Knowledge Base

Why should I include fogging as part of my insect control program?

If your insect control program is not providing the results you need, fogging is often a cost-effective method to greatly improve insect control. Uncontrolled insect activity can turn into an infestation that will continue to spread if not quickly brought under control in plants with raw materials subject to stored product insects, large food plants, and plants not well designed for food processing. Fogging will stop the spread of insect activity throughout an entire warehouse or plant. Fogging often will eliminate the need for expensive fumigations. Installation of an overhead fogging system may cost less than just one or two general fumigations.

What is the difference between pyrethrin, pyrethrum, and pyrethroids?

Pyrethrum (or pyrethrins) is a botanical insecticide extracted from a flower grown in Tasmania, Australia or East Africa. The pyrethrum extracted from a flower is composed of six different pyrethrin based insecticides. The six different insecticides are thought to be the reason very little insect resistance has occurred in the 1,000's of years since pyrethrins were first used. The concentration of pyrethrum used in insecticides is non-toxic to plants, birds, and mammals. Therefore, these insecticides find wide use in food plants, households, and livestock spraying. Pyrethrins are known for rapid knockdown of insects, and their killing power is further enhanced by the use of PBO (Piperonyl Butoxide) as a synergist. Pyrethroids are synthetic forms of pyrethrins or pyrethrum.

How does fumigation differ from fogging?

Fumigation will penetrate bags of product, and other areas fogging will not reach. Fumigation is much more expensive than fogging. Fogging systems may cost less than one general fumigation. A building or container must be completely sealed shut when fumigating, or the fumigation will not be effective. The re-entry time requires a long wait or testing prior to re-entry, versus a few hours with fogging. When stored product insects are present, an ongoing fogging program is needed, even if a facility must resort to fumigation. A good fogging program will keep the population of the insects down and prevent an infestation. Even if fumigation kills 100% of the insects in a plant, new insects may enter the day after fumigation. USDA tests at a Kansas flour mill showed that flour beetle levels can rebound to 60% of pre-fumigation levels in just 4 weeks. Fumigants include methyl bromide and phosphine, which are released as very toxic gases. The Fogging system uses low impact chemicals which are for general use, non-restricted insecticides. Food products or ingredients with large amounts of insects inside bags and other containers must be fumigated or destroyed. The infested product cannot be legally reused or diluted down to reduce insect content after fumigation. The key to minimal insect activity is using a combination of all insect prevention tools available, including sanitation, inspection, monitoring, stock rotation, building maintenance for sanitation, etc.

How long do I have to stay out of the plant after fogging, and what precautions do I have to take to protect food before and after fogging?

The insecticide label is the law in regard to the application of the insecticide, precautions to protect food, disposal of containers, etc. Exposed food must be covered or removed before fogging. Food contact surfaces (surfaces that directly touch food) must be covered or washed after fogging if not covered. The re-entry time after fogging is from 15 minutes to 2 hours depending on the label. The fog should remain in the building for two hours to obtain optimum kill of stored product insects. The area fogged should be ventilated before re-entry. Re-entry after fogging may be in just a few hours if a good ventilation system is present.