Fumigation

Fumigation is the officially authorized procedure for the killing, removal or rendering infertile of pests (FAO, 1990; revised FAO, 1995).

In the context of WFP operations, fumigation is the officially regulated procedure of killing insects that infest stored food.

Fumigation is a hazardous procedure, with serious dangers to human health - fumigants are highly toxic compounds, and over-exposure in humans leads rapidly to death. This is why fumigation should be performed only by a licensed fumigator.

Selecting a good fumigation contractor is essential if a safe and effective treatment is to be done. Ask other users of fumigation companies for their recommendations and bear in mind the following criteria:

  • Must work to a written Code of Practice that is consistent with the World Food Programme standard operating procedure (SOP) for fumigation
  • Must have a registered fumigator (s), according to the laws of the country
  • Must have good quality equipment that meets the needs of their own Code of Practice or be in-line with the SOP recommended by the Natural Resources Institue (NRI)
  • Must be able to show that their charges have taken into account the actual costs of doing a good job (be wary of anything that looks too cheap).

(Source: TRAINING MANUAL FOR IMPROVING GRAIN POSTHARVEST HANDLING AND STORAGE, NRI Rick Hodges-July 2012).

REMEMBER

  • Use a certified fumigation company
  • Use approved fumigants
  • Check efficiency of fumigation
  • Reprocess the fumigated product
  • Keep fumigations’ records