IFC has specially trained personnel to assess any facility for suitability as well as the capability to supervise or provide a turn-key heat treatment.
Heat for insect control has been used for many years as an alternative to fumigation. Recent improvements in heat generating equipment, temperature measuring instruments, technical treatment approaches and knowledge of heat effects on buildings and equipment has made this IPM option more attractive. Heat should not be considered as a treatment option for product as heat does not penetrate product very well nor product residues to any significant degree.
Generally, heat treatment is not a one-time, stand-alone solution for insect control. There are basics required before even considering the use of heat. Sanitation, HACCP and incoming product inspection programs are important considerations with the use of heat. As with any other insect control option, you must not only know what the challenging effects of heat are, you must also know how to prevent or control them during the treatment.
The basics for any heat treatment are:
- The capability to safely control and circulate the heated air at a target temperature of 130 degrees Fahrenheit within a specific time.
- The ability to measure temperatures throughout the treated area.
- Assurance that there will be no damage to the structure or equipment from the controlled heat rise, treatment duration and cool-down.
- Assurance that any commodity or packaged material in the treated area is removed and strategies for all items susceptible to heat damage are in place prior to heat treatment.
- The building or treated area must be able to obtain and hold the target temperature for the time necessary to reach the lethal effects required.
- The structure being treated must be suitable and capable of safely withstanding the effects of a heat treatment.
- The energy source and heat treatment equipment must meet all safety requirements and be readily available.