Have a question regarding a pest control or wildlife problem? As our experts by contact us below. If it's interesting enough, we may even include it below.
Q: When I hear coyotes yipping and howling at night does that mean they made a kill?
A: No, coyotes don't yip or howl when they make a kill. They are communicating with rival packs to mark their territory or they are trying to bond the pack before a hunt begins.
Q: If my house is sprayed right before it rains will the pest control treatment wash away?
A: Pesticide applied to eaves, around windows, under patio covers, and many pest harborages will be effective even if it rains. Dormant Oil sprays need to dry a little before it rains to smother overwintering insect eggs on shrubs and fruit trees. If pests re-appear within 30 days, we will be happy to do an extra service under our standard guarantee.
Q: I have a bug and I don't know what it is. Can you help me?
A: Absolutely! Our specialists can usually identify a bug by asking you a few questions about where you found it, it's size, color, and general shape. Pictures are also very helpful. Occasionally, our Entomologist will need an intact specimen to identify less common bugs.
Q: What kind of animals and wildlife do you handle?
A: We handle almost every nuisance critter you can imagine including, but not limited to: raccoons, opossums, skunks, coyotes, feral cats, rats, field mice, gophers, ground squirrels, bats and pigeons. We even handle stinging insects such as bees and wasps. If in doubt, give us a call and we can happily answer your questions. If in doubt, call us. We love the challenge of interesting wildlife!
Q: What animals don't you handle?
A: Dogs, peafowl and other domesticated animals that are under the jurisdiction of animal control. However, we are allowed to handle feral cats, but they must be turned into animal control. Some localities, such as the City of Los Angeles, do require a permit prior to trapping. If you're not sure, give us a call and we will be happy to answer any of your questions.
Q: Can't the city or county take care of the problem for free?
A: Generally not. Government animal control, such as city or county animal control services, only deal with domestic animals - dogs and cats. This includes bite reports, attacks on animals, pet abuse complaints, barking or dangerous dogs, etc. It's true that certain government services used to help with select wildlife cases, but as budgets have dwindled most cities and counties require that you call a licensed pest control or wildlife operator. When you have rats or wildlife invade your home or property, you need someone to inspect the attic or crawl space, note damage such as ducts that were torn open, identify vulnerable areas on the roof and do preventative exclusions to make sure it doesn't happen again. Wildlife control is a complex and specialized field requiring a lot of work and dedication. Even if the city and county animal services were willing to help with wildlife issues, they wouldn't do as close to a complete job as us. Wildlife and pest control is now in the hands of the private pest control sector.
Q: Is it permissible to relocate pesky squirrels that are destroying or damaging private property?
A: No. Small nuisance mammals that are damaging property may be taken by the owner but may not be released alive except in the immediate area. Relocating nuisance wildlife not only relocates the problem but also places the critter into an area where it has no established shelter or food and water source, and could potentially spread disease. A depredation permit may be issued for tree (gray) squirrels, unless it is the gray squirrel season when hunters are allowed to take squirrels.
Q: What areas do you serve?
A: All of Southern California. We proudly service Kern, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties.
Q: Are you licensed?
A: Yes, we are licensed by the California Structural Pest Control Board, Department of Fish and Wildlife and also by the Department of Pesticide Regulation. Each individual employee at Critter Busters is a state certified pesticide applicator and posses a trapping license as well. Our associates are extensively trained in pest identification, damage recognition, management methods and safety. They also undergo state approved re-education to keep up with the latest laws and regulations and some of the newest and more efficient methods of pest control.
Q: Do you carry insurance?
A: Yes, any reputable pest and wildlife control operator should carry a variety of insurance, including general liability, workers compensation, and automobile insurance. It protects you, the consumer, if anything happens.
Q: Do you perform exclusion work?
A: Yes, ask your technician for a recommendation and a price quote as each site varies from the next.
Q: Raccoons come up through the culverts in our neighborhood and are causing a lot of trouble. Last year, there was one that tore a vent off our house and got in the subfloor and tore up our ducts under there. Your men came in and trapped them. This year one of them attacked my dog in our back yard. The vet bill was very expensive. Can I trap them in live traps and have you euthanize them for me?
