Written by Peta Florus
Following on from our last blog (in which we discussed the different fumigants Rentokil uses) we’d like to tell you a little bit more about the various types of Fumigation treatments Rentokil can offer you.
In most cases, fumigation will be for the export industry and customers whose industries are prone to stored-product insects (SPI). However, fumigation can also be used for treating loose furniture items that have suspected termites or wood-boring insects or even bed bugs.
General household opportunistic and seasonal pests that invade your homes like cockroaches, ants, bed bugs, flies, and rodents do not require “fumigation” and a general pest treatment in the form of a pesticide spray, gel, dusting or baiting will suffice.
Let’s take a closer look at Rentokil’s fumigation treatments:
Container fumigation is one of the more popular options especially for the exporting of goods requiring certification, bulk commodities, wood or wooden items (dunnage and pallets), or loose furniture pieces. The most commonly used container sizes are 6 metres (20 Ft or 33.2m3) and 12 metres (40Ft or 67.7m3).
In Part 1 of this blog, we spoke about how seriously Rentokil take the Health and Safety of both our customers and our employees. In the case of a container being fumigated on our customers’ premises, a “defined risk space” of no less than 3 to 4 meters surrounding the container will be cordoned off and visible warning signage is placed around the area. A thorough risk assessment of the container – including a pressure decay test – will be carried out before fumigation can begin. This is to ensure that the container is gas-tight (completely sealed) to prevent any leakage of the fumigant, as the success of the fumigation is dependant on the integrity of the container. Additional gas leakage detection and monitoring apparatus are positioned in the area being treated.
A measured dosage of the fumigant is either pumped via gas feed lines (Methyl Bromide or Profume) or – in the case of a solid fumigant such as phosphine – is placed into the container. After a defined length of time, the container is aerated to ensure complete expulsion of any remaining fumigant or gas. Our technicians will remain on site until the work has been completed and the area is once again safe.
Our Cape Town branch has a fully operational fumigation container and heat pod on site which can be used to treat your loose furniture pieces.
Stack or tarpaulin fumigation is where stacked commodities are treated under a 200 plus micron sheeting or gas-proof tarpaulin. Any goods that can be stacked under a tarpaulin can be fumigated in this manner, for example, tobacco leaf stacks, sacks of produce, furniture, wood or wooden items and food products.
The tarpaulin is secured with sand snakes to prevent any fumigant leakage as this will ultimately affect the efficacy of the treatment. Safety monitoring and detection apparatus are once again used to ensure the safety of our customer and our technicians.
As the name suggests, Silo fumigation is the treatment of the commodity within a silo or storage vessel. Depending on the type of silo, different fumigant dispensing methods can be applied, for example the J-System, where the fumigant is pumped through a series of tubes directly into the product; automatic dispensing, where a tablet is dispensed into the product at regular intervals or as the silo is being filled; and bag chains where the fumigant is hung inside the silo. These methods are all entirely dependant on the client’s requirements and a customised fumigation treatment can be arranged. Full aeration of the silo is required to ensure that all the fumigant is expelled, and this process can be accelerated using fans or blowers depending on the customers’ needs.
The IPPC’s (International Plant Protection Convention) main objective is to protect sustainable agriculture as well as the environment, forests and biodiversity from plant pests. There are over 40 ISPM (International Standards For Phytosanitary Measures) codes which have been prescribed to regulate the spread of plant pests during international trade and trade of wood and wood products.
ISPM15 specifically focuses on reducing the introduction or spread of quarantine pests associated with wood packaging material (like dunnage, pallets and skids) and in wood and wood products for export. Various methods can be used to treat the product (including fumigation and heat) in line with ISPM15 standards. A certificate of treatment will be issued once the service has been concluded.
Heat Treatments are carried out in our innovative heat pod which uses heat at a constant controlled temperature to kill pests in all stages of their life cycle in certain food products, loose household furniture, wood and wood products. We are the only company offering treatment in a heat pod that is fully portable (fully constructed size is 14m3) and which can be customised to fit the size of the item(s) to be treated. Heat as a treatment method is completely free from any form of poisonous gas or pesticide and therefore totally environmentally friendly.
Heat Treatments are also regarded as ISPM15 certified services in international trade and our Cape Town and Linbro branches have fully operational heat pods in their branches.
Structural fumigation can be a very complicated and hazardous treatment and is used mostly to combat dry wood termite infestations. The current methods available are “tenting”, where the complete structure is covered with a tarpaulin; or “tape and seal”, where only infected areas of the structure where signs of activity are noted are treated. Both of these methods will require a thorough risk assessment to mitigate any liabilities for the customer or the company.
During the risk assessment items within the house that should be removed will be identified, and the site walked to ensure that other parts of the structure that are not within the fumigation scope are inspected. As with other fumigation methods, the area needs to be “gas-tight” to prevent any gas leakage and ensure successful fumigation.
All the fumigation treatments listed above comply with relevant legislation which includes the manufacturer’s MSDS, government regulations, our own Global rules and regulations, and our standard operating procedures which are specific to each task.
Ensuring the safety of our customers and staff is of utmost importance and we follow strict safety protocols; starting with a full survey of the task required and a detailed risk assessment of our customers’ premises. During the fumigation treatment, our technicians wear full safety kit which includes personal gas leakage detection and monitoring equipment and specialised breathing apparatus. All Rentokil fumigation branches are audited once per quarter against our Global standards protocol; full compliance is mandatory.
With over 45 years of experience in South Africa and 85 years of global experience in fumigation, we are confident in our ability to offer expert advice on any fumigation enquiry you may have. Our services are supported by our local fumigation teams and managers to ensure that any treatment you receive from us meets and exceeds your expectations.
Contact Rentokil today for all of your fumigation requirements.