RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Customers and employees at two local Family Dollar stores are finding some unexpected items in the aisles and shelves: rat droppings. 

Employees and shoppers told 8News that there have been rat problems at two Richmond-area Family Dollar stores for a long time, and it’s so serious that the state has gotten involved. 

Shoppers at the Family Dollar on Hull Street Road called it disgusting. Employees aren’t happy with it either. 

Inside the Family Door on Westover Hills Boulevard, there have been reports of possible rat poop left in the pet food aisle, on the floor and on shelves. 

“If you’ve got rats in there, imagine what else you could have in there,” one customer explained. 

On Hull Street Road, Family Dollar employees admit the store has been infested with the rodents for a long time. 

8News went to the store and found droppings everywhere, ironically the biggest pile was directly in front of the toilet paper. 

Kristin Smith reports for 8News.

“I knew something was wrong because there was a very strange stench as you enter the building,” a woman who shops at Family Dollar told 8News. 

An employee from the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the state agency that oversees stores like the Family Dollar, told 8News that he couldn’t speak about why he was there. 

The store’s shoppers were more than willing to speak to 8News.

“That’s disgusting. It’s disgusting to expose people in your community. You have a business mission to serve the community at large with respect and dignity and that’s not respect and dignity,” said Paula McGhee, a Family Dollar shopper.

A spokesperson from Family Dollar’s corporate headquarters told 8News, “Please know the safety of our customers and associates is always our first priority, and we take situations like this very seriously. We have been working with pest control services to resolve the issues.” 

In regards to the state’s involvement in the situation, 8News has been told it can’t comment on active investigations. 

Stores like Family Dollar are inspected only if there is a complaint. Even though the store sells food, it’s exempt from state inspections. 

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