Fumigation is a process of pest control that fills the area completely with a gaseous pesticide or fumigants to kill the pests within. This process is to quarantine the pests within the containers like: store product pest, woodborers and dry wood termites. Fumigation in India is carried out with aluminium phosphide and methyl bromide. The exposure period of methyl Bromide is less compared to that of Aluminium Phosphide and most of the exporters prefer it

Aluminium phosphide fumigation (ALP):

Aluminium phosphide is an active agent which releases phosphine gas (PH3) when exposed to moisture which is used to control eggs, larvae, pupae and adults of most stored product pests. Aluminium Phosphide comes in the form of tablets and pouches. It is used worldwide for fumigation of raw and processed commodities including grains, tobacco, cocoa beans, nuts seeds, animal feeds, tea, coffee leaf, wheat flour, processed spices, and dried fruits. It is also used for fumigating storage structures like silos warehouses, flour mills ship holds, railcars etc.

Methyl Bromide Fumigation (MBR):

Methyl Bromide is used a lot as a fumigant to quarantine purposes. Because of its good penetrating ability, rapid action, high toxicity, it is a preferred fumigant for most of the quarantine authorities around the world.

The effectiveness of methyl bromide is based on the following:

  • Dosage of the fumigant
  • Duration of exposure
  • Temperature

Methyl bromide is used for fumigating timber, agricultural products, empty containers, food stuffs, and other agricultural crops. When fumigation is carried out with Methyl Bromide fumigant, there will not be any residual issues as ventilation can be carried out easily. It controls insects at all stages; from egg to the adult stage.

As per International Plant Protection conversion Methyl bromide is an approved fumigant which can be used for treating export cargo containing wooden packing materials.

Fumigants will control the existing infestation in the container but they won’t provide any residual protection against subsequent re-infestation. Hence the container should be shipped within 21 days and post which it should be stored or repacked in a pest free facility to avoid re-infestation. Post this if the agricultural products are being taken to be packed again, it has to be done in a hygienic place.

Methyl bromide is absorbed by oils, fats and finely ground materials. It is also known to react with materials containing sulphur, including food stuffs and proteins to produce objectionable stain and odours which may continue even after prolonged aeration. When there are concerns about possible harmful effects of methyl bromide, an alternative treatment may be required.

Fumigation of Wooden Crates:

Fumigation of wooden crates should be carried out with methyl bromide at the dosage of 48 grams per meter cube. In this process the wooden packing crates are placed in the fumigation covers under a smooth floor and then it gets converted completely. The gas monitoring lines to measure gas concentration during the exposure period can be placed at different locations as per requirements. The fumigation covers are sealed with the help of sand snakes and an air tight enclosure is made. The total cubic area of the enclosure is measured and the required dosage of methyl bromide is controlled. Gas monitoring is carried out during the exposure period. After the exposure period of 24 hours the fumigation covers are removed and the empty wooden crates are ventilated.

Most of the exporters are using rubber wood for packing purpose. The ideal wood would be Kiln dried pine wood.

Methyl Bromide fumigation should be carried out for packing materials such as wood crates, skids and other packing materials. Plant material such as straw, rice hulls and similar plant material used as packing material can carry exotic insect pest and diseases. The wooden crates have to be treated prior to shipment by carrying out fumigation with Methyl Bromide. The maximum thickness of the packing wood must not exceed 200 mm.

Fumigation for Food Processing Units & machineries:

Fumigation process is carried out by well-trained professionals. They are very well experienced in carrying out flour fumigation, mill machinery, spices processing machinery and other food processing machineries. It is advised to carry out fumigation of such food processing machineries is necessaries to avoid further infestation.

If regular and periodic fumigation is not carried out, foods that are processed through these pipe lines can be contaminated by various types of micro-organisms. Clients who conduct fumigations on their containers maintain the quality of the food and avoid major infestations in future.

Anti-fungal Treatment for Wood Packing Materials

Effective fungicides prior to shipment are used for wooden packing materials. The treated wooden packing materials will last longer and can be used by the customers to exhibit the products in the importing country.

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