Wire netting stops rats

DETERRENT: Metal grilles at the back of the stall prevent rats from climbing in.

Bgain 442 Eating Housefaced a serious rat problem and was renovated to resolve the issue, said Ms Low Piow Ling, the supervisor of the coffee shop.

The 40-year-old added that stallholders had to chase rats away several times a day, either with brooms orhot water.

Once the lights were turned off at night, up to 10 rats could be seen roaming around in the coffee shop, she added. Many stallholders complained to the management about the problem so something had to be done, she added.

The coffee shop was closed for renovations from Nov 18 to Dec 1 last year. Metal grilles and wire netting were added to the back of the stalls to prevent rats from climbing in.

Stallholders said the rat situation has improved since. Mr Samsir Alwi, 55, who owns a Muslim food stall with his wife, said the rat problem already existed when they started working there five years ago.

He even had to place rat traps in his stall to catch them, he said.

He added: "There used to be countless rats running around (in the coffee shop). Now, I only see one or two."

Mr Ooi Cheng Eng, 62, a duck rice seller, said in Mandarin: "Besides rats, the metal grilles also keep out birds. It's more hygienic this way."

Ms Low was empathetic when told that the nearby hawker centre now faces a rat problem.

She said: "Maybe the rats have gone there as they can no longer run (around) in our coffee shop. Hopefully, (the) authorities can solve the problem."