uncleared stray animal feed, improper disposal of food waste and poor housekeeping.

It is widely known that rats carry harmful bacteria in their fur and excrement (urine and droppings) which can lead to serious diseases and, worst-case scenario, death. These diseases caused by rats include Hantavirus, Leptospirosis, Rat Bite Fever, Salmonellosis and Typhus. Moreover, rats carry secondary pests such as fleas, ticks and mites in their fur which also lead to serious consequences besides just food contamination.

Rat infestations are one of the most concerning matters for various industries in Singapore as it is a modern city-state with densely populated residential developments, food establishments, nature parks, commercial sites, and industrial areas. Construction or shipbuilding activities open the doors for unintentional opportunities such as shelter, food, and water, attracting and leading to rat infestations.

To overcome this issue, both parties (the client or stakeholder and the Singapore pest control experts) need to work together consistently in proper refuse management. The actual key to controlling this issue, however, is to identify the source and high-activity areas by closely monitoring the signs of rat infestations such as gnaw or rub marks, droppings, and live sightings during daily inspections. Not forgetting to inspect areas that may potentially support rat activities such as storage areas, above false ceilings, sewers, planter boxes, unattended equipment and items (old pallets), and loading and unloading bays. Perimeter landscapes are also important to keep an eye on as there was once a case of 1,000 rodent burrows that raised public health concerns in Singapore.

Rats have excellent memories which make it difficult to control infestations, opting to return to familiar grounds and fearful of new and unfamiliar objects, odours and tastes making it difficult to lure them out into traps. They also choose flight over fight when it senses any potential threats.

When the COVID-19 global pandemic hit and most establishments and residential areas were put under lockdown, rat infestations in Singapore became aggressive and thrived. Foul odours and droppings give way to their presence and live sightings of them in action damage the reputation of establishments (mainly food-related) which can lead to financial losses. Food chain suppliers, supermarkets and food shop operators are the most affected as these pests bring about concerns related to food hygiene and food safety.

As for the client or stakeholder’s role, practicing proper refuse management is of the highest priority. This includes proper storage of refuse, covering bin bulks tightly, and tying up waste bags to ensure that there are no holes before disposal. Clients are also advised to maintain the cleanliness of their premises at all times and not only after the day of treatment (which usually lasts up to a week). Drains, gullies, and floor traps should be cleaned daily, and equipped with traps where necessary, which would prevent rats from entering premises that attract them most, especially restaurants, food suppliers, and supermarkets.

After identifying these locations, pest control service workers will eliminate all shelters and entry points by sealing or covering them with durable material and placing rodent bait inside the holes, crevices, gaps, and entry points—a method that is executed on a bi-monthly or weekly basis, depending on the severity of the infestation. Pest control workers will need to be equipped with good practices, making sure to check all bait stations and traps according to the schedule. This is to prevent the massive accumulation of dust which may lead to food contamination, or prevent foul odours as a result of piled-up dead pests. All proves that yet again, local pest control services serve an important role in curbing any further damages to your property that infestations may cause.

rat in sewage

Treatment & Solution

For rats, we can use bait, tracking powder, rodent cages, or glue traps.


– Bait can be secured in bait stations or treat burrows.

– Tracking powder dusting in the burrow with a duster applicator.

– Glue traps should be placed at the rodent runways. 

– Rodent cages with bait should be placed at strategic locations such as along rodent walkways.

Do you know…

Rats can swim in water for up to three days without drowning. They like to swim and are very good at it. Rats can swim in water continuously for three days straight and can hold their breath underwater for three minutes. Its tail can support the body and controls to swim efficiently and perfectly.

Having rodent infestation issues?

Share with us your concerns or needs and our team at Verminator will be ready to respond to you.