What chemicals are used in fumigation? The use of fumigants is an efficient pest control method that is used the world over.

So, let’s get into the details of these chemical fumigants and what they do.

Chemicals Used for Fumigation

Classification of fumigants has been deemed necessary due to their varying hazardous natures. In other words, there are fewer as well as more hazardous insecticides. This takes into consideration the toxicity of the active ingredients present.

As such, we would discuss these classes here. This is to help you distinguish between highly toxic and less toxic fumigants.

The Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling (GHS) has collaborated with the World Health Organization. This is to map out a comprehensive fumigant classification system.

As a result, fumigants have been classified under Extremely Hazardous, Highly Hazardous, Moderately Hazardous, Slightly Hazardous and Unlikely to Present Acute Hazard. Let’s briefly consider each of these.

  • Extremely Hazardous Chemicals

The name speaks for itself. Fumigants which fall under this category are highly toxic to human health. As such, the use of such chemicals is highly regulated. you’d need to be well trained before using them. When talking about such chemicals, we are talking about the technical grade active ingredients they contain.

The following technical grade active ingredients include; Aldicarb [ISO], Brodifacoum [ISO], and Bromadiolone [ISO]. Others are Bromethaline [ISO], Calcium Cyanide [C], Captafol [ISO], Chlorethoxyfos [ISO] and Chlormephos [ISO].

Additional chemicals are; Chlorophacinone [ISO], Diphenacoum [ISO], Diphethialone [ISO], Diphacinone [ISO] and Disulfoton [ISO].

Other extremely hazardous chemicals include EPN, Ethoprohos [ISO], Flocoumafen, Hexachlorobenzene [ISO], Mercuric chloride [ISO], Mevinphos [ISO], Parathione [ISO] and Phenylmecury acetate [ISO]. Phorate [ISO], Phosphamidon, Sodium fluoroacetate [C], Sulfotep [ISO], Tebupirimfos [ISO*] and Terbufos [ISO] are also included.

  • Highly Hazardous Chemicals

Fumigants that fall under this category are also highly toxic. Though not as extreme as those we just discussed above. Such pesticides contain several technical-grade active ingredients.

These include Acrolein [C], Allyl alcohol [C], Azinphos-ethyl [ISO], Azinphos-methyl [ISO], and Blasticidin-S.

More of these include Butocarboxim[ISO], Butoxycarboxim [ISO], Cadusafos [ISO], Calcium arcenate [C], and Carbofuran [ISO]. Chlorphenvinphos [ISO], 3-Chloro-1, 2-Propanedio [C], Coumaphos [ISO], Coumatretralyl [ISO], Cyfluthrin [ISO] and Beta-cyfluthrin are included.

Additional technical grade active ingredients include Zeta-cypermethrin [ISO] Demeton-S-methyl [ISO], Dichlorvos [ISO] and Dicrotophos [ISO].

Detailed information can be found on the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Recommended Classification of Pesticides by Hazard Guidelines.

  • Moderately Hazardous Chemicals

Moderately hazardous chemicals are used in certain fumigants. Though not as toxic as those discussed above, great caution needs to be applied. These types of fumigants are used by both professionals and non-professionals.

For non-professionals, These come with instructional manuals on how they should be applied. Such information should be fully understood and digested to enhance safety and achieve results.

As an unlicensed user, you’d find such mild fumigants in stores. But how can these be identified? These go by names such as dichlorvos, oil of red cedar, paradichlorobenzene, naphthalene, and several others.

However, certain restrictions may apply to your location. In other words, the legal angle will need to be considered.

Some states have restrictions on the use of certain chemicals. You’d have to find out from your state’s department of health. But such chemicals won’t be on display in stores, will they?

Therefore a good place to start is by checking these out in your local store. If there aren’t, chances are these are restricted for general use.

  • Slightly Hazardous

Certain fumigants, though slightly hazardous to humans are effective. Such types of fumigants are in greater demand, especially among unlicensed persons. Unlicensed is used here to mean persons without professional training on fumigant use.

Such pesticides contain several active ingredients that won’t be elaborated on here.

You’d find several of these in stores. If you have no clue of what to look out for, the names Vapona, DDVP or NUVAN PROSTRIPS will be of great help. It doesn’t matter your level of education as long as you can read. Such products have been made available to provide alternative methods to combat pest issues. You only need to follow all the instructions provided.

In addition to this are so many online materials. These are in the forms of video demonstrations or articles on how to use them. Such may warrant the use of protective gear too.

  • Unlikely to Present Acute Hazard

Fumigants under this category are the safest to use. These pose little or no health risks and therefore best for unlicensed use. However, the question is if your pest problems can be effectively tackled.

Well, this depends on use. This class of fumigants, like the others, works best on how well they are applied. Therefore a lot depends on individual use and whether instructions are properly followed.

Types of Fumigation Chemicals

  • Dichloronitroethane

This is a fumigation chemical that has proven quite effective in combating pest infestations.

While very efficient in eliminating pests, you should be wary of its corrosive nature especially metals in moist conditions. This fumigation chemical is used for agricultural purposes such as exterminating soil pests as well as those in stored farm produce.

