Heat Treatment

Pest management for the protection of organic products is a unique field that takes patience and knowledge in order to meet the challenge of controlling pests without toxic chemicals. The limited number of pest control products listed by the USDA, OMRI and Certified Organic state agencies change how we treat a facility.

Using good sanitation techniques, inspecting for clues (food products, insect trails) and monitoring insect populations should be the first steps to keep insect problems under control. If a pest outbreak warrants a treatment, here are some control tools for the non-toxic and organic pest management industry:

  • Boric Acid
  • Diatomaceous earth (DE)
  • Pyrethrum (non-synergized)
  • Carbon Dioxide Fumigation
  • Cold Treatment
  • Heat Treatment
  • Non-toxic census rodent baits
  • Vitamin D rodenticide
  • Glue boards for insects and rodents
  • Pheromone Traps
  • Spinosad
  • Essential oils (mint oil, clove oil, etc.)


Pheromones are chemical signals that insects use to communicate. Much like hormones in our bodies, pheromone help determine behaviors patterns like mating, food finding, and trail following. Determination of the presence, or absence, of potentially harmful pest insects is needed wherever stored commodities are held for extended periods of time. Pheromone traps are excellent tools for this purpose.

FSS uses the best pheromone monitoring tools available through Insects Limited. Pheromone monitoring allows for the earliest possible detection for an insect outbreak and allows you to make the corrective actions necessary to keep insect populations under control.


Carbon dioxide is the only approved fumigant to treat organic products that have been infested with insects. Carbon dioxide fumigations need a concentration of 35-60% carbon dioxide at room temperature for 4-21 days. Even at this concentration and duration, fumigation are not always 100% effective. Carbon dioxide kills by dehydrating insects. It causes the insects spiracles to stay open which allows water to be released.

Special tarps or chambers are needed to use carbon dioxide as an organic fumigant. FSS has the facilities, monitoring and safety equipment necessary to treat organic products and commodities with carbon dioxide fumigants.


Temperature has a direct effect on an insect’s physiology. By changing the temperature you can change an insect’s metabolism, respiration and movement. Heat treatments are a non-toxic and non-residual option to control stored product pests. Increasing the temperature to 122°-133°F for about a 24 hour period provides insect control of all life stages.