Rabbit hoards costing Mission Viejo communities’ big bucks! MISSION VIEJO

Orange County Pest Control.
Large numbers of rabbits have been an ongoing problem in several Orange County communities for years. These fury little creators my look cute but in large numbers, they have destroy tens of thousands of dollars in landscaping every year in the Palmia retirement community and a similar about of damage has been caused in the Casta del Sol community.
These communities have asked the City of Mission Viejo for a variance of the non-shooting ordnance the city has in place to help the rabbit control problem within their communities. The city council recently reviewed their request.
The Mission Viejo City Council recently heard the pros and cons of this issue and voted to continue allowing senior communities homeowners associations for Palmia and Casta del Sol to hire exterminators to shoot rabbits with air-powered pellet guns.
At the council meeting, attended by two television crews and 10 residents of those communities, the following pros and cons were heard before the vote was taken to allow shooting to control the rabbits was passed by 4-0 vote. Councilwoman Cathy Schlicht said she didn’t like the idea, but called it the “less evil” alternative for dealing with an overpopulation of rabbits that has long plagued the communities. “I would rather take a bullet than slowly die from poison,” Schlicht said.
But Patricia Dick of Palmia took exception to this practice and said the hunting often takes place in the dead of night, between midnight and 5am, as dictated by city policy. She said residents have reported hearing the screams of rabbits being killed in the middle of the night and that she has found carcasses in bushes by her home.
“We were never asked if they could take our fees and use them to slaughter wildlife,” Dick said.
However, a rep from the board of the HOA said they’ve never heard from any residents opposed to the practice. In fact, they said they’ve had great feedback about the health and appearance of the community since they started the practice in 2010. They also insisted they’ve tried every alternative, using things like an owl box to attract birds that also thin the rabbit population.
Gerard and Catherine Scortino of Mission Viejo started a petition on change.org to stop the killings, encouraging residents to also attend Monday’s council meeting. But the petition had only gathered nine signatures as of late Monday and only 10 residents showed up for the hearing.
Carole Weidler of Casta del Sol said her husband almost died 10 years ago after contracting a rare illness from rabbits in the community. Along with protecting residents’ health, Weidler said the hunts are protecting the 150 community gardens that have been ravaged by rabbits in the past.

The council approved extending the variance on a 4-0 vote, with Councilman Frank Ury absent. The variance will be good for the next two years.
Councilwoman Rhonda Reardon told the two Palmia residents who spoke against the practice that they should take the issue up with their homeowners association.
Wheeler’s Pest Control specializes in rodent control in Orange County, serving all the fire stations for Orange County Fire Authority and Orange County Public works. If you have a rodent control problem just give us a call. We’d be glad to help.

Wheeler's Pest Control

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