It is believed by many that there is no such thing as safe pesticide use. It can’t be stressed enough that the most responsible way of using pesticides is to choose the least toxic formulation and use no more than required.

Low Risk Pesticides

There are many low-risk pesticides that are permitted by municipalities that have a pesticide bylaw.

Generally, permitted pesticides include:
  • acetic acid (vinegar in products like EcoClear as herbicides)
  • corn gluten meal (acts as a natural herbicide used in turf weeds)
  • methoprene (an insect growth regulator)
  • botanically derived pesticides such as pyrethrins and rotenone
  • insect bait stations and pheromones
  • insecticidal or herbicidal soaps
  • mineral oils
  • sulphurs, ferrous sulphate (moss killer)
Check your municipal bylaw for a full list of permitted pesticides. A list of low risk pesticides from BC's Integrated Pest Management Regulation is available.

Traditional Pesticides

Traditional products containing synthetic chemicals including glyphosate (as found in products such as Roundup, Sidekick, and many others), 2,4-D (such as Weed n’ Feed, Killex, etc.), Malathion, Carbaryl (such as Sevin), and Diazinon are some of the more common pesticides that are not recommended for use, and in Victoria, Esquimalt and Saanich are not permitted for general use.

In the municipalities that have a pesticide bylaw, you can apply for a permit to use pesticides in certain cases, such as if you are trying to manage a pest that:
  • threatens the integrity of sensitive ecosystems
  • poses a serious economic loss to an owner or occupier of land
  • to control the spread of invasive species or noxious weeds
If all other methods of pest management have failed, you can contact your municipality to apply for a permit. It is your responsibility to be aware of any restrictions or requirements.

The safest, hands-off way to use pesticides is to contact a licensed professional pest control company and let them handle the treatment for you. This is important if you find you have an insect infestation or rampant plant disease that affects a large area of your yard.

Things to Remember

  • Choose the right solution for the problem and use ”domestic class“ pest control products only.
  • Read and follow all label directions and never use more than is recommended.
  • Spot treat the problem rather than dispersing over wide areas. Control, don’t eliminate.
  • Cover yourself with protective clothing as prescribed on the label when mixing and applying. Wash clothes separately before wearing again.
  • Stay clear of the treated area for the time period prescribed on the label.
  • Notify your family and neighbours, keep pets indoors, and as a courtesy, post a sign that pesticide treatment is going on.
  • Always wash up after use, especially if skin contact occurs.

Disposal of Pesticides

  • Don't use old, outdated products. Dispose of them at approved depots and use only new, pre-mixed solutions.
  • When it comes to disposing of unwanted pesticides, always follow the disposal rules on the label and never pour unwanted portions down the drain, into storm drains or onto the ground. Take them to an approved depot.
In the CRD, there are several approved depots where you can dispose of many pesticides for free.