Controlling Lawn and Garden Pests Safely

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OTTAWA – After a long winter, many Canadians are eager to start gardening and to maintain their lawns. Spring is also the time of year to start thinking about how to manage weeds and pests throughout the growing season.

A healthy lawn or garden is more resistant to pest problems, and can be achieved without using any pesticides at all. Occasional weeding prevents weeds and allows for the discovery of other pests. By managing pest problems when they are small, you can often avoid the need for pesticides at all.

If you choose to use a pesticide, it is important to use only a product authorized by Health Canada. You can search Health Canada’s pesticide label database online or from the mobile app to find the right product. It is also important to always follow the label directions and abide by any local restrictions—provincial, territorial or municipal—that may apply to specific products.

What you should do

If preventive measures are not enough, and you decide to use a pest control product, you are responsible for using pesticides safely. Health Canada offers this advice to help you protect the health and safety of those around you, and the environment, when using outdoor pesticides:

  • Always follow all label directions, which may include:
    • wearing protective clothing or other equipment specified on the label;
    • applying pesticides only at the rate stated on the label; and
    • making sure that the pesticide label says the product is for the intended area, and lists the insect or weed you want to control.
  • Make sure you wait the amount of time directed on the label before harvesting any garden crop treated to control home garden pests.
  • Never spray a pesticide outdoors if the wind speed is more than 8 kilometres per hour (5 miles per hour), if the air temperature is above 30°C (86°F), or if it is raining. Check your local weather forecast for up-to-date temperature, wind and rain information.

Remember, reading and following pesticide labels is important! If you are unsure of how to best manage a particular lawn or garden pest problem, visit our website for more information, or consider hiring a licensed pest control operator.

Report health and safety concerns

Adverse events related to the use of a pest control product should be reported to the manufacturer, who is required by law to report it to Health Canada. You may also report an incident directly to Health Canada by completing an incident report form.

Health Canada
(613) 957-2983
[email protected]

Public enquiries

(613) 957-2991
1-866 225-0709

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