Reduce the Spread of Invasive Pests with Pallet Treatment

Summer is the season to be outside. But along with outdoor activities come pesky bugs. Fortunately, we can apply bug repellent to keep the insects away. Like you, pallets need similar treatment to protect them from pests, too.

close-up of multiple pallets stacked up

The Japanese Beetle, Emerald Ash Borer, and Spotted Lanternfly are all invasive species that have made their way over to the United States from foreign countries. Non-native pest infestations negatively impact forests and ecosystems as well as require additional spending for pest eradication and control.

Why is this happening?

As demand for global freight increases so, too, the risk of the introduction and spread of invasive pests that results from shipping products on wood packaging. To prevent wood pallets from serving as a carrier, treatment of the wood is necessary.

What is required?

The IPPC (International Plant Protection Committee), which regulates the treatment of pallets traveling internationally, has mandated that both softwood and hardwood packaging must be heat treated to 56 degrees Celsius for thirty minutes.

Heat treatment is part of the ISPM 15 Standard, which is an abbreviation for International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures. And phytosanitary measures are actions taken to protect humans, animals, and plants from diseases, pests, or contaminants. Once heated according to the standard, a pallet can be stamped or branded with a mark of compliance. Heat-treated pallets will bear the mark of HT, pallet woods dried in a kiln to eliminate pests and fungi will bear the mark of KD, and pallets that have been kiln-dried and heat treated will have a KD-HT stamp. These marks provide assurance that the pallet is incapable of carrying invasive species.

Which treatment is best?

It is advisable to review your options with a reputable pallet specialist. Recent revisions to the ISPM 15 Standard can be complicated to understand. Partnering with a provider experienced in international shipping will ensure your pallets conform to requirements and that your shipment will be accepted at its destination worldwide.  And most importantly, your pallets will not transport non-native pests into the country.

For more information about pallet treatment or to continue the discussion, please contact us.

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