Because it irritates the eyes, you should be careful when applying it. It is best to wear protective gear to avoid inhalation as well as prolonged exposure to the eye.

  • Propylene Dichloride

Propylene Dichloride is another effective fumigant. It is used for both domestic and commercial purposes. To be effective against insect pests, its directions for use must be strictly adhered to. When applying this fumigant, wearing protective gear is highly recommended.

However, you may want to obtain expert advice in determining which fumigant best suits your pest needs.

  • Carbon Disulphide

This fumigant is perfect for use in due to our hot tropical climate which supports the volatilization of the chemicals.

Although it is highly effective in eliminating insect pests, it has its hazards as well. Explosions can occur. Especially during application. There’s also the likelihood of burning.

When applying this fumigation chemical, you should avoid inhaling the fumes by wearing protective equipment.

Prolonged exposure to this fumigant can lead to unconsciousness and eventually death. Due to its highly flammable nature, it is mixed with non-flammable mixtures for increased safety. It comes in metal cans or drums which need to be stored in cool well-ventilated spaces or rooms.

Whenever in use, you should avoid leaving it in direct sunlight as heat from the sun could ignite it. This fumigant comes with specific instructions on how it should be used. You should endeavor to follow every instruction regarding its direction for use.

  • Ethylene Oxide

Ethylene oxide exterminates a wide range of insect pests. This fumigant is flammable. Hence the need for a non-flammable carrier.

Like most fumigants, Ethylene Oxide is toxic and can lead to a variety of respiratory diseases, skin and eye irritation among others. Ethylene oxide is used on insect pests. Such as those in agricultural and food production.

The exact specification(s) for applying this fumigant is written on the label. There are instructions for use that you should not ignore. Applying the right dosage is essential to obtaining desired results.

  • Ethylene Dichloride

Ethylene Dichloride, also known as EDC is yet another fumigant that you can purchase for your pest problems. While eliminating your pest problems it can also be toxic to you as well.

To protect yourself, you can use a respirator when applying it. It acts fast on all forms of insect pests with remarkable results obtained in a short time.

  • Ethylene Dibromide

Ethylene dibromide is a fumigant you will find very useful in exterminating all forms of insect pests. Whether your pest problems are residential, commercial or agricultural, this fumigant has you covered. However, this poses its risks; its toxicity. This fumigant causes skin irritations. Prolonged exposure can damage vital body organs.  Such organs include the liver and kidney among others.

Standard safety measures are necessary. These consist of putting on protective clothing and chemical masks to guard against inhalation.

  • Hydrogen Cyanide

This fumigant is among the most toxic fumigants you can find. Although very effective, there has been a gradual decline in its use and elsewhere. It is soluble in water and turns to acid. As a result, it is irritating to the skin. It acts fast on insect pests by paralyzing them before killing them.

Before using this fumigation chemical, you should take the time to read through the instructions carefully.

It is widely used against a variety of pests. You also need the right protective gear due to its toxicity.

What Types of Pests are These Active On?

This is an often raised question. However, we all know that their effects are far-reaching. Most fumigants mentioned here will exterminate a variety of pests. Not only that, some of these are highly toxic to humans and pests. This calls for extreme caution when using them.

The word “pests” is quite broad. These include insects, reptiles as well as mammals. As such, not every pest situation will require fumigation. Nonetheless, those which do are also many. Fumigants will act on most insect pests. But there are times when certain fumigants will perform better on specific pests than others.

Knowing what types of fumigants to apply will depend on what these are designed for. Most fumigants will have a list of pests they are highly effective on. You’d have to find out yourself by reading such information.

  • Fumigation Safety Tips

Safety is the central focus of this article. It all boils down to avoiding all forms of exposure to such chemicals and gases. Preparation is crucial. All necessary safety measures should be decided upon way ahead of time. This includes getting a place to stay for the duration of time required.

All forms of dental products, food or medications should either be removed or stored safely. This includes drinks with broken seals as well as pet foods. Such foods should be tightly sealed in Nylofume bags.

Proper ventilation upon return is very necessary. This is to allow for the proper dissipation of lingering fumes. The use of fans in addition to opening all doors and windows is recommended.

You should also be on the lookout for reactions. Such reactions may be due to exposure to fumigants. You may experience dizziness, coughs, headaches, nausea as well as fatigue. Health risks should be promptly addressed.

Consult an Expert on the Best Fumigation Chemical to Use

It is not enough to walk into any chemical store to purchase a fumigant of your choice. Being skilled in handling is the only exception. Otherwise, you should seek the services of an expert. Several companies employ highly professional methods to fumigate.

These companies provide comprehensive pest extermination services. This is achieved using the best fumigation chemicals to eliminate the problem. Such companies have technicians who visit your property to ascertain the level of infestation.

After assessing the level of infestation, the best approach is discussed and applied.

Hiring experienced hands for your fumigation job affords you greater peace of mind and eliminates the risks that may result from improper use of the fumigation chemicals. You will be educated on fumigant precautions and how long you should wait after fumigation for safety reasons.