Because fumigants are broad-spectrum pesticides, space fumigation, done properly, will kill all species and life stages of insects and rodents that are likely to be found in the structure being fumigated.
Soil fumigation will kill soil microorganisms, nematodes, and many weed seeds and seedlings. As gases, fumigants penetrate into nooks and crannies of buildings, including the galleries of insects that infest interior wood that cannot be reached by pesticide sprays and dusts.
Pests are rapidly killed and the fumigant gas does not leave unsightly, odourous, or hazardous residues if the site is properly aerated after fumigation.
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Fumigation has certain disadvantages. Fumigants are broadly toxic and hazardous to use, and thus fumigations must be done by highly skilled and experienced, licensed fumigators. For space fumigation to be done successfully, it must be carried out in enclosed spaces, structures or sites that must be tightly sealed.
All humans and other non-target organisms vacate the area until the fumigation period is over and aeration has been completed. Items that may be damaged by the fumigants should also be removed.
Another disadvantage is that fumigation may cost more than other methods of pest control. Also, fumigants leave no protective residue and pests may reinfest the fumigated site immediately after treatment. Corrosion is a real concern when fumigating with the metal phosphides.
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