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Shipping Container Fumigation Services

Essex & Suffolk Pest Solutions are experts in shipping container fumigation services. Our technicians are fully trained in fumigation and hold the relevant BPCA module for shipping containers. We are able to carry out our expert shipping container fumigation services across Essex, Suffolk and beyond, including the ports of Ipswich, Felixstowe, Harwich, Tilbury and London Gateway.


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Shipping container fumigation services

Many food commodities, and other goods such as furniture, timber and basket-ware, are routinely fumigated using phosphine gas. Shipping container fumigation is used to control a wide range of insect pests and their eggs to prevent contamination and the possible spread of disease prior to distribution and packing of goods. For example, Stored Product Insects (SPIs) such as mites, moths, beetles and weevils can infest foodstuffs including nuts, rice, dried fruit, pasta, grain and animal feed – along with other raw materials used within food and feed manufacture.

Our shipping container fumigation services include:
  • fumigation of shipping containers
  • venting of shipping containers
  • gas checking of shipping containers for phosphine
  • issue of a ‘Clearance Certificate’

Fumigation of your shipping containers is important in order to prevent the cross-border transportation of pests, disease and contaminants.

Don’t let your shipping containers spread pests and disease. Call us today on 01473 328092.

Essex & Suffolk Pest Solutions have achieved Accredited Membership status of the National Pest Technicians Association. This means that we have proven our credentials by passing a detailed audit of our premises, working practices, equipment and training. We carry public liability insurance and have to undergo regular, ongoing auditing to ensure a continued high level of service.

Pest control for shipping containers

Thousands of shipping containers are shipped daily from all over the globe to port-towns and cities in the UK, and, as some cargoes are a breeding ground for pests and insects, meaning shipping container fumigation services are vital to importers and exporters.

Felixstowe alone is the UK’s busiest container port and handles, on average, 3.4 million 20 ft containers a year. In fact, two-fifths of Britain’s container trade passes through the port of Felixstowe, making pest control a necessity.

Agricultural and food products, leather goods, wood products such as furniture, raw materials and other goods are some of the cargoes imported into the UK that are a hotbed for insects and rodents.

With these and other goods imported into the UK via Felixstowe and other ports in the area, such as Harwich, Tilbury, Ipswich and London Gateway, it is important to use the shipping container fumigation services of a professional pest control company to rid these cargoes of rodents, insects and their eggs and prevent infestation.

Essex & Suffolk Pest Solutions are available for shipping container fumigation services at Felixstowe, Harwich, Tilbury, Ipswich and London Gateway. Contact our shipping container fumigation pest control team today to find out how we can help.

For shipping container fumigation in Ipswich, Felixstowe, Harwich, Tilbury and London, call in the pest fumigation experts at Essex & Suffolk Pest Solutions.

Our Commercial Services

Highly accredited commercial pest control
services for your business.

Contract Services include:

  • Free site audit and recommendations
  • Bespoke specifications and schedules
  • Free call-outs for pests covered
  • Environmental and risk assessments
  • COSHH assessments and manufacturers’ Safety Data Sheets
  • A fully compliant Site Report Folder
  • Full pest control report at each visit, including details of ongoing monitoring and any recommendations for peace of mind
  • Field Biology Service
  • Trend analysis and reporting
  • Technical support and insect ID
  • Contracts offered to BRC Global Standards

Non-Contract Services:

For one-off problems on an ad hoc basis we can offer:

  • Pest control
  • Pest proofing
  • Bird control – prevention (nets/spikes),humane removal, debris cleaning
  • Decontamination and premises clearance
  • Shipping container fumigation & venting services

We also sell:

Fully Accredited Service Provided

Essex & Suffolk Pest Solutions have achieved Accredited Membership status of the National Pest Technicians Association. This means that we have proven our credentials by passing a detailed audit of our premises, working practices, equipment and training. We carry public liability insurance and have to undergo regular, ongoing auditing to ensure a continued high level of service.

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Frequently asked questions
about Our shipping container Fumigation Services

Why is Shipping Container Fumigation Necessary?

Shipping containers are a high risk for attracting rodents and insects because the goods stored in the containers can inadvertently pick up pests from other parts of the world and bring them into the UK.

Shipping container fumigation is vital to rid cargo of pests and their off-spring before the container reaches its final destination. Ridding cargoes of insects and their eggs prevents infestation when the produce reaches its arrival point, such as a processing factory, warehouse, or shop.

