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PSMST - Pest and Sanitation Management in Stored Tobacco - 1993


  1. To educate about, and promote best Integrated Pest Management practices for post-harvested tobacco worldwide.
  2. To conduct collaborative studies on pest control and sanitation practices for post-harvested tobacco.
  3. To investigate new technologies and issues related to infestation control in post-harvested tobacco.

The Sub-Group on Pest & Sanitation Management in Stored Tobacco was created in 1993 with eight original members companies. It is a Sub-Group of the CORESTA Agronomy & Leaf Integrity Study Group. The Sub-Group comprises members from companies including tobacco processors, leaf companies, manufacturers, and pest control services.

The Sub-Group meets approximately once per year to discuss the world-wide pest control issues facing the tobacco industry and come up with solutions. The Sub-Group meetings are combined with an Infestation Control Conference (ICC). The ICC is a workshop open to all parties associated with the tobacco industry. The goal is to provide the tobacco industry with the knowledge and resources needed to implement the best practices for controlling the two primary tobacco pests, the cigarette beetle and the tobacco moth.


From its inception, a primary concern of the Sub-Group was to keep phosphine fumigation as a viable tool for the industry. Early on the Sub-Group perceived deficiencies in the fumigation standard that was employed world-wide at the time. Through the collaborative research and funding of the Sub-Group, a new fumigation standard was developed and communicated around the world to protect against failed fumigations and the development of phosphine resistance.

Despite these efforts, the incidences of phosphine resistance have increased world-wide. Therefore, over the years the Sub-Group has developed fumigation standards for resistant beetle populations and evaluated alternatives to phosphine fumigations. This evaluation has involved looking at the efficacy of alternative fumigants and investigating cigarette beetle and tobacco moth biology to discern if there are some biological properties which may be exploited and developed into control methods. The majority of traditional fumigants have been investigated and proven inadequate. The application for Sulfuryl Flouride treatment of tobacco continues. Two alternatives that have been researched and for which guides have been implemented are freezing and controlled atmospheres.

  • Guide No. 2: Phosphine Fumigation Parameters for the Control of Cigarette Beetle and Tobacco Moth (Revised - August 2019)
  • Guide No. 9: Freezing Parameters for the Control of Cigarette Beetle and Tobacco Moth (Revised - August 2019)
  • Guide No. 12: Controlled Atmosphere Parameters for the Control of Cigarette Beetle and Tobacco Moth (Revised - April 2020)

Infestation Control Conference

The Sub-Group is committed to providing training to the tobacco industry and communicating the pressing issues, most accurate research, and latest developments. The ICCs have been conducted by the Sub-Group around the world. These seminars have been great examples of how the Sub-Group’s scientific research can be translated into improved working practices which are then communicated to a wide global audience. The conferences have been well attended by tobacco suppliers, cigarette manufacturers and pest controllers. These training sessions provide an excellent opportunity to demonstrate a common CORESTA Sub-Group approach to shared infestation problems. Conference attendees are introduced to insect biology, good sanitation and preventative practices, use of heat treatments for disinfesting manufacturing equipment, appropriate storage and handling practices, proper phosphine fumigation practices, freezing, and controlled atmosphere treatments.

The last five ICCs were held in Bangalore, India, 10-11 March 2014, Lilongwe, Malawi, 18-19 May 2015, Santa Cruz do Sul, Brazil, 8-9 May 2017, Winston-Salem, NC, USA, 7-8 May 2018, Manila, Philippines, 7-8 October 2019, and Izmir, Turkey, 24-25 April 2023, respectively.


A series of four excellent videos/DVDs have been developed to help reinforce training:

  • Video 1 - "A Force to Be Reckoned With” gives the viewer an overview of infestation control.
  • Video 2A - "Handle with Care” addresses fumigation practices.
  • Video 3 - "First Line of Defense” the foundations of a highly effective sanitation program
  • Video 4 - "A Battle Worth Winning" infestation control on tobacco farms and processing facilities.

The series is available in a number of language versions (English, Mandarin, Russian, Spanish & French).

Infestation Videos / DVDs

For information about purchasing the Infestation Videos/DVD please contact GreenfieldTV ( and send an email to the address


  • The Insect Free Post - Issue 1 - March 2009
  • The Insect Free Post - Issue 2 - April 2010
  • The Insect Free Post - Issue 3 - June 2011
  • The Insect Free Post - Issue 4 - April 2012
  • The Insect Free Post - Issue 5 - April 2013
  • The Insect Free Post - Issue 6 - April 2014
  • The Insect Free Post - Issue 7 - November 2017

In the Press

Tricky Science (Controlled Atmosphere) (Tobacco Reporter June/July 2011)
Beetle Battle (ICC Bangalore 2014) (Tobacco Reporter June 2014)
Efficient Elimination (Tobacco Reporter January 2020)


Updated November 2023