WEST MEMPHIS, Arkansas — FOX13 revealed disturbing details from FDA inspection reports of a Family Dollar warehouse in West Memphis, Arkansas.
FOX13 received 21 pages of FDA reports, providing insight into a series of 15 inspections over the course of a month. The controls began in mid-January.
On a pallet of mixed nuts we found rodent droppings in the amount of “tntc” or “too numerous to count”.
A mouse carcass was seen on a palette of Hungry Jack Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes. More feces were found on packages of Knorr Pasta Alfredo. The rodents had also chewed open packages.
Urine stains from rodents have also been seen.
Other excrement was found on toffee, self-raising flour, sunflower seeds, and packets of instant jello.
The inspection revealed a new problem around medicines you buy to keep your family healthy.
Inspectors said Family Dollar fumigated for rats but failed to clear the area of drugs beforehand. These include ibuprofen, Tylenol for children, hand sanitizer, and antihistamines.
More rodent droppings and signs of dead rodents were found near items such as toothpaste, medicated chest rub and mouthwash.
According to reports, there were so many dead and decomposing rodents that staff stopped using the break room and one office because the smell was so bad.
The FDA report states that Family Dollar has known about the rats since 2020, even sharing a story months before investigating a fire drill. The loud noise made rats run through the facility.
From March to September 2021, Family Dollar documented 2,300 rodent captures. Another 150 were captured within five days in January and 1,100 were picked up near the drugs after this fumigation.
The large rat infestation at a West Memphis Family Dollar warehouse has many people asking questions.
How did the problem get so out of hand? How long does it take to repair? What are the safety concerns when working around rodents?
Pest control experts say just seeing a rat is a pretty good indication that you already have a problem, and it carries several diseases that can threaten your health.
“It can quickly get out of hand, especially with rodents,” says Michael Maynard, owner of Apex Wildlife Control. “Just one pair of rodents can breed and grow to over 1,500 a year.”
Maynard sees it all the time: it doesn’t take much for a rodent problem to spiral into a spiral.
“It just comes from neglect over time. What often happens is that people just procrastinate. It doesn’t take long for an issue to spiral out of control,” he said.
Maynard covers both residential and commercial property infestations. He said it’s not uncommon for a large company to have a rodent problem.
“They keep the trash out, the bigger dumpsters and things like that, so they’re just as likely to have rodent problems as residential properties,” Maynard said.
Signs that you have a rodent problem in your home or business include scratching noises in your walls or ceiling, holes being chewed through walls and floors, and rodent droppings around food wrappers.
“Rats carry a variety of different types of diseases in their urine and feces, particularly their feces. If it rises up our attic and around your ventilation system, it can get into your home,” Maynard said.
Maynard said setting rat traps is only a temporary solution and it can take several weeks to get rid of a rat infestation with the help of an expert.
“When you try to solve the problem piecemeal, it often takes a lot longer and is more expensive than getting it right the first time and taking care of it,” he said.
Not only the droppings can endanger you.
Maynard said rats often chew on electrical wires, which could start a fire.
Eliminating litter in your building, storing pet food indoors, and making sure your shrubs and grass are trimmed can help keep rats out of your home or business, he said.
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