Many types of chemicals are used for fumigation. In the United States fumigants are regulated and controlled by the Environmental Protection Agency. Fumigants are used to control a broad spectrum of pests in many different settings including agricultural work, home pest control and industrial applications. Fumigation chemicals come in both solid and gaseous forms to accommodate a variety of pest control requirements.
Magnesium phosphide is a dark gray solid that is typically used in a powder or granule form. This chemical produces phosphine gas when introduced to moisture or an acid. This highly toxic gas is typically used to fumigate agricultural commodities and to exterminate burrowing pests.
Methyl bromide is an effective fumigant against a wide variety of pests. It is applied in either a gaseous or solid form depending on how and where it is used. Methyl bromide is most commonly used in agricultural settings for pest control in the soil or for fumigating agricultural products. This chemical was also used as a residential fumigant as recently as 2006.
Sulfuryl fluoride is a pressurized liquid gas that is typically used for pest control in residential settings. This chemical is also used (less frequently) to control infestations in lumber and automobiles. In addition to being highly toxic in its gaseous state, physical contact with sulfuryl fluoride in its liquid state causes burns and severe skin irritation.