Target store halts food sales after video shows rats casually hanging out on shelves

Person holding brown pet rat
This man wants a kiss
Photo: AFP Contributor (Getty Images)

Animals scoff at the laws of man. Just now, I noticed two fat pigeons making a nest on my windowsill. Do the pigeons care that they’re building their cheap little pigeon house in the precise spot where I hoped to install my air conditioning unit? No. Did they ask for my thoughts on pigeon backsplash and/or pigeon wallpaper options? No. And while animal mishaps are mostly just annoying, they can sometimes be downright dangerous. Like, I don’t know, getting eaten by an alligator—or buying food from a Target store that’s infested with rodents.


I’m referring to a Facebook video that went viral last month showing what appeared to be two rats crawling on top of a Virginia Target store shelf. The rats are truly just hanging out, but I understand why their presence might be unwelcome in a store that sells foodstuffs. The whole disease vector thing, for example. Some people might see the rats and think, “Cool, free pets!” but others might need a few hours in the home goods section to recover from the shock. Either way, not a good look for Target.

Local news source WAVY reached out to Target for a comment, and spokesperson Brian Harper-Tibaldo says they’ve halted food sales at the location while pest control pokes around. Harper-Tibaldo also apologized to customers and invited guests to visit a nearby store for their food needs. I guess I’ll take my current windowsill pigeon palace over a rat-filled Target.

Staff writer @ The Takeout, joke writer elsewhere. Wrangling dogs and pork shoulder in Chicago.


Manic Otti

Looks like they’re going to have to hire an exterminator to the rats!