Norms exist to keep wooden packaging materials from carrying pests

There are plenty of important jobs that are usually hidden from the eyes of the public. One such job is keeping exports free of pests and diseases that might thrive in a foreign country. That is the job of the Servicio Fitosanitario del Estado.

Most individuals would not think to look at the wooden packaging of products for dangerous insects or diseases. But the wood used to protect exported goods can carry all kinds of pests that would not be welcome on a foreign shore. There are international norms that specify how to handle such material.

Costa Rica ships a lot of ornamental plants and cable on wooden spools. Well out of the sight of the public, exporters use thermal treatment to eliminate any pests that might be in the wood.

There are 77 ovens designed for this purpose that handle the production of 83 companies, said the Servicio Fitosanitario del Estado.

The packaging materials undergo temperatures of at least 56 degrees C (139 F) for at least 30 minutes, the service noted in a summary of its work. Only then does the pallet or other wooden packaging device get a certification mark. Other countries use chemicals for the same purposes.

Soon these pallets will be in the oven.

Soon these pallets will be in the oven.

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