A Brief Description about Fumigant
Starting with the fumigation – a process of making premises or products completely clean (pests free). The experts recommend applying the process after every six months in the home, industry, warehouses, etc. The first relevant term here to discuss is the fumigant. It is basically a chemical that works to get rid of pests.
What is fumigant?
A fumigant is a chemical substance that exists in the form of gas or vapor from a solid or liquid body. With suitable concentrations, it kills pests in surrounding and in stored products. The word “fumigant” comes from the Latin term fumus, which means smoke. However, the fumigant concept doesn’t include fumes since fumes are precipitations of a substance that are likely to settle on the surface layers of the processed product. The same applies to fogs. To be effective, fumigants must be in a gaseous state. Like gases, they diffuse into the air and penetrate products and also enter into the respiratory organs of insects. Fumigants are widely used for disinfection, disinsection and protection against infection. It is usually necessary to protect small materials (such as grain) and other stored products, including perishable and long-term products, porous bulk materials (e.g. soil or timber) and premises (usually empty buildings).
What are the requirements of fumigants?
An ideal fumigant must meet the following requirements:
- Low cost at an effective dose, including application costs.
- High toxicity to insects, ticks, nematodes, bacteria and mold with safety for humans.
- High volatility and good penetration, but grains should not absorb excessively.
- Positive warning properties and ease of detection.
- The absence of corrosive properties, non-flammability and explosion safety and storage stability.
- Lack of interaction with the product, giving it a foreign smell.
- Good degassing with no harmful residues.
- No effect on seed germination and grain quality.
- Preservation of technological properties of grain products.
- Availability, simplicity and profitability in use.
- Efficiency in small concentrations.
Properties of fumigant
A fumigant has not yet been created that would meet all of the above requirements. The safe and effective use of fumigants depends partially on their basic physical, chemical and biological properties.
The two fumigants that are most often used for fumigation of grain, other bulk materials, fruits and lumber are phosphine and methyl bromide. Phosphine is the preferred fumigant for granaries and other premises; it is effective against grain pests and leaves little residual material (which is almost harmless phosphate). However, phosphine can spontaneously ignite if its concentration exceeds a certain value.