Frequently Asked Questions



What’s the difference between traditional pest control and Integrated Pest Management?

Traditional pest control relies on an exterminator applying routine, indiscriminate application of pesticides inside your home, whether needed or not. The intent is to try to place pesticides wherever pests could possibly go. To be successful, this pest control method requires that pests come in direct contact with the pesticide, where it was applied, INSIDE your home.

Lewis Critter Gitter concentrates on keeping pests from getting inside in the first place by taking preventive, exclusionary measures. Treatments are targeted to specific areas outside your home, where pests live and breed.

Ultimately, Intergrated Pest Managment makes more sense and is more effective than traditional pest control, making it better for you, your family and our environment.


How can you control pests inside my home if you only service outside?

After we’ve eliminated any problems inside your home, we focus our attention outside to address areas where pests can gain entry or where they might find food or water sources. After those access points are eliminated, we create a barrier of protection. By keeping pests outside, we eliminate or reduce the need to go back inside your home.


Why should I hire a professional pest control service?

Lewis Critter Gitter professionals are educated, trained and certified to handle the specific pest issues that you will encounter in and around your home. Lewis Critter Gitter professionals are trained in the safe handling and proper application of materials used to eliminate or prevent pests. Some general guidelines for choosing a pest control company are:

  • Look for a reputable company with knowledgeable and professional representatives and a great image.
  • Ask friends and associates to recommend companies they use or have used.
  • Look for members of state and national industry associations such as the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) that provide ethical guidelines and technical information.
  • Be certain the company is licensed by your state’s regulatory agency.

Why do I need to have my home inspected before you can give me a price?

No two homes or pest problems are exactly alike and neither are their treatments. That’s why we thoroughly inspect your home – inside and outside. We then design a program customized for your situation.


Why should someone hire a professional instead of attempting to control their pest problems by themselves?

Just as you wouldn’t prescribe medicine for yourself or drill your own cavities, you shouldn’t attempt to control termites or other pests on your own. The products, equipment and expertise offered by Lewis Critter Gitter far surpasses what a homeowner could do on his own.


What are conditions, avenues and sources?

Household pests live and breed outside your home. In order to survive, they seek food, water, and shelter – and your home provides all of those elements. Conditions, avenues and sources provide means for pests to get inside your home.

  • Conditions are situations outside your home conducive to pest activity, such as sanitation around garbage cans, standing water or wood stored near your home’s foundation
  • Avenues are pathways into your home, such as unsealed cracks and/or crevices, tears in windows screens, breaks in caulking around pipes or cable television wires, etc.
  • Sources are places of origin for pests, such as mulch beds, underneath accumulated leaves, inside unsealed trash containers, etc.

What are termites?

Termites are wood-destroying insects. Their presence dates back to the dinosaurs. While they play an important role in nature, experts estimate they cause $5 billion of property damage each year.


Are there different kinds of termites?

Yes, the three major kinds of termites in the United States are dampwood, drywood and subterranean. Dampwood termites commonly live in heavily forested areas of the country as they prefer wet wood; while, drywood termites, much more rare in the United States, prefer extremely dry wood. Subterranean termites require moist environments, live mainly in the soil and are the most destructive species.


How do you recognize termites?

Depending on your geographical location, termite swarms should be visible in the early spring. Termite swarms can be confused with flying ants. Termites will often shed their wings in window sills. Telltale signs of termite infestation include soft wood in the home, mud tubes in the interior or exterior of your home (often near the foundation), and darkening or blistering of wood structures.


What is the biology of a termite?

Termites are social insects that live in colonies. Each termite has a specific role in the colony. The queen lays the eggs - possibly several thousand each day in some kinds of termites. Worker termites are the only ones that cause damage to wood – their job is to gather food and enlarge the colony. Soldiers have huge heads and long jaws they use to protect the colony from enemies. The termites that you may see are the winged reproductives that swarm in early spring.


How much damage do termites cause?

It is often said that there are two kinds of homes: those that have had termites and those that will get them. Termites work 24 hours/7 days a week at damaging the wood in and around a structure. And, while they cause $5 billion in damage each year, there is no reason to think that termites cannot be controlled.


When does a homeowner see termites?

Termites swarm in the early spring, depending on their geographical location. Termites in wood or in soil are active throughout the year.


What can a homeowner do to prevent termites?

The most important thing is to remove the conducive conditions termites need to survive. Termites love moisture; avoid moisture accumulation around the foundation of your home. Divert water away with properly functioning downspouts, gutters and splash blocks. Reduce humidity in crawl spaces with proper ventilation. Prevent shrubs, vines and other vegetation from growing over and covering vents. Be sure to remove old form boards, grade stakes, etc., left in place after the building was constructed. Remove old tree stumps and roots around and beneath the building. Most importantly, eliminate any wood contact with the soil. An 18-inch gap between the soil and wood portions of the building is ideal. It doesn’t hurt to routinely inspect the foundation of your home for signs of termite damage.


Does homeowner's insurance cover termite damage?

Homeowner’s insurance typically does not cover termite damage.


How difficult are termites to treat?

Termites are nearly impossible for homeowners to treat on their own. On the other hand, pest control professionals have the training, expertise and technology to eliminate termite infestations.


Why should someone hire a professional instead of attempting to control their pest problems by themselves?

Just as you wouldn’t prescribe medicine for yourself or drill your own cavities, you shouldn’t attempt to control termites or other pests on your own. The products, equipment and expertise offered by Lewis Critter Gitter far surpasses what a homeowner could do on his own.


Is it true that termites are only a problem in southeastern states?

Termites are a problem in homes from New England to Florida, throughout the Midwest and to California. All states except Alaska have some degree of termite pressure. Having your home preventatively treated is a sound decision to protect your largest investment.