Pesticides formulations: Fumigants

Pesticides formulations: Fumigants

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Pesticides formulations: Fumigants

A pesticide formulation is a combination of active and inert ingredients that forms an end-use pesticide product. Pesticides are formulated to make them safer or easier to use. This is because many pesticide active ingredients, in “pure” (technical grade) form, are not suitable for application. In their concentrated form, some are extremely toxic, many do not mix well with water, some are unstable, and some are difficult (or unsafe) to handle, transport, or store. To address these problems, manufacturers add inert ingredients to end-use pesticide products. Inert ingredients have no pesticidal activity, and some simply serve as diluents or carriers.

Fumigants

Fumigants are pesticides that deliver the active ingredient to the target site in the form of a gas. Some active ingredients are liquids when packaged under high pressure but become gases when released. Other active ingredients are volatile liquids. They may be enclosed in an ordinary container and not packaged under pressure. Still others are solids that release gases after application in humid conditions or in the presence of water or water vapor. Fumigants are used for structural pest control, in food- and grain-storage facilities, and in regulatory pest control at ports of entry and state and national borders. In agricultural pest control, fumigants are effective in soil, greenhouses, and commodity storage areas (such as grain bins).

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Image from HSSE World

Advantages

  • Toxic to a wide range of pests.
  • Can penetrate cracks, crevices, wood, and tightly packed areas (such as soil or grains).
  • A single treatment will usually kill most pests in the treated space.

Disadvantages

  • The target site must be enclosed or covered to prevent the gas from escaping.
  • Nonspecific and highly toxic to humans and all other organisms.
  • High inhalation exposure risk.
  • Most require the use of specialized personal protective equipment.
  • May require the use of specialized application equipment.
  • Some have specific temperature requirements.
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