The Online Gardener's Handbook
Chapter 2: Integrated Pest Management
Pesticides in an Integrated Pest Management Approach
The term "pesticide" is a general name for a substance
which is used to prevent, destroy, mitigate or repel unwanted animals,
diseases or plants. Pesticides include insecticides that control
insects; fungicides that control diseases caused by fungi; herbicides
that control weeds; and others.
Provincial Cosmetic Pesticides Ban
Ontario's Cosmetic Pesticide Ban came into effect on April 22,
2009. This ban prohibits the sale and use of pesticides for cosmetic
purposes. The requirements of the ban are detailed in Ontario Regulation
63/09. The provincial ban on cosmetic pesticides supersedes local
municipal pesticides bylaws which may have previously been established
in your area.
There are 11 classes of pesticides in Ontario Regulation 63/09
and these are listed on the Ministry
of the Environment's web site. Pesticide products banned for
sale and use are listed in class 8.
Domestic pesticides which have been banned (i.e. are listed in
Class 8) can be disposed of under the Municipal Hazardous or Special
Waste Program (MHSW) program that began on July 1, 2008. Consumers
may drop off pesticides products to participating MHSW collection
events or depots.
Under the ban, the following types of Domestic products are allowed
for sale and use in Ontario:
- Products used to protect human health, such as the control of
mosquitoes that transmit West Nile Virus, or the control of wasps;
- Products that are essential to protect the health of pets (e.g.
control of fleas);
- Products used inside homes to control pests that may destroy
food, furnishings or cause structural damage to homes; and
- Certain lower risk pesticides and biopesticides (Class 11) to
manage weeds, insects and plant diseases on lawns and in gardens,
parks and school yards and other land exterminations.
These Domestic products are listed in Class 5, 6 or 7 (see
lists on MOE website). Note that Class 7 pesticides may also
have a cosmetic use listed on their label; however Class 7 pesticide
can only be used for non-cosmetic purposes. For example, a pesticide
that can be used to control poison ivy cannot be used to control
weeds on patios or driveways.
The use of biopesticides and certain lower-risk pesticides are
allowed under the ban for controlling weeds and pests in lawns and
gardens. Biopesticides (e.g. Btk which is a bacterium that controls
certain caterpillars) and certain lower risk pesticides (such as
some insecticidal soaps) are available to home gardeners to manage
insects. The biopesticides are those designated as such by Health
Canada's Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA). Lower risk pesticides
were selected based on PMRA's proposed criteria for low risk pesticides
that have characteristics such as low toxicity to humans, minimal
impact to the environment, and act in a non-toxic way in controlling
For more information on Ontario's cosmetic pesticide ban, refer
to the Ministry
of the Environment's website.
There are many internet sites or other sources which provide "recipes"
for homemade pesticides that claim to control a wide variety of
pests. Gardeners should be aware that the preparation and use of
such products may pose a number of safety risks, both personal and
In Canada, all pesticides must be registered under the Pest
Control Products Act, administered by Health Canada's Pest
Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA). This registration process involves
the scientific evaluation of each product to ensure they meet health
and safety standards, that the product works as claimed, and to
ensure there is a product label which provides information on how
to safely and effectively use the product. Homemade pesticides have
not undergone this evaluation process and consequently, there is
no way of knowing whether they will work as planned and/or be safe
to you, your garden and the environment. For example, the preparation
of homemade products may expose you or your family to harmful toxins,
or an untested homemade product may actually damage the plant you
are trying to protect.
Health Canada has prepared a brochure which provides information
on the risks associated with using homemade pesticides. It can be
found on their
Pesticides and This Handbook
Only cultural and biological controls for listed pests will be
discussed throughout this Handbook. Pesticides are not recommended
in this book, even though some may be available under the Cosmetic
Pesticide Ban. Information on products permitted under the ban can
be found on the Ministry
of Environment's website.