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What is Fumigation?

What is Fumigation?
Fumigation is the process by which a lethal fumigant (chemical) is realised into an enclosed are to eliminate an infestation of pest.

Fumigation Process
  • Fumigation usually involved in two phases:
  • First the area to be fumigated is usually covered to create a sealed environment,
  • Next the fumigation is realised into the space to be fumigated; then, the space is held for a set period while the fumigant gas per colates through the space and acts on and  kills infestation in the product,
  • Next the space is ventilated so that the poisonous gases are allowed to escape from the space, and render it safe for humans to enter.

What is Fumigant?
A fumigant is a chemical at a particular temperature and pressure that can exist in gaseous state in sufficient and other pests. For example: Methyl bromide and Aluminium phosphide.

What are the commonly used fumigants for commodities?
Methyl Bromide and Phosphine are the two most common fumigants used for treating raw materials. In hospital setting and pharmaceutical manufacturing, ethylene oxide fumigation is used for sterilization.


For many years, methyl bromide has been a widely used fumigant, but it’s used is being phased out under the Montreal protocol due to concerns that its depletes the stratosphere ozone layer.

Why Fumigation?
Commodities such as food-grains, oilseeds, pulses, species, Tobacco, textile, timber etc, which are major items in today’s export market, are highly susceptible to infestation from stores grain pests during storage are transit. This infestation can cause extensive damage.

Also, the strict quarantine and regulatory requirements of various nations mandate a pest-free shipment. Fumigation (or the uses of a gas in a enclosed space to kill pest) as a curative control technique in an indispensable requirement; lethal to all stages of insects development - eggs, larvae, pupa and adult, it not only kills live infestation, but also helps to check the spread of unwanted pest from one country to another.

Types of Fumigation

1. Based on Fumigant:
  • Methyl bromide: Methyl bromide fumigation.
  • Aluminium Phosphide: Aluminium Phosphide Fumigation.

2. Based on Enclosures:
  • Cover Fumigation: Cargo to be covered by the fumigation sheet and sealed joints for air tightness. Fumigation done under fumigation sheet.
  • Shed Fumigation : Cargo stacked in to the warehouse and Sealed / Closed all the openings include windows and windows gapes and doors and doors gapes for air tightness,
  • Ship / Vessel Fumigation: Fumigation can be done in inside the catches.


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3. Based on Cargo:
  • Standard / General Fumigation: Fumigation done by normal standards for all the cargoes.
  • Soil Fumigation: Soil to be ploughed and covered by sheet and then release the gas.
  • ISPM 15 STD Fumigation: This is only the Wooden Pallets. Fix the ISPM mark and do the fumigation under ISPM 15 STD.

What is Phytosanitory?
Phytosanitory certificate –  the purpose of the Phytosanitory certificate, plant protection and quarantine (PPQ) in according to FAQ International Convention, is to expedite the entry of plants or plants from foreign countries.
This certificate certifies to a foreign country that the plants or plant products described were inspected by the Thai Government and are free from quarantine pest and other injurious pest of specific concern to the importing country. This certificate is completed by Plant Quarantine & Storage Department of Agriculture and Cooperation, Govt. Of India.

Which are the Organizations / Agencies Responsible for fumigation Treatments?
Each of the following parties is responsible for themselves and to one another for the successful conduct of fumigation operation:
  1. The person or organization seeking the treatment (Client).
  2. Importer/Exporter for the consignment.
  3. Regulatory agencies such as Customs, Port authorities, shipping agencies agents etc.

What is ISPM 15?
ISPM is the “International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures” Publication No: 15 guidelines for regulating wood packing material in international trade.

Why was ISPM 15 Developed?
ISPM 15 was developed to address the global spread of timber pests by regulating the movement of timber packing and dunnage in international trade. ISPM 15 Describes Phytosanitary measures to reduce the risk of introduction and/ or spread of quarantine pests associated with solid timber packing material (includes dunnage).



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