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see disinfectantdisinfectant,
agent that destroys disease-causing microorganisms and their spores. Disinfectants, or germicides, are sometimes considered to be substances applied to inanimate bodies, whereas antiseptics, not so potent, are agents that kill microbes on living things.
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the destruction of pests and causative agents of plant diseases by means of toxic vapors and gases. Fumigation is carried out with the aid of devices called fumigators and is applied in warehouses, mills, grain elevators, hothouses, hotbeds, vegetable storehouses, containers, rooms, special chambers, pits, and tents made of canvas or synthetics. Soil and rodent burrows may also be fumigated. The process is used to protect cuttings and such crops as grains, vegetables, tea, and fruits, including grapes and citrus fruits.

During fumigation the toxic gases and vapors act on the respiratory organs of pests under airtight conditions, causing the harmful organisms to die from poisoning within a certain amount of time—from a few hours to several days. The method, length of time, and effectiveness of fumigation depend on the properties of the fumigants and pests, as well as on the degree of infestation.

References in periodicals archive ?
Then we went a step further and used benzaldehyde to fumigate soil and found it very effective against several soil pathogens.
Abu Dhabi: A 23-year-old-man died on Friday after inhaling pesticides used to fumigate his apartment.
Brezner suggested that after libraries first fumigate or spray for bugs they should proceed to microwave all books and magazines in the library for about a minute each.
Warrington-based Eleberts can fumigate goods to the required international standard and has staff based at Liverpool docks.
Methyl bromide is widely used in California to fumigate homes and other structures for termites and other pests, and to fumigate soil before planting and fruits and vegetables after harvest.
One official said: 'We fumigate a large amount of material people bring back to Australia, so this is standard practice.
More than 400 pupils at New Park Primary in Butler Street, Kensington, will be off until Monday while environmental health officers fumigate the school.
Sulfur dioxide gas dissipates quickly, so warehouse managers usually need to fumigate grapes at least once a week, typically for about half an hour.
EPA) today announced that the registrants and manufacturers of the pesticide methyl bromide have indicated that they will voluntarily agree to interim label changes for products used to fumigate homes and other structures to destroy powder post beetles, termites and other wood-destroying insects.
They had to fumigate the court for 20 minutes before anyone could go back in.
The chemical is also used to fumigate ships and railroad cars; stored grains, processed food and fresh produce; and bare soil before planting.
For bad flea problems, pest control experts say it might be necessary to fumigate the home and vacuum more frequently, changing the bag each time.