Fumigants, commonly referred to by the layman, as “gas”, are required to be registered and its use is controlled by local legislation because of their toxic effects on humans. There are 3 common registered fumigants used in Malaysia - Hydrogen Phosphine, Hydrogen Cyanide, and Methyl Bromide.
The deployment of each fumigant is site specific due to the different properties and behaviour of each gas. The quick kill and deep penetration properties of methyl bromide in non-food commodities has given this gas a priority over other fumigants in quarantine services. However, it is not the preferred choice of fumigant for food commodities because methyl bromide can react chemically with some food commodities and leave “inorganic bromide” residues.
As for hydrogen phosphide, it is the most common fumigant used in food and plant related commodities. It is often use for treating infested grains, cereals and flours. Hydrogen phosphide is also a preferred fumigant for targeting insects that infest tobacco leaves in storage such as cigarette beetle (Lasioderma serricorne).
Less commonly employed is hydrogen cyanide,a highly controlled substance and listed amongst chemical welfare agents under Schedule 3 of the Chemical Welfare Convention. Therefore, strict handling, storage and application is enforced. In the pest control industry, the only usage of this fumigant is for offshore quarantine treatment. Also, it is the most toxic fumigant registered for our industry use. Rentokil owns a proprietary technology using an inert gas, nitrogen, which is being rapidly released in an enclosed space to displace the oxygen in the atmosphere. This gas creates an asphyxiation effect on the target insect pests such as cloth moth (Tineola sp.), silverfish (Lepisma saccharina) ant other textile pests. This fumigation method is known as CAT (Controlled Atmosphere Treatment) and is widely use in the conservation of antiques, artefacts and valuable books.
To know more about our fumigation services, please call us at 1300 886 911.