Sulfur Checker: Let’s Talk About Safety

The end of the gardening season is approaching. Every gardener wants to preserve the grown crop in its original form, and no one is happy with the memories of fighting pests and plant diseases in the greenhouse. Processing with sulfur blocks will help both in the first and in the second case.

Surely experienced gardeners know what it is. However, it will be useful to remember what a sulfur checker is, and what are the safety rules when using it. We will tell you about this.

What is it used for

Sulfur checker is a time-tested means of destroying harmful insects and pathogens. Used for decontamination of non-residential premises: cellars, basements, sheds, greenhouses. As a result of processing, the number of parasites is reduced to almost zero, and as a result-excellent crop safety and almost complete absence of infection of greenhouse plants.

The main characteristics of this tool are very attractive for gardeners:

  • simultaneously destroys harmful insects, mites, pathogens of both bacterial infections and fungal diseases (mold), reliably repels rodents;
  • application is easy and convenient;
  • the penetration of the disinfectant is absolute: smoke seeps into all the smallest cracks and holes;
  • it is inexpensive.

However, to get the maximum effect, you need to follow the rules for using the drug and safety precautions. All of them are detailed in the instructions, but some people think that “instructions are for weaklings”, others at the most crucial moment “do not want to run for glasses”, so let’s look at the steps of preparing the room and processing itself.

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Preparing the room

  1. We release the processed room: we take out products, things, racks from the cellar; we remove plant remains from the greenhouse or greenhouse.
  2. All metal parts that cannot be removed (handles, shelves, fasteners) are treated with greasy grease. If they are painted, check the integrity of the coating and restore it if necessary.
  3. We calculate the volume of the processed room and determine the number of checkers that is necessary: as a rule, a cellar will require 300 g of the product for every 10 m³; for a greenhouse or greenhouse — 300 g for every 20 m³.
  4. We seal the room: close all the Windows in the greenhouse, air vents in the cellar. Plug all the cracks as tightly as possible, the greenhouse Windows can be glued with masking tape.
  5. We think over the placement of the checkers. It should be located no closer than 0.5 m to the combustible materials. If the room is large, then you need to distribute the checkers evenly. Plotting a quick escape route.
  6. We select a stand on which the checker will smolder. It must be made of non-flammable material (metal, ceramics), not less than 70×70 cm in size. It is also necessary to put a non-flammable material with a thickness of 2-3 cm (for example, a brick) under it.

Sulfur Checker: Let's Talk About Safety

Note. Sulfurous anhydride is released during the combustion of the checker. When combined with water (condensate), it turns into sulfurous acid, which oxidizes metal parts. That is why it is necessary to remove all metal objects from the treated area or cover them with grease.

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  1. Install the checker on the stand, lay the wick between the two upper tablets so that it sticks out for 2-3 cm.
  2. We light the wick and, making sure that it smoulders reliably, leave the room. The burning time of the wick — 90-120 seconds. This is enough to get out and close the greenhouse door or cellar lid tightly. At this stage, the presence of a second person is required, who will be able to insure.
  3. We seal the cracks around the door leaf, it is good to use masking tape for this purpose. Sulfurous anhydride, which is released during the combustion of the checker, is a fumigant, it is he who will disinfect the treated room.
  4. Burning checkers will last 50-60 minutes (depending on temperature, humidity, and other factors). After that, the room must remain closed for another 24-36 hours (you can not enter!). Then we open it and ventilate it for 48 hours.

Note. Sulfur dioxide is extremely toxic to humans. Therefore, when working with a sulfur bomb, you need to protect yourself: choose clothes that are dense and cover the entire body, put a respirator on your face, and gloves on your hands. After installing the checkers and setting them on fire, you need to take off your clothes and wash your hands and face thoroughly.


Despite the availability of all information about the purpose of the sulfur bomb, the rules of use and safety, with enviable regularity there are situations when something went wrong. Often there are questions on non-specialized forums about how to get rid of insects in the apartment with a smoke bomb. At the same time, the advisers strongly recommend funds that are not designed for use in residential areas, claiming that “we did so, and everything was fine.” You can not use sulfur sticks for other purposes!

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The same applies to experiments when this highly specialized tool is tried to be used for decontamination of chicken coops, accessories for beekeeping, steam rooms in baths, etc. The effectiveness and expediency in these cases is questionable, and a non-specialist will not be able to correctly assess the possible risks. Therefore, you should use sulfur blocks exclusively for processing empty basements, cellars before laying the crop for storage. You can also decontaminate empty greenhouses before planting vegetables.

Another fairly common situation is the processing of a personal cellar or basement located in a common room. As already mentioned above, before using the checkers, the empty cellar must be sealed. Often in garage cellars, this is not possible, and toxic smoke from your compartment can penetrate to neighbors or into the common corridor. Therefore, in such basements, processing should be performed simultaneously and with the General agreement of all members of the community.

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