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 restrict the use of certain pesticides on public and private property. To see if there is a ban on lawn pesticides where you live, contact your province, city, or town.


If you use a pesticide on your lawn, only use a product authorized by Health Canada.

Look for the Pest Control Products (PCP) number on the label, for example:

  • Reg. No. 00000 P.C.P. Act
  • Registration No. 00000 Pest Control Products Act

Read the label to make sure the pest or weed you are trying to manage is listed on the label. Follow all label directions and warnings carefully.

Government roles

Health Canada worked with provincial and territorial governments to create the Healthy Lawns Strategy for Urban Pesticide Risk Reduction, with the goal of helping Canadians reduce their reliance on lawn care pesticides. This can be accomplished through the use of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) practices such as pest prevention, use of reduced risk products and the application of pesticides only when necessary.

Federal role

All pesticides must be authorized before they can be imported, sold, or used in Canada. Health Canada will only authorize a pesticide when our scientists have assessed that its use will not cause harm to health and the environment, and that it works well to control the pest it was designed for. All authorized pesticides are re-evaluated on an ongoing basis to make sure they continue to meet the latest scientific health and environmental protection standards.

Health Canada places conditions on how pesticides can be used, and set limits on the amount of pesticide residue that can be left on food. We require that manufacturers include safe use instructions on their product labels. Finally, we monitor and enforce compliance with the rules, to make sure that pesticides are used properly.

Provincial role

Provinces and territories can create laws about property, civil rights, and matters of local interest. This includes creating cosmetic pesticide bans to prevent the use of some pesticides. Provinces can make laws that are more restrictive, but not less protective than the federal government.

For example, provinces and territories may:

  • require special permits before pesticides can be used
  • place 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 and territories to regulate how pesticides are used locally. This includes creating bylaws to restrict pesticide use. These may be more restrictive, but not less protective than federal and provincial law.

Page details

Date modified: