How Soil Fumigation Works

Step 1: Application
Fumigants are injected as liquids into the soil to control harmful insects, nematodes, weeds, bacteria, fungi, and diseases that have invaded a field.
Step 2: Diffusion of Fumigants
The fumigant volatizes into gas diffusing through the soil air space, radiating out from the points of injection.
Step 3: Conditioned Soil
The treatment significantly reduces the harmful pathogens and rebalances the native beneficial soil microbe population, conditioning it for planting.
Step 4: Decomposition
The fumigant decomposes rapidly in the soil; and some fumigants, like Chloropicrin, actually biodegrade into plant nutrients.
Step 5: Crop Planting
Crop planting takes place in the newly conditioned soil.
Step 6: Healthy Plants
Healthy plants are able to maximize their water and nutrient use and grow to full yield potential with no uptake of fumigant into the plant root or residue on the plant.
Fumigant Example Trade Names Safely Used Since Benefits Movement through Soil
Methyl Bromide MBC-33, Tri-Con 1960s Excellent broad-spectrum fumigant, effective for managing many insects, nematodes, weeds, bacteria, and fungi Excellent
Chloropicrin Strike, Tri-Clor, Tri-Con 1920s Excellent control of many fungal and bacterial pathogens; also controls some insects, nematodes, and weeds Good in well-tilled, non-saturated soil
1,3-Dichloropropene Telone, InLine 1950s Excellent for preplant nematode control and when mixed with Chloropicrin, also controls numerous fungal and bacterial plant pathogens Good in well-tilled, low moisture soil

Product Stewardship

TriCal Australia is committed to the responsible use of fumigants for safety and efficacy. With specific formulations, thousands of in-field application trials, and hundreds of university research studies, we are constantly striving for solutions that are “just right” – no more, no less than what is right for our customer and safe for our community.


Soil fumigation is drip or shank applied via broadcast or raised bed. Depending on pathogen type and degree of infestation, fumigant formulations are injected at various rates and depths below the surface. The soil surface is then sealed using bed presses or roller packers. Applied by certified fumigation professionals, the product can be injected into the soil in as little as 14 days prior to planting a crop.

Following injection, the fumigant rapidly diffuses through the soil and immediately starts eliminating the target pathogens and pests.

Formulations can be applied with other fumigants or as a stand alone. One pass and you are done - helping with residue management for erosion control, reduced application costs, lower pounds of active ingredient which can positively affect bufferzone allowances, a shorter plant back window, and broad spectrum efficacy.

Soil fumigants are injected into the soil to control harmful insects, nematodes, weeds, bacteria, fungi, and diseases. To effectively move through the soil, proper soil conditions (such as soil moisture and temperature) are key.


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Remove Old Roots:

Nematodes can continue to live in roots. Remove as many old tree and vine roots as possible using a "root rake" or by hand.

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Deep Rip:

Deep ripping (as deep as 6 feet) or backhoeing helps to break up hard pans and open up the soil.

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Break Up Clods:

Large clods can prevent the fumigant from effective soil penetration and also not allow the necessary sealing at the soil surface.

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Soil that has been well-tilled will allow the fumigant to disperse efficiently through the soil profile. This also allows for proper soil sealing at the surface.