Is Pest Control the same as Fumigation

Pest control and fumigation in Kenya

In Kenya, pest control and fumigation as terms are used interchangeably. Pest control is a general term which involves many techniques that are used to control pests. This include fumigation, spraying, drenching, entry proofing, trapping and many other pest control methods.

Fumigation is therefore a subset of pest control. Fumigation is the use of fumes often for pest control purposes. For fumigation to be effective, the chemical or pesticide fumes are enclosed for a certain duration of time. This is to give the pesticide and the target pest(s) enough exposure time.

Common fumigants include insecticides and nematicides (with nematicides being products that kill nematodes). Nematicides in general kill nematodes, insects, weeds and many other life forms in soil and in growing media.

Strictly speaking, fumigation is rarely done in homes because for home services, safety is important and the re-entry time is much shorter.Therefore, a professional pest control technician should spray a house, office or work place while the windows are open. The doors can be closed to restrict entry by other people not involved in pest control.


Fumigation is usually done to control insects on grains, timber/wood and other stored materials. This is to protect them against insects like weevils, beetles and termites. The process involves covering the materials to be fumigated using airtight plastic or tarpaulin sheets. Fumigants are then injected or placed in the enclosure in such a way that no fumes or gas escapes. After several hours or days, the covering sheet is opened to release gases while ensuring that people, livestock or pets are not exposed to any harm.

Examples of fumigants include methyl bromide (which is banned in many countries for its adverse effects on the ozone layer), metham sodium (or metam sodium) and basamid (dazomet). These are mainly used in soil and growing media fumigation. For grains, celphos (phosphine) and Actellic (Pirimiphos Methyl)are commonly used in Kenya. There is a form of actellic that is also used for public health and can be used in homes and offices. Actellic is very effective agains moths, weevils and other flying insects and kills on contact.

For more information on these, one can get in touch with pest control and fumigation companies in your area whether in Kenya, Nairobi or elsewhere.




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