Pesticide Use and Control

The Pesticide Use Control Bylaw bans the non-essential use of cosmetic pesticides for maintaining outdoor trees, shrubs, flowers, other ornamental plants or turf on private residential or City land.

Contravention of the bylaw may result in a fine of up to $10,000.

The bylaw applies to insecticides, herbicides and fungicides used on all residential land (including lawn and garden space of all single-family and multi-family residences) as well as all City property, parks and fields.
Common active ingredients found on labels of banned pesticides include: 2,4-D, Mecoprop, Dicamba, Glyphosate, Carbaryl and Malathion.

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Bylaw Exceptions
  • The use of pesticides related to farming
  • The use of pesticides to manage pests that impact forestry
  • The use of pesticides to protect public health and safety (such as the removal of dangerous invasive species such as giant hogweed).
  • Certain low-risk pesticides:
    • Acetic acid (domestic)
    • Animal repellents (domestic and commercial), except thiram
    • Anti-fouling paints (domestic and commercial)
    • Anti-sapstain wood preservatives used on private, industrial land owned by the company or person responsible for
    • the application (commercial)
    • Asphalt solids (pruning paints) (domestic and commercial)
    • Bacillus thuringiensis kurstaki (Btk) (domestic)
    • Bactericides used in petroleum products (domestic and commercial)
    • Boron compounds (domestic)
    • Boron compounds with up to 5% copper for insect control and wood preservation (commercial)
    • Capsaicin (domestic, commercial and restricted)
    • Cleansers (domestic and commercial)
    • Corn gluten meal (domestic and commercial)
    • D-phenothryn (domestic)
    • D-trans-allethrin (also referred to as d-cis-trans allethrin) (domestic and commercial)
    • Deodorizers (domestic and commercial)
    • Fatty acids (domestic)
    • Ferric phosphate (domestic and commercial)
    • Ferrous sulphate (domestic and commercial)
    • Hard surface disinfectants (domestic and commercial)
    • Insect bait stations (domestic)
    • Insect pheromones (domestic and commercial)
    • Insect repellants (domestic)
    • Laundry additives (domestic and commercial)
    • Material preservatives (domestic and commercial)
    • Methoprene (domestic)
    • Mineral oils for insect and mite control (domestic)
    • N-octyl bicycloheptene dicarboximide (domestic)
    • Naphthalene for fabric protection (domestic)
    • Paradichlorobenzene for fabric protection (domestic)
    • Pesticides in aerosol containers (domestic)
    • Pesticides registered under the federal act for application to pets (domestic and commercial)
    • Piperonyl butoxide (domestic)
    • Plant growth regulators (domestic)
    • Polybutene bird repellents (domestic and commercial)
    • Pyrethrins (domestic)
    • Resmethrin (domestic)
    • Rotenone (domestic)
    • Silica aerogel also referred to as silica gel, amorphous silica and amorphous silica gel (domestic and commercial)
    • Silicon dioxide, also referred to as “diatomaceous earth” (domestic and commercial)
    • Slimicides (commercial)
    • Soaps (domestic and commercial)
    • Sulphur, including lime sulphur, sulphide sulphur and calcium polysulphide (domestic and commercial)
    • Surfactants (domestic and commercial)
    • Swimming pool algicides and bactericides (domestic and commercial)
    • Tetramethrin (domestic)
    • Wood preservatives (domestic)
Background

Many Metro Vancouver municipalities have implemented pesticide bylaws to regulate the use of pesticides for cosmetic purposes on private properties.

Pesticides can contain environmental carcinogens, which are known to increase the risk of cancer. There is a growing body of scientific evidence linking pesticide exposure to both adult and childhood cancers, according to the Canadian Cancer Society.
Port Coquitlam has not used pesticides on City-owned land since 1983, instead opting for natural methods such as the use of ladybugs to control aphids and selective plant selection.

The City also promotes green yard care to property owners.

Pesticide Disposal

Pesticides are hazardous substances and should never be disposed of through the City’s storm sewers or household drains.

Pesticides banned by Bylaw 3767 may be disposed of free of charge at Biggar Bottle Depot, 2577 Kingsway Avenue (604.945.3313), which accepts consumer pesticides that have both the poisonous (skull and crossbones) symbol and Pest Control Product (PCP) number (maximum 10 L per visit). Visit www.productcare.org for further information.

Unused pesticide products having no labels may be picked-up by one of several hazardous waste companies. Phone the British Columbia Recycling Hotline at 604-R-E-C-Y-C-L-E (732-9253) or visit www.rcbc.bc.ca for more information on companies in your area.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are pesticides?

The term “pesticide” refers to chemical substances with varying toxicity (degree of risk) levels that are biologically active and interfere with the normal biological processes of living organisms deemed to be pests, such as insecticides (insect control), herbicides (weeds), rodenticides (rodents) and fungicides (control plant disease fungi).

Examples of pesticides include flea collars, ant traps, insect sprays, pressure treated lumber and lawn and garden fertilizers.

What are cosmetic herbicides, and how are they different from pesticides?
Cosmetic herbicides refer to chemicals or microorganisms that are used for controlling plant life (i.e. weeds). They are primarily used to enhance or maintain the appearance of lawns, gardens or building green spaces.  Cosmetic herbicides do not include products that are used for the preservation of agriculture, forests, buildings, or for the protection of public health.
Can pesticides affect people?

Yes. Research has shown that pets, children, pregnant women and the elderly are the most vulnerable to the acute and/or chronic health impacts due to exposure to pesticides. Pesticides can enter a person’s body by three possible routes: by the lungs, mouth or skin.

Children, in particular, are likely to be exposed to pesticides due to their exploratory behaviour and tendency to come into contact with grass, plants, pet flea collars, ant traps and perhaps pesticides not stored out of their reach within garages, basements and elsewhere in the home environment.

Do pesticides harm the environment?
Yes. Wind, rainfall and soil absorption transports pesticides from the point of application into other areas such as the air, streams and soils. Some pesticides break down relatively quickly.  However, others persist and remain toxic over longer periods of time or transform into byproducts with potential toxicities as well. This may result in unintended exposure to other species.
What are the alternatives?

A number of products are available for controlling pests in a manner that is less toxic to humans and the environment. Some examples of safer products include biological agents (i.e. hormones) and unreactive substances (i.e. oils or soaps). These products are less likely to harm other plants and animals.

However, the best alternatives to using cosmetic herbicides (or pesticides), is to practice good yard care techniques that help to minimize the occurrence of pests.

For persistent problems, learn some natural solutions to common lawn and garden problems, or ask your local garden store or contractor for suggestions about pest management techniques that can minimize your dependency on chemical products.

Contact

Tel  604.927.5420
Email engineering@portcoquitlam.ca

Emergency After Hours: Tel 604.543.6700

Location and Mailing Address

City Hall Annex (beside City Hall)
200 – 2564 Shaughnessy Street
Port Coquitlam BC  V3C 3G4

Business Hours: 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, Monday to Friday (excluding statutory holidays)