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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The glue on the window is all that remains of the mice infestation alert at the Family Dollar Store on Penn Avenue.

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The sticker was removed by the Allegheny County Health Department on Tuesday after the store took the corrective measures to clean up. It’s the second time this year that store has been flagged with a mice infestation problem, and it is not alone.

Barb Murray, the operations manager for the Allegheny County Health Department’s Food Safety unit, says, “So far, to date, we’ve had 59 complaints this year. We had 59 complaints all last year about mice.”

Complete Pest Control Services owner Russ Rusiski doesn’t need statistics to know there’s a problem. His business is way up “as compared to past year’s with rodents in general, rats mice.” And he adds other pest like moles, and even squirrels.


So why is it happening?

Rusiski says, “This last winter was about an average winter weather wise and the previous two were very mild, and I think more mice and rats and rodents in general are surviving the winters.”

More mice, more reproducing, and Murray says the restaurants, “Need pay a little more attention to overall cleanliness. Prevention is always the best thing.”

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Rusiski says that means attention to detail.

“Every night you’ve got to be under the bar, you need to be under the front line, the salad bar, any place that food can fall and accumulate,” he said.

He says it only takes a morsel to satisfy a mouse and once it finds a crumb it will keep returning to that spot.

The calls to Complete Pest Control are not just coming from businesses, homes are being invaded too. Regardless of your structure, Rusiski says the best prevention is to plug the holes where the mice and rats can get in.

“The rule of thumb is for a mouse to be able to get in is about dime-size opening, even a little smaller; and for a rat, about a quarter size hole,” he says.

He adds, “close the door.”

Many businesses will leave their loading dock doors open, and homeowners will leave the garage door open while doing yard work. Both are open invitations to mice to come on in and rest a while, reproduce while you’re at it, and wreak havoc everywhere they can while you sleep. It could be weeks or months before you see the evidence of mice, and by then, the offspring could be abundant.

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The calendar has not even flipped to June and the experts say this issue is only going to get worse.