Oh Rats! Rats in Seaford backyards?


Oh rats!

State Senator John Brooks and Town of Hempstead highway workers believe they know where the rats that have recently ended up in the yards of Seaford residents are coming from. And, the town has had an exterminator “treat” the area.

But not all Seaford residents think the issue has been resolved.

Rat holes or burrows were discovered late last month in a grassy area of the Seaford LIRR station. Since then, an exterminator hired by the town has put dry ice into the burrows and set black bait stations [traps] around the perimeter, according to a town spokesman.

But whether the rodents have appeared because of ongoing construction in the area or are coming from the nearby preserve, or elsewhere, neighbors don’t care. They just want them gone. They’ve made their concerns known in posts to the Seaford Moms and Dads - Seaford Pride - Facebook page.

“We came home from vacation on August 12, we caught four within 10 days of being home,” said Kathy Otton-McCosker, who lives on Condit Street in Seaford. “The first one we caught was in our pool skimmer basket. Last one was about 2 weeks ago. We had activity in the yard just the past Tuesday night [Sept. 4]. We don’t have traps down currently but there was digging under the fence.”

Other Seaford social media posters say they’ve put up their own traps and used peanut butter to attract and lure the rodents.

A Town of Hempstead spokesman, as well as Brooks, said they are continuing to monitor the situation at the train station.

Brooks said he thinks that contributing to the rat problem is debris in the area at the station and several buildings right nearby being worked on recently.

“They knocked a house down in the last few months” and the rats are looking for new places, he said.

“It’s concerning to everyone,” Brooks added. “Obviously, it presents health effects to everyone. You don’t want them around, sometimes they carry [diseases.] Hopefully, this will take care of it.”

The Wantagh-Seaford Homeowner’s Association is advising residents who see areas where rats have burrowed, on Town of Hempstead property, to call 516-489-5000. If you see them on MTA property, the association suggests, call LIRR Customer Service at 718-217-5477. For Nassau county property, contact the County’s Department of Health at 516-227-9715.

Nassau Legislator Steve Rhoads posted last week that “since these rats are scavengers and will feed off of any available food source.” He said he spoke with the Nassau County Health Department which stresses that since these rats are looking for food and shelter, home and property owners should also take steps to make sure that any garbage on their property is secure and that any areas on the property where rats may obtain shelter are appropriately sealed.

“This would include any food that you leave out for pets, feral cats or wild animals,” he added. “Additionally, please be sure to clean up after your pets. Rats will be attracted to and eat animal waste.”