Issues With Fumigation

In the case of pest control and eradication, fumigation is the most commonly used method. In order to control pests in an infested residential area, business complex, or public space, pesticides or pest retardants that are fumigated in gaseous form are used. In agriculture or grain production, fumigation is used to keep the soil free of infections and organisms that may be transferred during imports and exports. While it is ideal to avoid the use of chemicals in any way because they can harm people and buildings, pesticides aren’t entirely effective in getting rid of pests. They simply prevent pests from re-establishing themselves in the same location.

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In a phased fumigation process, the process is typically done in two or more phases. It is imperative that the entire area that needs fumigation is sealed off or covered before beginning the process. Next, the covered space is fumigated, i.e. the chemicals are released in the area. The third phase is devoted to the fumigation process, during which the enclosed space is completely fumigated and any pests present within it are killed (woodborers, termites) (eggs, larvae). The chemical or gas will not be able to be found because the area is vented with fresh air and sunlight. Once this entire process is finished, the area is deemed to be free of pests.

The widespread use of various chemicals prior to the Ozone Layer Protection Treaty of the late 1980s had only been a matter of chance prior to that time. Methyl bromide was a widely used fumigant during that time. It was eventually phased out. The categories for fumigation techniques include surface fumigation and sub-surface fumigation. Fumigation done on exposed surface areas is known as surface treatments. If treatments like gas or chemical have to be applied to spaces like soil, cargo containers, and storage tanks, they are considered to be sub-surface treatments.

Surface fumigation techniques vary depending on the situation, the circumstance, and the pest and pesticide characteristics. To seal off an area, it is necessary to use the ‘Tenting Method’ where a rubber tent is placed over the top of the house. Options that take into account the size of the building and infestation, such as air purification systems, become more feasible in larger structures like entire buildings.

The safety of fumigation, which has to be carried out in a manner that poses the fewest risks to life and property, has to be assured by using a certified authority who is thoroughly familiar with the chemicals and how they can be used. Included in the know-how is the percentage of fumigant to be used with regard to the size of the fumigation area, type of fumigant, length of time it takes for the fumigation to be effective, and when complete ventilation is needed following the fumigation.

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