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While we would hope that none of the respondents have seen anything like the infestation demonstrated by the more than 2,300 rodents collected in a six-month period at the Family Dollar distribution center, the majority have had a rodent sighting.

Sixty-six percent of respondents stated that at least one rodent had been seen in or around the immediate exterior of their facility, with 23% having had both mouse and rat sightings.

Interestingly, while half of those surveyed responded that about the same number were sighted in 2021 as in 2020, the other half were fairly evenly split, with 21% having seen more rodents and 28% having seen fewer.

On the positive side of sightings, the vast majority indicated that the rodents were seen outside the facility, with 75% having sighted mice and 64% seeing rats. This included approximately half the respondents seeing mice and/or rats around exterior trash areas.

Ed Freytag, City of New Orleans | Bugwood.org

However, because respondents could select more than one response, this does not mean that these same facilities did not have any interior rodent sightings. Rather, more than a third saw mice (40%) or rats (36%) in warehouse or storage areas.

Rats were rarely seen indoors, with fewer than 10% of respondents having interior sightings.

Mice were a bit more common, with 19% of respondents having sightings at interior dock areas and 13% seeing them in processing areas.

Rodent presence is a food safety issue that can result in massive recalls and regulatory action. In fact, pests have been one of the top causes of FDA inspection citations for years. Facilities are cited not only for the actual presence of a rodent, but also for lack of prevention.

Two of the top citations are a lack of monitoring, when rodent presence is not monitored by appropriate methods, and non-documentation, a lack of records documenting compliance with rodent and other pest control measures.

Source: Readex Research; Respondents: 113
Source: Readex Research; Respondents: 75
Source: Readex Research; Respondents: 68 (mice), 33 (rats)