Cosmetic pesticide bans

When people talk about using pesticides for "cosmetic" reasons, they usually mean using pesticides to make lawns look good.

Some provinces and municipalities now restrict pesticide use on public and private property, by creating cosmetic pesticide bans.

To see if there is a ban on pesticides where you live, contact your province, city, or town.

How the government protects you

Federal role

Health Canada works to protect Canadians by studying scientific information on pesticides. We make sure they will not harm human health, future generations, or the environment.

Pesticides must be registered before they can be imported, manufactured, sold, or used in Canada. Health Canada only registers products that are effective at managing pests and that can be used safely when label directions are followed.


If you use a pesticide on your lawn, read the label to make sure you are choosing the right product for the right pest or weed. Follow all label directions and warnings carefully. Always look for a Pest Control Products (PCP) number on the label so you know the product has been approved by Health Canada. See Use pesticides safely for more information.

Provincial role

Provinces and territories can create laws about property, civil rights, and local interests. This includes creating cosmetic pesticide bans to limit or stop people from using pesticides on their lawns. Provinces can make laws that are more restrictive, but not less restrictive than the federal government.

For example, provinces and territories may:

  • require people to get permits before using pesticides
  • put more restrictions on how pesticides can be used
  • regulate the transportation, sale, use, storage, and disposal of pesticides
  • regulate the training, certification, and licensing of pesticide applicators and vendors
  • respond to spills or accidents

Municipal role

Cities, towns, and municipalities may be given the power by provinces/territories to regulate how pesticides are used locally. This includes creating by-laws to restrict pesticide use.

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