DENVER – The company that manages the Breakers Resort Apartment complex says it is launching a "global" rat eradication program because of a hard to control infestation.
In an email to Denver7, Alana Watkins, of VOCA Public Relations, said:
"The Breakers Resort received a complaint about rat infestation issues in late November 2016. Immediately following the complaint, The Breakers increased pest control from weekly to daily service to deal with the issue which involved placing bait stations around the affected areas followed by removal of deceased rats. Daily pest control efforts continued throughout the month of December. The Breakers recognizes this is an ongoing issue that pre-dates current management and, as such, a global rat eradication program is being implemented with bait stations being placed at all 48 garbage enclosures and 35 bait stations being placed around the perimeter of the property. These additional bait stations will be in place by Monday, January 9. The health and of safety of residents is The Breakers' top priority and management is committed to taking whatever steps are necessary to mitigate this issue."
Residents have expressed concerns about the rat infestation and the attempts to control it.
On Friday, Denver7 first reported on numerous dead rats that had been found on the grounds of the complex, near East Mississippi Avenue and South Alton Street.
Residents said they first complained about the rats to management weeks ago, after noticing the rodents had been chewing on electrical wiring in several of their cars.
On Saturday, some of those residents told Denver7 that pest control crews were scrambling to pick up the dead rats and loose rat poison packets.
Justin Parsons said he watched crews when they first distributed the bait.
“I physically watched them…take the poison packets and throw them against the building,” he said, “and they fell behind the bushes. Nobody came back to pick them up until it was broadcast on the news, then they hurried up. There were six different crews picking up poison packets.”
Parson said from what he could tell, none of the packets were placed in plastic "bait stations."
Some residents worry that the poison packets, which had been left on the grounds for weeks, pose a hazard to other animals, specifically pets.
“At first, it wasn’t too bad,” said Chad Clements, “A dead rat here, a dead rat there, no big deal. But then we started seeing dead squirrels everywhere, dead rabbits, other birds, geese, that kind of stuff.”
That’s when they started to worry.
“You don’t want to walk your dog outside anymore,” Clements said. “I have a dog and don’t walk him outside for that reason. I’m afraid he might grab a squirrel, or a rabbit (that has been poisoned)," he said.
Apartment complex name change
When residents woke up Saturday morning, they noticed new, temporary signs had been posted over the existing “Breakers Resort” signs.
The temporary signs said: TAVA Waters.
On Sunday, the temporary signs had been removed.
Watkins said via email that it is in the midst of a three-phase value-add strategy to reposition the property since new management took over in October.
She said the first phase is to rebrand the community with a new name, logo and website and that the change is unrelated to the rat problem.
Watkins added that they originally planned to unveil the new name and brand over the weekend, but decided to delay it so they can focus all efforts on ensuring the health and safety of residents as they implement the global rat eradication program.