Entomology, Department of


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University of Nebraska-Lincoln Department of Entomology Online Masters Program Final Project. Lincoln, Nebraska.


Copyright 2018 Jerry Heath


The primary purpose of this manual is to prepare candidates interested in becoming certified pesticide applicators in Nebraska Category 11, Fumigation. This category includes commercial and non-commercial applicators who use or supervise the use of restricted use pesticides in solid or gaseous formulations within enclosed tight spaces such as tents, vaults, tarped stacks, structures, vehicles or vessels for a wide variety of conditions or commodities, including raw agricultural products.

Not included in the scope of this manual is soil fumigation, Category 1(a). The greatest demand for fumigation is for commodities, food products and food processing facilities. Target pests are mostly stored product insects and to a lesser extent rodents. There is occasional demand to fumigate wood materials, furniture, art objects, and household goods to control wood borers, stored product insects and perhaps bed bugs. There is also some demand for a new kind of fumigation with sterilizing gases to decontaminate pathogenic microorganisms from food processing, medical and research facilities. Fumigation is a deadly serious enterprise with highly toxic gases, although most fumigators have long healthy careers following safety precautions and proper protocols. High-profile tragic accidents have occurred in recent years - some involving innocent children, and all involving unqualified applicators and off-label applications. These incidents have focused regulatory attention on fumigation like never before. Label requirements and safety precautions are becoming more stringent. Fumigation is one of the smallest and more specialized categories of certified applicators. Increasingly fumigation is becoming limited to a professional service. Many fumigators cover regional territories and maintain certifications in multiple states. Achieving certification in Nebraska Category 11 should be viewed as a minimum or mid-level indicator of competency. Experience and increasing levels of responsibility and management are also needed to be fully qualified. There are always new things to learn. Experienced fumigators have the amazing ability to assess how invisible clouds of gas are moving and behaving in a space and often manage those movements to their fumigation advantage.

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