Another reason why shipping container fumigation is necessary is that it stops cross border contamination of pests and prevents the spread of disease and other contaminants.

What Sort of Pests Infest Shipping Containers?

Almost any type of insect can infest a shipping container. These include all Stored Product Insects (SPI) such as beetles, moths, mites and weevils.

Cargo can also harbour pests that cause a threat to public health such as cockroaches. These can transport germs and harmful bacteria on the surface of their body that are a health hazard to humans.

Other common pests that breed in shipping containers include:

Confused Flour Beetle – The species thrives in cargos of oil seeds, carobs, cake, flour, cereals and nuts and will keep breeding in warm places such as bakeries and mills. They can produce nearly 1,000 eggs.

Lesser Grain Borer – Breeds in grain from the tropics but needs heat to survive. It produces up to 600 eggs.

Merchant Grain Beetle – Thrives in cargos of rice, bran, cake, dried fruit and oil seeds and can produce hundreds of eggs. They can’t survive in cold, wintery conditions.

Rust-Red Grain Beetle – Attracted to cargos of cereal products, oil seeds, broken grain and oil cake. Lives through the winter.

Spiders – Can be found in shipments of bananas.

The Foreign Grain Beetle – Feeds on damp grain, cereal products, cocoa, haystacks and oil seeds but doesn’t like cold conditions.

The Granary or Grain Weevil – These pests can settle in grain cargoes and survive in moderate temperature. They can produce a maximum of 350 eggs.

The Rice Weevil – The Rice Weevil is attracted to cargoes of grain and pasta products and can produce a maximum of 400 eggs. They can’t last the winter without heat.

Tobacco Beetle – Breeds in seed, spices, cocoa, tobacco and oilcakes and can produce more than 100 eggs.

Tropical Warehouse Moth and Indian Meal Moth – Both types of moth can be found in cargoes of cereals, dried fruit, oil seeds, oilcake and cocoa beans and can survive the winter. They produce hundreds of eggs.

Do Containers Need to Be Fumigated Before Every Journey?

There are various trade agreement requirements for shipping container fumigation.

Goods suitable for treatment by phosphine include:

Agricultural Products – such as grains, nuts, pulses, oil seeds, cocoa beans and coffee beans.
Processed Foods – such as dried fruits, herbs, dried vegetables, cereals, dairy products, tea
Non-Food Items – such as bamboo/rattan, tobacco, cotton, plant seeds and leather products.

How is Shipping Container Fumigation Done?

Fumigation is a highly skilled job which requires specialist training and formal certification as the gases are highly toxic and flammable.

The process of fumigation is as follows:

The release of phosphine gas in a controlled way from a solid form of aluminium phosphide. This is done over a period of time in a sealed area (eg a shipping container) to kill insects. The gas is held at a certain concentration for a specific time period to kill the relevant insects.
Once the treatment is complete, the container is aired and a clearance certificate is issued.
Phosphine has the following properties:

It forms an explosive mixture when exposed to air.
It is odourless but the chemical reaction during the fumigation process creates a fishy or garlicky smell.
It is dangerous to humans but the same exposure can take days to kill insects.
It can rust metals including gold, silver, copper and their alloys.
It can also damage electrical equipment including computers and switches.
There are various symptoms of exposure to phosphine which is why fumigation can only be done by qualified personnel.

Low level Exposure: Symptoms include a cough, a feeling of tightness of the chest, difficulty breathing, headache, feeling weak or faint.

High Level Exposure: Symptoms include sickness and vomiting, diarrhoea, fits, coma, fluid collecting in the lungs (pulmonary oedema).

Looking for free advice about shipping container fumigation? Call us on 01473 328092
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Pest Control in Essex & Suffolk

We offer our professional pest control services in the following locations: Ipswich, Lowestoft, Felixstowe, Woodbridge, Framlingham, Stowmarket, Bury St Edmunds, Sudbury, Colchester, Manningtree, Harwich, Romford, Southend-on-Sea, Brentwood, Clacton-on-sea, Maldon, Chelmsford, Basildon, Witham, Rochford, Billericay, Tendring, Ilford and Braintree. Work further afield in Essex and Suffolk may also be considered. Contact our professional pest control team for more information.

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