NEW DORP BEACH — Hurricane Sandy has brought a new, unwanted neighbor for residents on New Dorp Beach and South Beach — bugs.
Residents said the neighborhood has been infested with mosquitoes, flies and spiders, more so than any year they've ever seen.
Since warmer weather has set in during the past month, they've lodged dozens of complaints to 311.
Residents said the number of mosquitoes, especially in the early morning and evening hours, makes it impossible to leave their home without getting bitten.
“In the evening it’s almost unbearable,” said Bob Jakob, 67, a retired EMT who’s lived in the neighborhood for 60 years. “I don’t even go out anymore.”
Aside from mosquitoes, residents in New Dorp Beach also complained about an increase in spider bites and biting flies coming into their homes.
“It was never like this,” Jakob said.
While the spiders haven’t made their way there yet, South Beach residents say the mosquito increase has been unprecedented.
Megan Delmar, 42 said she was pulling into work recently in a white pickup truck when she noticed the back was black, which she thought was dirt. When she got closer, she saw it was a swarm of mosquitoes.
“It was all mosquitoes all over the tail gate,” said Delmar, who runs a therapeutic horse riding program in South Beach. “It freaked me out.”
Many blamed the increase in bugs on the large amount of standing water around the neighborhood.
Several Parks Department construction projects near New Dorp Beach have left two city parking lots — at Cedar Grove Avenue and Garibalidi Avenue and Marine Way, flooded, even after small amounts of rain, Jakob said.
Neighbors said that aside from the parking lots, the neighborhood is filled with standing water all over the streets and in the yards of homes left abandoned by Sandy victims.
“We've been making complaints about the standing water,” said Deidre McGrath, president of Beacon of Hope NY. “The city doesn’t seem to be taking this seriously.”
The Health Department has sprayed to kill mosquitoes three times this year in Staten Island, but have not hit neighborhoods close to South Beach or New Dorp Beach.
A spokeswoman for the Health Department said that the agency bases their decision to spray on if there’s a high risk of West Nile Virus in the area.
The spokeswoman said they are inspecting breeding sites in the area weekly, and urged residents to call 311 about the standing water.