Guides current

No. 12 - Controlled Atmosphere Parameters for the Control of Cigarette Beetle and Tobacco Moth

April 2020 - fourth edition Ref. PSMST-254-CTG-12

Insect control in stored tobacco has relied on the use of phosphine fumigation and contact pesticides applied as space or surface sprays within structures (not directly on the tobacco). Increasing concerns over traditional fumigation compounds as well as the ineffectiveness of fumigations below 16 °C (61 °F) and the development of phosphine resistant populations, have fuelled the need to find alternative control methods. Two such alternatives are deep freezing (the subject of CORESTA Guide No. 9) and controlled atmosphere (the subject of this guide).

Controlled atmosphere treatments may provide a viable alternative option for the tobacco industry. The treatments are environmentally safe, leave no chemical residue, do not negatively affect commodity quality, have a low risk of resistance development, and treatment times are comparable to phosphine fumigations and freezing treatments.