The code of civil procedure gives the time limit of 30 days in which to answer your Complaint or FAC or any complaint. Yes, try to take their default by filing a request for entry of default - you won't have time to get a default judgment.
If you intend to litigate this case pro se, I suggest getting a book or two on civil procedure - Nolo is a good publisher (see linked book below).
Disclaimer: Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on, since each state has different laws, each situation is fact specific, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship.