There are several reasons why fumigation of warehouses is important, it is safe to say that fumigation is the last resort for pest prevention and control.
Have you tried other pest control options and yet to have a satisfactory result? Are you contemplating the option of fumigation for your warehouse infestation? Here are a few things you need to know about warehouse fumigation.
What is Warehouse Fumigation?
Warehouse fumigation is considered an essential practice used for pest control in which warehouses storing goods are fumigated with poisonous gasses in a monitored environment to eliminate numerous insect infestations.
The area will be sealed off for the protection of the community and surrounding area, and the gas is held at a certain concentration level until it kills every form of infestation within the area.
This can only be done by a trained, certified professional. Warehouse pest control is a crucial aspect of regular maintenance procedures. And is of ultimate importance to clear business audits for licensing and mandatory accreditation.
Warehouses are a haven for numerous pests, but pest control services are geared toward three groups: insects, flying insects/moths, and rodents. Some of the pests that invade warehouses include weevils, moths, grubs, beetles, rats, mice, etc.
NB: The length of time it will take to fumigate your warehouse will depend on the size and type of warehouse and also the kind of pests you want to eradicate. Hence, the need to contact experts.
Read also: Does Organic Pest Control Work?
What You Should Know About Fumigation of Warehouses
The major aim of fumigation is to suffocate harmful pests using chemicals. Fumigation is a pest control method that involves the release of gaseous pesticides or fumigants within an enclosed space to suffocate and kill harmful pests therein.
Fumigation is used to control pests in buildings (structural fumigation), soil, grain, and produce. While processing goods for either importation or exportation, fumigation is carried out to prevent the transfer of toxic organisms.
Structural fumigation focuses on eradicating pests within a building, it could be a residential building or a warehouse. It also targets pests that live in the physical structure itself like the wood borers and dry-wood termites.
Commodity fumigation just as the name suggests, concentrates on the pest that affects physical goods, often food products.
Commodity fumigation is also conducted within a physical structure, for example, a storage unit or a warehouse. Fumigation lasts for a stipulated period.
Read also: When to Call an Exterminator For Mice?
Process of Fumigation in Warehouses
Fumigation is a risky operation. It is a principal legal requirement that the operator who conducts the fumigation process must have an official certification to carry out such activity because the chemicals used are quite harmful to all forms of life, human life inclusive.
The fumigation process normally involves the following step:
First, we have the evacuation. Humans are expected to leave the intended fumigation area, and the area covered to create an enclosed environment.
Next, the operator releases the fumigant into the sealed area. The fumigant is allowed time to percolate through the space and kill every form of infestation in the area.
Finally, the space is ventilated. This last step is very important because the safety of humans who re-enter this fumigated space depends on how well-ventilated it is. The toxic gasses are allowed to escape, leaving the area safe.
Why is the Fumigation of Warehouses Important?
Fumigation is a very important exercise for individuals who own either a grain, fruits, herbs, or even a consumer goods or beverage warehouse.
Whether your goods are exported to other countries or sold at local markets, the possibility of dealing with some warehouse pests like rice ticks, molds, moths, rats, and birds is always there.
Pests should be an emergency because they adversely affect productivity in warehouses. Fumigation is one of the most effective ways to handle pest infestation.
It gets rid of stored grain insects and animals with the use of toxic gas called fumigant. The substance produces a concentrated gas that is deadly for certain living species.
Fumigants are more effective compared to contact powders, it penetrates the inner grain mass, and touches the large imperceptible incipient forms ( the eggs and larvae) growing in there.
Fumigants are to be used in a totally sealed area as they spread throughout the area where released. Hence, when grain stored in a large volume is fumigated, the bins must be strongly airtight.
Tarpaulins whose edges are mapped to the ground or wall are used to cover stored bagged grains during fumigation.
The success of a fumigation process relies on the concentration of the gas and also the length of time in which the fumigation process lasts.
Some Fumigants Used in the Fumigation of Warehouses
Below are some of the best fumigants used in the fumigation of warehouses.
1. Methyl bromide:
Methyl Bromide can be applied in either a solid or gaseous form and is a very effective poisonous agent that eliminates pests like ants, insects, rodents and beetles, etc.
Methyl bromide is majorly used for quarantine purposes. Utmost care must be taken when using this fumigant in homes. It has fast action and the grains can be aerated within 12-24 hours of use.
Methyl bromide is a highly poisonous, colorless, and odorless chemical that ha,s residual effects on grain and accumulates in the human body.
Thus, Is not advisable to use it in food produce warehouses. The period of fumigation should be 24–48 hours.
2. Magnesium or Aluminium phosphide:
Magnesium phosphate appears in solid dark gray granules or powder. Phosphine is released when Magnesium phosphate is mixed with water or any moisture and Is poisonous to numerous pests.
This fumigant has an excellent penetration capacity because of its small molecular weight (34.04). Phosphine easily mixes with the air as they weigh the same, this consequently helps in its easy penetration into the stored grains.
This process takes at least five days. Unlike Methyl bromide, Magnesium phosphate does not affect the taste or smell of grains as it leaves no residues on them and does not affect the germinability of seeds.
Nevertheless, they can be inflammable at normal temperatures, so great safety measures should be taken at the time of application. It has a delayed release compared to others, hence, requires a longer period.
3. Aluminum Phosphate:
Aluminum phosphate works just like magnesium phosphide. It becomes gas when mixed with water or moisture. Aluminum phosphate is used when magnesium phosphide is not accessible.
4. Sulfuryl Fluoride:
Sulfuryl fluoride is highly toxic and irritates you need to properly cover your body when using it. They are usually used as pressurized gas. It can be used in preventing pests from storage facilities.
5. Calcium Cyanide:
Calcium cyanide Is another effective fumigant. This chemical reacts with moisture in the air to produce hydrogen cyanide. It is not novel that fumigants are very lethal to humans.
Therefore the people involved in the fumigation process should be trained, they should strictly observe the recommended safety measures like the use of gloves, masks, hermetic sealing of phosphine containers, and a proper wash after application.
Benefits of Warehouse Fumigation
No one invests in vain adventures. And as earlier stated, fumigation is an integral part of pest control measures. It should be done at intervals to ensure the safety of products stored in the warehouse as healthy products equate to massive profit.
Some of the benefits s of fumigation will be:
Quick result: Fumigation is the best option for tackling any pest issues quickly. Having pests in a warehouse filled with products can be agony because his infestation can cause harm to the products and Brito losses to the business. Fumigation comes to the rescue as it kills 100% of the targeted pests within a short period, minimizing downsize and the loss of profit.
Efficient and effective: Fumigation takes the crown where other methods have failed. These fumigants touch every crack, crevice, and wall void where pests hide void products can not reach. It also reaches in between stacked bags on pallets. No need to dismantle them.
No residuals left: After proper ventilation of the fumigated area, it becomes safe for humans and products alike devoid of targeted pests.
Comprehensive and reliable: There is nothing new about fumigation, from the steps involved to the results they give. It is an old long pest control method that has yielded positive results.
Away from the benefits of fumigation, we have the problems of cost, the toxicity of chemicals the sed, the d also the length of time it takes to safely fumigate an area.
But notwithstanding, fumigation still stands as the most effective pest control method that gives 100% positive results.
Warehouses are very vulnerable to irremediable damage, mostly caused by infestation and contamination. To prevent and control any pest infestation, to guarantee a 100% sanitized product.
Fumigation in warehouses is a reasonable choice to make. So, it is of great importance that warehouse fumigation is done regularly.