A: You can trap them and we do offer pickup services. However, your best course of action is to concentrate on making your house and yard inhospitable. Bolster up your exterior vents and doors to prevent raccoons and other unwanted wildlife from moving in for shelter. This also means remove all attractants (dog food, fallen fruit, koi ponds, water fountains, etc.). Even water can be an attractant, especially this year. If you do all of this but continue to have a problem, the law allows you to trap and kill raccoons at any time when they are causing damage.
Additional information is available online from the UC Integrated Pest Management Program at http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/menu.house.html#VERT.
Q: What can be done legally to stop my neighbors from leaving food and water outside for animals? Raccoons and rats have invaded our homes and yards and are leaving unhealthy feces behind, tearing the fabric on our patio furniture and causing other problems. How can we get them to stop?
A: Many people think they are helping wild animals when they provide food and water for them. However, all they are doing is luring the animals into conflicts with people living in the area. The California Department of Fish & Wildlife provides information about the inadvertent negative results on their website (search for “feeding wildlife”). You could start by educating your neighbor about the harm they are doing by providing them some of the information in their "keep me wild" campaign here, and then hope that their heart is in the right place and they will stop. If the actions continue, some cities have passed local ordinances that make it illegal to feed wildlife, and CCR Title 14, section 251.1 makes it unlawful to harass wildlife (causing them to alter their normal behavior), which can include feeding them. Hopefully, educating your neighbors will preclude having to get law enforcement involved.
Q: Do you treat termites or provide termite inspections?
A: Yes, upon call our offices you can schedule a free termite inspection. A nominal fee will be charged for anyone needing an inspection for escrow purposes.
Q: Is it illegal to trap and relocate raccoons? I live in Sherman Oaks and we have a huge population of raccoons.
A: Raccoons that have caused property damage can be trapped by legal means (Fish and Game Code, section 4180). The raccoon can either be humanely euthanized or released in the immediate area. “Immediate” is not defined in regulations but the immediate area means “near” and most importantly within the normal home range of the animal. The home range of a raccoon varies depending on habitat and other factors, but an example would be as follows: A person wishes to remove a raccoon from their attic and traps the offending raccoon. The person could then release the raccoon outside of the house or structure, and repair the area or hole where the raccoon enters so it cannot re-enter.
Raccoons should not be “relocated” long distances from where they were trapped because of many reasons, the most important being to prevent the spread of disease.
Q: Do you spray around people's houses for general insects?
A: Yes, we offer a full line of pest control services for ants, bees, roaches, fleas, earwigs, pillbugs, spiders, silverfish and paper wasps. Other insects include midges, box elder bugs, as well as bed bugs.
Q: Do you offer green solutions?
A: Yes, we offer green solutions for many different pest problems. We also use chemicals with effective and precise methods to reduce its effect on the environment.
Q: We know you do a lot of coyote control around Orange and LA County. Do you know what the shotgun magazine capacity while hunting coyotes is?
A: Only shotguns capable of holding no more than six rounds may be possessed or used for the take of any mammal or bird (FGC, section 2010). Therefore, the maximum shotgun magazine capacity for hunting nongame species, such as coyote, is six. When hunting game species, the limit is three rounds. Remember that in the Condor Zone and on state wildlife areas, the ammunition in the shotgun must be certified as non-lead.
Q: What is the strangest thing you have ever caught?
A: An albino raccoon at a university campus in Santa Barbara.
Q: Can the technician come out today?
A: In most cases we can schedule a visit within a few hours. We also offer 24/7 emergency services for an additional service fee. Please call our emergency line at 949-478-1751 .
Q: How much does your services cost?
A: Unfortunately there is not a simple answer for this. We offer competitive pricing and take into account property size, number of services per month, pests we are contracted for, etc. Contact us today to receive a free consultation.
Q:What kind of chemicals do you use?
A: We use pesticides regulated by the Department of Pesticide Regulation and the California EPA in the most effective manner to provide safe and thorough treatments for your community, home, and family. Feel free to contact us with specific questions.
Q: How effective is it?
A: We offer guarantees on most services. Efficacy depends on the pest, severity, weather, treatment materials and methods used as well as frequency of service. For most general pest control programs we recommend a once per month service. For gophers, rats and other rodents we usually recommend a twice (2x) per month program for optimal results.
Q: Do I have to be home when you come?
A: No, we can arrange to service your property when you're not there as long as access has been arranged prior to service. Ask us for details.
Q: How much is an inspection?
A: Our inspections and consultations are free of charge. Real estate inspections will incur a small fee.