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N4T Investigators: Mouse trap - KVOA | KVOA.com | Tucson, Arizona

N4T Investigators: Mouse trap

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Tucson - Gary McFeaters says mice have taken over his apartment. 

“The problem is horrible,” McFeaters told the News 4 Tucson Investigators. “I probably have 15 in here at a time. I catch maybe eight a day, 10 a day,” he said.

McFeaters has trapped a bunch of rodents but says they just keep on coming into his ground floor unit at the Tanque Verde Apartments. The mice have left droppings on the floor and holes in food bags and Gary's bed.

“You hear 'em (in the walls) eating all day long, and at night time it's crazy,” he said. “I don't sleep in my room, I haven't slept in my room in probably months. I sleep on the couch because they jump right up on the bed.” 

Gary's 15-year old daughter Marilyn says she recently had a rude awakening in the middle of the night.

“I was just sleeping and I just felt something touching me, and I was like, ‘What is this?’ Because nobody else is in my room and I'm like, ‘What is touching me?,” she said.  

A mouse was crawling up her back. “It’s kind of scary” living like that, Marilyn said. 

Dave Alexander lives across the courtyard from McFeaters and is one of three other renters who told us they've seen mice in the complex.  Alexander says he's seen the rodents by his patio.

We asked Alexander,“On a one to 10 scale, how big is the mice problem in this apartment complex?” He said, “It's [an] 11, is what it is.” 

But management says Alexander has never complained to them. Mcfeaters says he has complained for months, and all management did was give him glue boards to trap the mice. 

So he contacted the Pima County Health Department. 

Inspectors came out on December 20 and served the complex with a Notice of Violation. Health inspectors returned Tuesday, and found that on-site maintenance filled entry holes with expanding foam and replaced sticky traps.  

Management found McFeaters hadn't removed rodent droppings, and inspectors took photos showing them throughout his apartment. He was given 48 hours to remove them. He apparently did not do so sufficiently. Because after inspectors returned to McFeaters apartment this morning, they served him with a Notice of Violation. Their report states, "rodent droppings still present in the same places as noted" during the Dec. 27 inspection. Also today, the management supervisor told us that the non-renewal notice was because McFeaters apartment "was not inhabitable."

And there's more: McFeaters is being kicked out of his apartment by management; he's been given a non-renewal notice after eight years here. 

He says he knows why: “Because I complained about something in my apartment. That's no justification to get rid of somebody.”

We visited the leasing office. A woman there declined an on-camera interview and told us to contact Scotia Group Management's corporate office. A supervisor at the corporate office also declined an on-camera interview. She told us on the phone, “We don't have to give a reason for not renewing McFeaters' lease”, adding, “It's in the best interest of the property.”

She said McFeaters would not cooperate with management when they tried to make an appointment to remediate the mice problem, and he wouldn't let maintenance enter his apartment. 

We went back to McFeaters and asked if he was uncooperative. He said, “I knew they'd be saying something like that, but that's not true. I begged them, I begged them probably once a week, 'Will you please help me?'”

McFeaters, 65, has to be out of his apartment by December 31. He's disabled, lives on a fixed income and says he doesn't know how he's going to pay for a move, and isn't sure where he's going to live. “I don’t get it,” McFeaters said of his lease not being renewed. “I’m lost.”

If you have a story you’d like us to investigate, email us at investigators@kvoa.com, or call our tip line at 520-955-4444. 

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