Suffolk County

‘Not Like the Regular Sewer Rat': Rodents Overrun Long Island Town

Residents of a Long Island town want their local leaders to take action against a growing rat problem.

Locals in West Islip have recently resorted to rat traps to control the rodent population themselves.

“We started seeing (rats) the beginning of June. The next door neighbor got one he described as being as big as a cat,” town resident Frank Edwards said.

Locals also say the rats have been difficult to catch.

“They’re very, very shrewd. It’s not like the regular sewer rat,” Jane Baldwin of West Islip said.

Though there hasn’t been a confirmed reason why rodents have been so abundant, many theorize that the rats came the week after the town opened the sewers.

“No one really has garbage lying around. We’re very clean around here. Everyone takes care of their property, so it’s kind of eerie thinking about rats,” resident Sandy DiPietro said.

Suffolk County has denied that sewer work drove the rats into the community, and in a statement, a town spokesperson also denied receiving any rat complaints.

Islip did, however, send a county health department truck to the town Thursday to inform residents on how to deal with the animals.

Instead of information sessions, it's pest control that locals are pressing the town for more.

“(Islip) should at least look into further and not blow you off,” Edwards said.

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