Infestation sample video and script

English Version: (short sample video)  

French Version: (sample video) 

Cette vidéo a été réalisée par le sous groupe « Contrôle de l’Infestation du tabac stocké » du Coresta.  Elle décrit les meilleures méthodes utilisées aujourd’hui dans l’industrie du tabac.
Ces informations sont complémentaires aux régulations nationales et elles ne peuvent en aucun cas remplacer une formation requise à un niveau national.

Mandarin Version: (sample video)


Spanish Version: (short sample video)

Este vídeo, realizado por el subgrupo CORESTA para el control de plagas y saneamiento del tabaco almacenado, abarca la mejor práctica en la industria del tabaco hasta la fecha. La información debe ser entendida como complemento a cualquier regulación nacional existente y no debe ser tomada como sustituto de cualquier formación que se requiera en el ámbito nacional.

Samples of Scripts:

Part 2A FUMIGATION Handle with Care (script)

A guide to fumigation in tobacco infestation control

This is a short sample of the script for video 2A.

Every year, the tobacco beetle and tobacco moth are responsible for destroying the equivalent of 400 million Dollars worth of tobacco. Add to this the devastation caused by insects to other dried food stuffs such as grain, nuts and coffee, and it’s clear that the problem of infestation is not one to be ignored.

Putting the problem into perspective, imagine a warehouse containing 5,000 tobacco cases. Each year, 50 of them would be eaten by the insects.

The only two insects which commonly infest tobacco are the cigarette beetle , Lasioderma serricorne, and the tobacco moth , Ephestia elutella,.    Both insects may live inside tobacco bales and packaging.

Preventing infestation in the first place, good house keeping, sanitation and monitoring, is obviously key to reducing the risk to your tobacco but it’s a fact of life that even in the most carefully controlled storage areas, the tobacco beetle will from time to time appear. There is only one solution – eradication.

The main weapon we can use against these insects infesting leaf stock is fumigation.

FUMIGATION  Handle with Care

Fumigation is a form of control using a toxic gas to kill tobacco and non-tobacco pests.  It is the principle method of eliminating insects hidden deep inside tobacco cases and is capable of achieving 100% control.  Unfortunately, all fumigants are capable of killing all animal life including humans and therefore great care must be exercised in their use.

This video is intended to show the best fumigation practice in the treatment of cured tobacco. 

It has been made by the CORESTA Infestation Control Sub-Group, to explain the need for fumigation and to illustrate the standards necessary to ensure safe and effective fumigations.

It will be of interest to all those involved in handling or processing tobacco. 

It will not qualify you to undertake fumigations,

but it will help you to interact knowledgeably with contractors.

This video will not qualify you to undertake fumigations,

but it will help you to interact knowledgeably with contractors.

Fumigation is by its very nature, a hazardous procedure. Any person dealing with fumigation MUST comply with any national or internationally recognised legislation. Failure to do so may result in injury or even death not only to the operator but to anyone close to the location.

Fumigation is a hazardous procedure.  

All staff involved in the use of fumigant gases must be adequately trained, and in certain countries certified as competent by a registered body.

These days, the fumigation of tobacco is almost solely carried out using Phosphine gas. However, good fumigation practice for phosphine is equally applicable to Methyl Bromide. Methyl Bromide has been widely used for many years, but its use is declining due to environmental considerations. 

Both gasses, when correctly applied, will kill all life stages of insects, the eggs, larvae, pupae and adults.

These gases are invisible and toxic to humans. 

This video concentrates on the safe and effective use of Phosphine releasing agents.  

Phosphine Fumigants

Phosphine fumigants are usually in the form of dry solids or powders, composed of metal phosphides. The most common is aluminium phosphide, available in pellet, tablet and bag form. 

Aluminium Phosphide

The other form is magnesium phosphide, also available as tablets, but much more commonly used in a larger flat plate or concertina-strip form. These plate and strip products produce much greater quantities of phosphine gas, and more rapidly. These wrapped products are far more practical and are preferred by the tobacco industry.

Magnesium Phosphide

It’s important to know how much gas is evolved from each formulation to be able to calculate the dosage needed.

All types rely on the penetration of normal atmospheric moisture to react with the solid metal phosphide which generates phosphine gas. This will work faster at high humidities and high temperatures.   

for use with Phosphine

Personal Protective Equipment 

It’s essential that Personal Protective clothing and equipment is used prior to and during fumigation and even then only by competent and fully trained personnel.

