1.800.858.7378 npic@ace.orst.edu
We're open from 8:00AM to 12:00PM Pacific Time, Mon-Fri

Can I burn sulfur for pest control?

Always follow the label. There are no EPA-approved sulfur products for use in plant fumigation. There are unknown risks with using an unevaluated product.

Sulfur is burned or vaporized to control fungus, mites, or insects. When sulfur is burned, it turns into a gas called sulfur dioxide. The gas can mix with moisture on plants to form an acid that can damage plant leaves. Breathing the gas can be harmful to human health.

What about burning or vaporizing sulfur in a greenhouse?

There are currently no sulfur products registered with the EPA that can be burned for plant protection. Pesticide products registered with the EPA have been tested for risks to people. Labels of registered products are written based on tests that instruct how much of a product to use, how to ventilate, and whether you must wear a respirator, gloves, or other safety equipment.

Even though elemental sulfur and vaporization tools can be purchased online and in stores, the EPA has not tested them for risks when used for pest control indoors or in greenhouses

Can burning sulfur make me sick?

If you can smell the gas, then you are breathing air that contains sulfur dioxide. You may be able to taste the gas before you can smell it. If you are working hard and breathing heavily, exposure to sulfur dioxide may be higher because you are bringing more air into your lungs. A person might be exposed if he or she is not wearing the correct respirator. Other effects to consider:

If someone has been exposed, contact a Poison Control Center at 800-222-1222. If you would like to report an incident, call NPIC.

What are some ways to reduce risk?

This page should be used for informational purposes only. If you have questions, consider giving us a call at 800-858-7378 (8:00am - 12:00pm PST), or email us at npic@ace.orst.edu. The National Pesticide Information Center does not regulate, distribute, or manufacture any pesticide products. Contact the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) to discuss worker health and safety concerns.

Additional Resources:


Last updated September 16, 2020

Related Topics:

What are pests?

Learn about a pest

Identify a pest

Control a pest

Integrated Pest Management

What are pesticides?





Natural and Biological Pesticides



Other types of pesticides

Facebook Twitter Youtube