Section VII. FUMIGANTS
Fumigants are considered separately from other pesticides because of their particular
characteristics. Fumigants are extremely toxic and enter the body through the
a. Use. They are used primarily as a fast, direct, and effective means of
eliminating all stages of living insects in stored products, buildings, ships, and similar
situations where only a gas will penetrate to the hiding places of the insects.
b. Effectiveness. Because of the highly toxic nature of fumigants, they are also
effective against rodents, which may be present at the time the fumigant is applied. The
fumigants have only immediate effects. When the gases are allowed to escape
following a fumigation operation, they break down rapidly and pose no threat to the
Because of their gaseous nature, however, some fumigants may have the
added hazard of fire.
c. Application. Fumigants may be applied only by trained personnel who have
passed a technical competency test designed to show a satisfactory knowledge of the
properties of fumigants and methods for their safe application.
6-24. FUMIGANTS USED BY THE ARMY
Aluminum phosphide, upon exposure to atmospheric moisture, releases a gas known
as hydrogen phosphide, PH3 or phosphine.
a. Characteristics. The gas has an odor like garlic, and can penetrate even
closely packed commodities.
b. Use. Fumigants are used for:
Fumigation of stored products (such as flour, noodles, rice, dog food, and
so forth) indoors or outdoors, but only under polyethylene tarpaulins, which must be
sealed to the floor or ground.
Cannot be used with cloth or canvas tarpaulins.
Effective for the treatment of stored products in sealed boxcars or hopper
cars, whether static or rolling.