The Personal Protective equipment includes a suitable respirator, overalls and safety shoes. Suitable gloves must also be worn when carrying out Phosphine fumigations.

Selection of the correct respiratory protective equipment is vital. It’s important that all items chosen are suitable and of a type approved under any national legislation and company standards.

Two types of equipment are commonly used in Phosphine fumigation – full face respirators fitted with a filter – or self contained breathing apparatus.

Personal Protective Equipment 

Full Face Respirators

Personal Protective Equipment 

Self Contained Breathing Apparatus

Full face respirators (which are the most commonly used), have to be fitted with a filter canister to protect against gas and dust particles of metal phosphides. 

The choice of filter is crucial. 

The correct filter must be used

Not all filters protect against phosphine gas so the correct filter must be chosen.

Remember, the full face respirators fitted with a suitable filter canister can only be used to prevent exposure to low concentrations of Phosphine gas. They are generally accepted to provide protection against low concentrations of Phosphine in the range of 0 to 15 Parts per Million. This figure may vary from country to country so if there is any doubt, the filter supplier must be contacted for further clarification.

Full Face Respirators 

only prevent exposure to low concentrations of Phoshine gas 0 to 15ppm

These canisters should be used only once then thrown away, breaking the thread to make sure no-one else can use them.

If there is any doubt, use self-contained breathing apparatus

If there is any doubt or if unknown or higher concentrations of gas are present, self contained breathing apparatus must be used.

Which ever mask is used, it’s important that the seal between the face and mask is air tight and this must always be checked…..

This is a short sample of the script for video 2A.

Video 3: Sanitation, the First Line of Defence

This is just a short sample of the video script.

The world is changing, rapidly. The inhabitants of this earth are becoming, at long last, much more environmentally conscious.    Eminent scientists throughout the world have, for over a decade, been alerting us to the pressures and need for change.

The tobacco industry is not exempt.  Traditional approaches to pest management are undergoing radical review due to advances in knowledge and environmental considerations.

Prevention is the way forward in terms of pest management for all involved in the tobacco industry.  

Our best tool is a well co-ordinated programme of good housekeeping through intensive cleaning and trap monitoring reducing reliance upon chemicals.

It makes ecological sense.

It makes commercial sense.

This video will show you the best methods used to prevent beetles and moths from taking up home in your premises and destroying your tobacco. 

A good sanitation programme can be tailor made to suit the specific requirements of everyone involved in the tobacco process;

  • The farmer
  • The leaf merchant and auctioneer
  • The leaf processor,
  • The shipping and transportation agency
  • The warehouse facility
  • The manufacturer
  • The distributor and retailer

 “Integrated Pest Management Strategy”





The principal components of an integrated pest management strategy are the same for both large and small scale facilities:


Frequent cleaning

Building maintenance

Good storage practices

 We need to maintain high standards of sanitation, by implementing programmes that involve frequent cleaning, building maintenance and good storage practices.


Check for signs of insects at all stages of the tobacco process 

We must check for signs of insects and monitor their numbers, at all stages of the tobacco process.




Temperature control

Physical barriers

Appropriate use of insecticides

We must know which additional control measures are available; fumigation, temperature control, physical barriers and appropriate use of insecticides.


Record procedures and results

Change and improve the strategy

We must bring all aspects of the pest management strategy together, recording procedures and results so that we can check that it is working. If it is not, we must be prepared to change or improve it.

“Integrated Pest Management Strategy”





Monitoring and Control methods are also covered in two other CORESTA videos within this series.

In this video we will concentrate on the most important Principle of the pest management strategy, PREVENTION by good sanitation management. 

First Line of Defence

Sanitation and the Control of Tobacco Infestation

It is our “first line of defence”!

  • Prevention 
  • A documented policy
  • People who are responsible and accountable for implementing the policy.

A workforce and environment where good sanitation practices are an integral part of work.

Prevention by good sanitation management requires the following;

  • A documented policy, which has the commitment and support of senior management.
  • People who are responsible and accountable for implementing the policy.
  • A workforce and working environment where good sanitation practices are an integral part of the daily work.

   Three  factors allow the cigarette beetle or tobacco moth to multiply; 

  • Undisturbed shelter
  • A food source and
  • Suitable environmental conditions….

This is just a short sample of the video script.