CHICAGO (STMW) — City inspectors watched a mouse run past them Wednesday just before shutting down a dollar Pilsen store that had more than 350 mice droppings inside.

The Dumpster Task Force closed the Dollar Tree Store at 2517 W. Cermak Rd. because of an active mice infestation and poor housekeeping, a release from the city’s Department of Streets & Sanitation said.

Inspectors were following up on a complaint in the general area when they entered the Dollar Store and immediately saw mice droppings on the ledge in the front window. Overall, more than 350 mice droppings were found throughout the store, including underneath bags of candy, rice and snack foods.

Inspectors found the store had heavy clutter and that a mouse ran past them and into the clutter when they opened an interior door. The rear exterior doors had gaps that gave mice easy access to the stores, the release said.

The Task Force reported mice had gnawed into Mylar sheets and were using the remnants for nesting materials.

The store was closed for the critical violations of inadequate pest control and for failure to protect food from contamination. A serious violation was issued for back doors that failed to prevent rodent entry.

“Store management let their pest and clutter problems get out of hand and that put the health of their customers at risk,” said Deputy Commissioner Josie Cruz in the release, head of Streets & Sanitation’s Bureau of Rodent Control which operates the Dumpster Task Force. “Before they are allowed to reopen, store management will need to clean and pest proof their facility, correct all necessary problems, and then pass a tough re-inspection.”

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