Pesticide Use Control Bylaw

As of January 1st 2010, the use of pesticides for cosmetic purposes on private and public lands is restricted within the City, per Cosmetic Pesticide Use Control Bylaw No. 8041. This means that a homeowner, renter, landlord, lawn care or landscape professional cannot use pesticides for lawn and garden beautification purposes.

What is a Pesticide?

"Pesticide" is a broad term for any substance that will eliminate undesired insects, weeds, rodents, fungi and bacteria. This includes insecticides (for insects), herbicides (for weeds), fungicides (for fungi) and rodenticides (for rodents). Many commonly used pesticides will no longer be allowed, including "weed and feed" type lawn fertilizers.

Why stop using them?

Pesticides present a potential health risk, especially to children and animals, as well as the environment. Although used for one "targeted pest", many beneficial organisms, like ladybugs and bees, are very susceptible to pesticides. Other organisms, like fish and invertebrates, can also be affected if pesticides are unintentionally washed into creeks and streams.

What are alternatives?

Pesticides can often work against creating a healthy lawn or garden by changing the microbe community in the soils. Natural, well drained, soils foster healthy grass, making it harder for weeds to become established. Natural products, like corn gluten meal, can be used to stop weeds from germinating and will act as a nitrogen fertilizer when it breaks down.

What can I use?

The pesticides listed in Schedule 2 of the Provincial Integrated Pest Management Program (updated July 1, 2016) are excluded from the bylaw and vendors do not need a license to sell them.

Are there any exceptions to the bylaw?

Yes. A resident can apply for a permit if there is a danger to human or animal health or damage to buildings. Public lands also require permitting and need to have an Integrated Pest Management Program (IPMP) in place. The IPMP ensures that applicators use every alternative method before using pesticides. You can find a permit application along with information to accompany the application on page 4 of the bylaw.

Where can I return my old containers?

Product Care takes back pesticide containers that contain both the poisonous (skull and cross bones) symbol and Pest Control Product (PCP) number. The North Shore Transfer Station (30 Riverside Drive, North Vancouver) has a Product Care depot for residents to safely dispose of their old pesticide containers for free. To return products without these symbols, call the BC Recycling hotline (604-REC-YCLE) for advice on a hazardous disposal company.

More Info

Regional Compost Hotline
Monday to Saturday (9:00am - 4:00pm)
Tel: 604-736-2250

Master Gardeners Association of BC

UBC Botanical Garden - Hortline Advice

BC Botanical Garden Plant Information Line
Tel: 604-822-5858

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